March 20 is World Oral Health Day! Be proud of your mouth by taking care of your oral health. According to the FDI World Dental Federation, oral disease, such as gum disease affects nearly 3.5 billion people. An unhealthy mouth can lead to pain and affect your overall health.

Prevention is the best way to protect your mouth from oral disease. Maintaining good oral health can have a positive impact on your well-being and overall health. Here is how you can keep your mouth healthy throughout your life.

Adopt a daily oral health clean routine.
Many oral health problems can be prevented by practicing daily oral care. An oral clean routine includes:

  • Brushing for two minutes, twice a day. This helps remove food particles and plaque that leads to caries and gum disease.
  • Using a fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride helps fight caries and protects tooth enamel.
  • Using dental floss at least once a day. This helps to clean between your teeth and can help reduce gum disease by removing plaque that forms along the gum line.

Visit the dentist twice a year.
One of the best ways to protect your mouth is seeing the dentist twice a year. Most oral health conditions such as cavities or gum disease are preventable and can be treated in their early stages. During a dental visit, the dentist and his team may:

  • Examine your teeth, gums and mouth.
  • Teach you how to maintain good oral health.
  • Provide dental treatment, if needed.

Seeing the dentist during the COVID-19 pandemic is safe and important for the whole family and is essential during pregnancy. Your health and safety is the dentist’s priority. Click here to see a list of medical and dental health centers open during COVID-19 restrictions in Orange County. You can also call the Health Referral line at 1-800-564-8448.

Eat a balanced diet, low in sugar.
Eating a variety of nutrient rich foods and limiting foods that are high in sugar is not only good for healthy teeth and gums, but may also help prevent diabetes and obesity. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends the following foods for better oral health:

  • Low-fat milk, yogurt, cheese, and green leafy vegetable. These Calcium-rich foods promote strong bones and teeth.
  • Eggs, fish, lean meats, beans, and nuts. These foods contain the mineral phosphorous for strong teeth.
  • Tomatoes, broccoli, citrus fruits, spinach, and potatoes. These foods are rich in vitamin C and promote gum health.

Snack wisely. Limit foods and drinks with added sugar such as candy or soda. Choose water, raw vegetables, fruits, cheese or plain yogurt.

Stay away from tobacco and drug use.
Tobacco use such as smoking, vaping, or chewing tobacco can increase the risk of gum disease and oral cancer. Drug use can cause dry mouth, a condition when there is a decrease of saliva flow in your mouth. Saliva is the mouth’s primary defense against tooth decay and maintains the health of the soft and hard tissues in the mouth (ADA). Please use the following resources to help you or someone you know stop smoking or drug use:

  • 1-866-NEW-LUNG (1-866-639-5864). Free quit smoking & quit vaping services in Orange County.
  • OC links. 1-855-OC-LINKS (625-4657). Callers are linked to alcohol and drug use prevention/intervention programs.

Be proud of your mouth and protect it. Good oral health can help you live a longer, healthier life.

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