Maintaining Good Oral Health

February 1, 2013 at 3:58 pm Leave a comment

Taking care of your teeth and gums is one of the best things you can do for your health. Often, people don’t realize the importance of maintaining their teeth until they experience dental problems such as a toothache, cavities or gum disease.

The following tips can help ensure you keep your teeth for life:

  • Drink fluoridated water and use fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride’s protection against tooth decay works at all ages.
  • Take care of your teeth and gums. Thorough tooth brushing and flossing to reduce dental plaque can prevent gingivitis, the mildest form of gum disease.
  • Avoid tobacco. In addition to the general health risks posed by tobacco, smokers have four times the risk of developing gum disease compared to non-smokers.
  • Limit alcohol. Heavy use of alcohol is also a risk factor for oral and throat cancers. When used alone, alcohol and tobacco are risk factors for oral cancers, but when used in combination the effects of alcohol and tobacco are even greater.
  • Eat wisely. Avoid sugary and starchy snacks.
  • Visit the dentist regularly. Check-ups and professional tooth cleaning can detect early signs of oral health problems and can lead to treatments that can prevent further damage, or even reverse the problem.
  • Beware of dry mouth. If medications produce a dry mouth, ask your doctor if other drugs can be substituted.

Source: CDC

Entry filed under: Managing your health.

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