Taking care of your teeth is important to help avoid decay and gum disease. Attention to gum disease is important for your general health too as mentioned in the earlier article.There are four basic steps to taking care of teeth and gums:BrushingFlossingBalanced diet/ Eating properlyVisiting the dentistTips for brushing:Brush at least twice a day. Brushing removes plaque, a film of bacteria that clings to teeth. When bacteria in plaque come into contact with food, they produce acids. These acids lead to cavities. To brush:Place a pea-sized dab of toothpaste on the head of the toothbrush.Place the toothbrush against the teeth at a 45-degree angle to the gum line.Move the brush across the teeth using a small circular or vertical motion. ( never brush in horizontal motion.) Continue with this manner cleaning one to two teeth at a time. Keep the tips of the bristles against the gum line. Avoid pressing too hard that the bristles lie flat against the teeth. (Only the tips of the toothbrush clean the teeth.) Let the bristles reach into spaces between teeth.Brush across the top of the chewing surfaces of the teeth. Make sure the bristles get into the grooves and crevices.Use the same small circular motion to clean the back of the upper and lower teeth, the side that faces the tongue.To clean the inside of the lower front teeth, angle the head in an up-and-down position toward the bottom inside of the mouth and move the toothbrush in a small circle.For the inside of the top front teeth, angle the brush in an up-and-down position with the tip of the head pointing towards the roof of the mouth. Move the toothbrush in a small circle.Give your tongue a few gentle brush strokes, brushing from the back of your tongue forward. Do not scrub. This helps remove bacteria and freshens your breath.After brushing your teeth, rinse your mouth with water.Replace your toothbrush with a new one every three to four months.Tips for flossing:Floss once a day. Flossing gets rid of food and plaque between the teeth, where your toothbrush cannot reach. If plaque stays between teeth, it can harden into tartar, which must be removed by a dentist. To floss:Remove about a 45 cm (18-inch) strip of floss from the dispenserWind the floss around the index fingers of each hand, leaving a 2.5cm (one inch) section open for flossingPlace the floss in your mouth and use your index fingers to push the floss between the teeth. Be careful not to push too hard and injure the gumsMove the floss up and down against the tooth and up and around the gum line. The floss should form a C-shape around the tooth as you flossFloss between each tooth as well as behind the back teethUse a clean section of floss as neededTips for balanced diet / eating properly:Eat a variety of foods but eat fewer foods that contain sugars and starches. These foods produce the most acids in the mouth and the longer they stay in the mouth, the more they can damage the teeth. Snacking on sugary foods can lead to tooth decay because most people don't brush after snacks. Starchy snack foods, like crisps, stick to the teeth. Avoid snacking on:Sweets, biscuits, cakes and piesCaramel containing chocolatesCrackers, bread-sticks and crispsDried fruit and raisinsDental check-ups:Visit your dentist as advised. To maintain healthy teeth and gums, it's important to have regular check-ups and professional cleaning (i.e Scaling and Polishing). You should also see your dentist if you have pain in your teeth or bleeding, swollen gums etc.You can also ask your dentist about dental sealants. Sealant is a material used to coat the top, chewing surfaces of the teeth. This coating protects the tooth from decay and usually lasts a long time. It is a preventive treatment. Fluoride treatment is another preventive and useful treatment for patients having high decay rate. Thank you! Have a healthy mouth!