5 tips to keep your teeth shiny & healthy
More than 1 in 5 Canadians avoided going to the dentist in 2018 because they felt it was too expensive.1 That’s about 8.4 million people whose teeth may not be as healthy as they could be. Hopefully a good dental insurance plan can help some of those people. But in the meantime, it’s important to remember that dental health is good for your overall health. So, here are six things you can do to help keep your teeth in good shape before the next time you see your dentist.
- Brush twice a day and floss once: Fortunately, 78.3% of us already brush our teeth in the morning and at night, but only 43% floss once a day.1
- Don’t forget about your tongue: Your tongue is an important part of your overall mouth health. While you’re brushing your teeth, use your toothbrush or tongue scraper to clear out bad bacteria, food debris and dead cells.2
- Quit smoking or vaping: Though smoking is often associated with lung and throat problems, it can also harm your teeth and mouth. It causes discolouration, tooth decay and gum disease, not to mention various oral cancers. And while studies are still coming in about vaping’s relationship to oral health, research has shown its sweet flavours can increase your risk of cavities, and some ingredients may contribute to gum disease.3
- Subdue your sweet tooth: Limit the foods and beverages that can harm your oral health, like those that are high in sugars and carbohydrates.4 A good first step is to drink lots of water, instead of sipping on juice, pop or sweetened coffee throughout the day.
- Find a dentist, if you don’t have one: If not having a dentist is what’s keeping you from getting a checkup, you can visit the Canadian Dental Association to find one near you.
Remember, your dentist isn’t just a doctor who drills and scrapes and utters odd terms like “upper right second bicuspid.” They’re also there to keep your gums healthy; detect oral cancers; make sure your jawbone is in good shape; and check your neck, jaw and lymph nodes for any issues.5 So try to visit your dentist twice a year and keep these tips in mind in between.
1 statcan.gc.ca, “Dental Care, 2018,” September 2019.
2 clevelandclinic.org, “Does Tongue Scraping Actually Work, and Should I Be Doing It?” December 18, 2018.
5 123dentist.com, “Six Reasons You Need Regular Dental Checkups,” January 2018.