Having a toothache is not fun. Imagine being in space with a toothache with no dentist to go to.  It happened to a Russian Cosmonaut several years ago.  He suffered for 2 weeks.

Factors that could contribute to the development of tooth and gum disease include:

•Changes in bacteria in the mouth

•Inattention to good dental hygiene

•Lack of foods with natural cleansing properties.

Many foods can help maintain healthy teeth and gums, while others can cause dental problems.  Eat healthy snacks.  Instead of cookies, juice and soda pop, which have a lot of sugar, eat...

•Raw veggies

•Plain yogurt or fresh fruit

•Whole grains

•Milk and cheese

•(Milk and cheese contain calcium, and calcium builds strong bones...and keeps your teeth healthy)

Avoid sticky foods, such as chewy candy. They aren’t easily washed away by a drink or saliva, and can increase the risk for cavities.  Starchy snacks like white breads, hamburger buns, syrup and honey also contain sugars.  Check the labels on foods.

Sugars attack your teeth and can lead to cavities.  Invisible germs called bacteria live in your mouth. Bacteria can form a sticky plaque on the surface of your teeth. When you put sugar in your mouth, the bacteria in the plaque turn the sweet stuff into acids. These acids can dissolve the hard enamel covering your teeth. If the decay process continues unchecked, you can get a hole in your tooth enamel, called a cavity.

Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and floss once a day. Fluoride in toothpaste and tap water toughens tooth enamel, making it more difficult for acid to penetrate.

How do astronauts in space brush their teeth?  With no gravity, brushing their teeth like we do on earth would be a mess!

Astronauts either swallow the specially made toothpaste, or they spit it out into a towel.

Flossing removes food trapped between teeth. Brushing & flossing help prevent cavities.

See a dentist twice a year.  A dentist will check to see if your teeth are OK, will clean and polish your teeth, and apply fluoride sealants.

Keep Your Teeth and Gums Healthy!