The health of your mouth, teeth and gums can affect your overall health. We need good dental hygiene to control bacteria-causing infections in the mouth, primarily tooth decay and gum disease. In addition, studies now suggest that poor oral health may contribute to several conditions in the body, including diabetes, heart and kidney disease, asthma, osteoporosis and cancer.
Below are a few daily basics to maintain your oral health:
- Brush teeth 2 to 3 minutes twice a day. Include gently brushing along the gum line. Replace your brush once the bristles show wear.
- Floss thoroughly at least once a day to remove plaque and any particles between teeth that your toothbrush misses.
- Choose dental health tools that most effectively clean your teeth and gums — toothpaste, regular or power toothbrushes, floss, flossing picks and oral irrigators; your dentist can advise you about these items.
- Use fluoridated toothpastes and mouth rinses to help strengthen tooth enamel, especially if you smoke or favor high-acid drinks.
- Infection warning signs include sore bleeding gums, despite good home care; red gums; and loose teeth.
Enjoy the recipe of the week: Apple Pie Egg Rolls
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