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Say, “Ah.”

 

Your mouth is the window into your health. It can reveal nutritional deficiencies, infection, or diseases that impact your entire body.

• To keep your teeth: Brush and floss twice a day and have your teeth cleaned twice a year.

• Chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes following meals can help prevent tooth decay, increase the flow of saliva, which washes away food and other debris, neutralize acids produced by bacteria, and provide disease-fighting substances throughout the mouth.

• Nuts, fruits (like apples), cheese, chicken and vegetables are teeth friendly. Bonus hint: cheese causes your salivary gland to produce more saliva, which neutralizes acid.

• Oral Cancer signs: (see your dentist if any persist for two weeks or more)

> Sore or irritation that doesn’t go away
> Red or white patches
> Pain, tenderness or numbness in mouth or lips
> Lump, thickening, rough spot, crust or small eroded area
> Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving your tongue or jaw
> Change in the way your teeth fit together when you close your mouth

• If your tongue looks red and glossy you may not be getting enough nutrients like iron, folic acid, or B vitamins.

• Women have special dental concerns. Hormone levels, pregnancy, menopause, diabetes even puberty may raise risks for dental issues. Regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups can help prevent problems that may affect your overall health.

• Half of all children between 12 and 15 have cavities. As soon as a baby’s first tooth appears, start wiping teeth with a clean, damp cloth or a very soft brush. At 2 years, start teaching them how to brush.

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