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Mouth Care Tips

Mouth Care Tips Mouth Care Tips Mouth Care Tips

Cavities and other mouth problems affect people of all ages, with as many as 84 percent of people having had at least one cavity by their 17th birthday, according to the Nemours Foundation. Proper mouth care prevents and treats tooth decay and significantly reduces the risk of periodontal disease, a primary cause of adult tooth loss, according to the American Dental Association.

Brushing and Flossing

Brush your teeth, tongue and the roof of your mouth twice each day with fluoride toothpaste approved by the American Dental Association to remove plaque and food particles. Floss at least once every day to help rid your mouth of food trapped between your teeth and under your gum line, and use an antimicrobial mouthwash to kill bacteria responsible for gingivitis and tooth decay. The ADA also recommends replacing your toothbrush about every three months, or sooner if it becomes frayed from use or if you develop a bacterial infection in your mouth or throat.

Lip Care

Lip care is an important part of caring for your mouth. The American Academy of Dermatology states that cold sores, chapped lips and angular cheilitis are three common causes of lip problems. Cold sores are caused by infection with either herpes simplex virus type 1 or type 2 and are treated with lifestyle changes and antiviral medications. Cheilitis causes cracks to develop at the corners of the mouth and usually responds to B12 shots or topical treatment with antibacterial or antifungal medications. Treat chapped lips with increased environmental moisture, avoidance of wind and sun and regular applications of lip balm.

Eat Right

Diet plays a major role in tooth decay and oral health. Foods high in carbohydrates, such as soda, dried fruit, cereals and candy are the biggest contributors to the destruction of your teeth. This is because the bacteria that reside inside the mouth feed on carbohydrates, turning them into acids that dissolve the enamel surface of your teeth. Limiting intake of these foods and brushing immediately after consuming carbohydrate-rich meals and snacks can improve the health of your teeth. The Nemours Foundation explains that eating candy and other sugary foods frequently is more damaging to your teeth than eating a lot of sugar in one sitting because it keeps your teeth in constant contact with the acids responsible for tooth decay.

See Your Dentist

Regular dental checkups are not only essential for the health of your mouth; they help ensure symptoms of serious diseases, such as mouth and throat cancer, are caught as early as possible. Moreover, your dentist can work with you to solve minor problems, such as dry mouth, before they become serious and threaten the health of your teeth and gums. For example, many medications and several conditions contribute to dry mouth, and your dentist can help you determine which one is responsible for your symptoms. The Nemours Foundation suggests visiting your dentist every six months for a routine examination of your mouth and teeth.

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