Teaching Family and
Friends in Your Community
Old people can remember when there were fewer problems with teeth and
gums. Children’s teeth were stronger and adults kept their teeth longer.
Times are changing. Today there are more tooth and gum problems than
ever before. In many countries, tooth decay and gum disease are two of the
fastest growing health problems.
This unhealthy situation is getting worse, for two reasons: changes in the
kind of food people now are eating, and not enough cleaning after they eat.
BEFORE, the food people ate
was their own, grown and
prepared by themselves.
NOW, more people are buying
softer and sweeter food from
the store. This kind of food
sticks to the teeth more easily
so it has more time to attack
the teeth and gums.
Even sugar cane was not as bad
as the sticky candy children eat
today. The sugar was bad for the
teeth, but the fiber in the cane
helped rub them clean.
Everyone must be more careful
to clean away soft, sweet
food. But many people do not
know how. Some, especially
children, do not even try.