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Posted in Healthy Living | November 2013

Baby those pearly whites

oral hygiene
Taking care of your teeth isn’t just about being able to confidently flash a gleaming smile or having minty-fresh breath. According to medical experts at the Mayo Clinic and Health Canada, good oral hygiene is directly linked to your overall health.

For instance, did you know that if left untreated, gum disease can put you at risk for even more serious diseases, including respiratory diseases caused by bacteria that have traveled from the mouth to the lungs? Poor oral health has also been linked to sleeping problems and behavioral and developmental problems in children, and can affect your ability to chew and digest food properly, according to Health Canada.

Luckily you can minimize your risks by taking a few simple steps to keep your mouth in tip-top shape.

  • See your dentist regularly, but don’t wait until your next scheduled visit to report a problem you are having (pain, inflammation, bleeding or sensitivity, for example). Visit your dental professional immediately if you notice any problems in between regular visits.
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day (for two to three minutes each time), and use an antimicrobial mouth rinse to help reduce the bacteria in your mouth.
  • Floss daily. For a step-by-step guide to proper flossing, visit The Canadian Dental Association.
  • Replace your toothbrush every three months, or after you’ve been ill.
  • Eat a healthy diet that includes lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. The nutrients that come from healthy foods help you to fight cavities and gum disease.1
  • Don’t smoke. According to The Canadian Dental Association, tobacco is a major cause of tooth loss in adults. It can also affect the appearance and health of your mouth and gums and put you at an increased risk for oral and pharyngeal (throat) cancers.
  • Clean and care for your dentures as carefully as you would your real teeth. For denture care tips visit The Canadian Dental Association.

You only have one smile, so take good care of it and flash that healthy, happy grin with pride!

To brush up on your personal dental care basics, visit the Mayo Clinic or The Canadian Dental Association.

SOURCES

1 http://www.cda-adc.ca/en/oral_health/cfyt/good_for_life/default.asp

410349 CAN/US (04/15)

 

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