The Alberta Dental Association and College reminds you that taking proper care of your teeth and gums makes a significant contribution to your overall health and well-being. Follow these steps to contribute to your good dental health.
Put a smile in Your Body: Visit Your Dentist
Regular dental exams by your dentist are the best way to prevent and detect problems before they get worse. Your dentist will exam your teeth, gums, mouth and jaws and check for gum disease, cavities, loose fillings and early signs of oral cancer. Many dental problems may not be visible or cause pain until in more advanced stages.
Keep Your Mouth Clean
To prevent cavities, you need to remove plaque, the transparent layer of bacteria that coats the teeth. The best way to remove plaque is to brush your teeth. Use a soft bristle toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Also, eat a well balanced diet and limit high sugar foods and beverages.
Look for Any Changes in Your Mouth
Check your mouth regularly, and watch for signs including:
- red, shiny, puffy, sore or sensitive gums;
- bleeding when you brush or floss;
- bad breath that won’t go away;
- bleeding or open sores that don’t heal;
- white or red patches;
- numbness or tingling;
- small lumps and thickening on the sides or bottom of your tongue, the floor or roof of your mouth, the inside of your cheeks, or on your gums.
Minimize the use of tobacco and alcohol
The use of tobacco and alcohol can increase your oral cancer risk. As well, tobacco may stain your teeth.