Improve Your Oral Health in Less Than 5 Minutes

88156HIt takes fewer than five minutes a day to maintain or improve oral health. Dental hygienists recommend brushing twice a day, with a soft toothbrush, for two minutes using fluoridated toothpaste. You should also use an oral device to clean between teeth and scrape or brush the tongue once a day.

Improve your oral health in less than five minutes with these top expert tips:

  1. Replace your toothbrush (or power brush head) every two to three months as it can harbour bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Also replace when bristles bend or after a cold or flu.
  2. Choose raw fruit and vegetables or hard cheese for snacks between meals. Chewing increases saliva flow, which has a natural cleansing action to help protect teeth from decay.
  3. Frequent consumption of acidic food such as pop, juice, and citrus fruit can eventually dissolve tooth enamel, causing sensitivity, unsightly appearance, and possibly tooth loss. Rinse with water or chew sugarless gum after eating to help stimulate saliva and reduce acids that cause enamel erosion and tooth decay.
  4. Wear a mouthguard at all times when participating in sports.
  5. Schedule regular dental hygiene checkups throughout your lifetime, even if you wear dentures. Dental hygienists don’t just clean your teeth — they examine your head, neck, and mouth, and are often the first people to identify early signs of oral cancer. They also implement treatment plans and provide advice on nutrition, smoking cessation, and bad breath.

Bonus tip: According to a Canadian Health Measures survey, 32 per cent of people have no dental insurance and 17 per cent avoid going to a dental professional because of the cost. If you find it difficult accessing or affording dental hygiene services, know that you can receive complete oral care services at one of the many independently run dental hygiene clinics located across Ontario. Many are mobile, a great option for people living in group homes, low-income families, underserviced communities, and those without insurance.

Find a local dental hygiene clinic or mobile practice at www.odha.on.ca.

Attention editors: This article is for distribution in Ontario only.

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