|What is dental health and why is it important?|
When you get your picture taken, everyone says, "Say cheese! Smile!" So you do ó you open your mouth and show your teeth. When you see the picture, you see a happy person looking back at you. The healthier those teeth are, the happier you look. Why is that?
Itís because your teeth are important in many ways. If you take care of them, theyíll help take care of you. Strong, healthy teeth help you chew the right foods to help you grow. They help you speak clearly. And yes, they help you look your best.
How does taking care of your teeth help with all those things? Taking care of your teeth helps prevent plaque (say: plak), which is a clear film of bacteria (say: bak-teer-ee-uh) that sticks to your teeth.
After you eat, bacteria go crazy over the sugar on your teeth, like ants at a picnic. The bacteria break it down into acids that eat away tooth enamel, causing holes called cavities. Plaque also causes gingivitis (say: jin-juh-vi-tis), which is gum disease that can make your gums red, swollen, and sore. Your gums are those soft pink tissues in your mouth that hold your teeth in place.
If you donít take care of your teeth, cavities and unhealthy gums will make your mouth very, very sore. Eating meals will be difficult. And you wonít feel like smiling so much.
Watch the following video of an interview with dental hygienist Katherine Kikunga at the Tooth Spa in Sunnyvale.