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'Kungatsiajuk':

Supporting the Healthy Smiles
of NunatuKavut Children

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What are the fuzzy sweaters on my teeth?

Plaque is what makes your teeth feel fuzzy if they have not been brushed in a while.

What is plaque? How does it harm your teeth?

Plaque is a sticky film that is always forming on your teeth. Plaque has bacteria that can harm your teeth over time. These bacteria like acidic environments, which can be caused by sugary or starchy foods and drinks. Certain types of bacteria that collect in plaque can eventually cause cavities and even gum disease. The best defense against plaque, bacteria and acid build-up is brushing and flossing your teeth. Plaque that is not removed continues to build up. Minerals may eventually deposit into the plaque turning it into calculus, which is also called tartar. This tartar, or hardened plaque, is more difficult to remove than plaque and increases damage to gums and teeth.

Cavities cause pain, and will not get better on their own. A dentist can repair the damage by filling the cavity. Sensitive teeth may be an indication of cavities or nerve irritation, so you should talk to your dentist about tooth sensitivity as it may be a clue to more serious oral health concerns.

How can plaque be prevented?

Cavities and gum disease can be prevented by brushing your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing every day and regularly visiting a dentist or dental hygienist. You should brush all surfaces of your teeth, as well as your tongue to get rid of the bacteria in the mouth that can cause cavities. You should brush your teeth for 2-3 minutes, and it may be helpful to play a song you enjoy to mark the time, or to use a timer.

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Get Involved

Contact our: Healthy Smiles Coordinator Michelle Clarke (709) 960-0342 healthy.smiles@dal.ca

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