Facts You Should Know About Your Oral Health

These facts are things every patient should know about visiting the dentist, maintaining good dental care and preventing serious dental problems.


Brushing Twice a Day Helps to Keep the Cavities Away

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When you brush your teeth properly, at least twice a day, you are removing the plaque that causes cavities. Plaque is the soft and sticky substance that accumulates on the teeth from food debris and bacteria. Flossing daily will remove the plaque from in between the teeth that the toothbrush cannot reach. Removing plaque from your teeth also helps to prevent gum disease.


Dental Check Ups Include Oral Cancer Screenings

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When you go for your regular dental check-up, your dentist and hygienist are also screening you for any signs of oral cancer. Every hour of every day, someone dies of oral cancer in the United States. This serious dental disease which pertains to the mouth, lips or throat is often highly curable if diagnosed and treated in the early stages. Visiting your dentist for regular check-ups and avoiding tobacco are the key factors in preventing oral cancer.​


Gum (Periodontal) Disease Affects Your Overall Health

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Gum disease is one of the main causes of tooth loss in adults and has also been linked to heart disease and strokes. If diagnosed in the early stage, gingivitis can be treated and reversed. If treatment is not received, a more serious and advanced stage of gum disease, called Periodontitis, which includes bone loss, may follow. Brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and getting regular dental checkups and cleanings are the best prevention against gum disease.


Dental Cleanings and Check Ups Are Extremely Important

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Going to the dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings is one of the most important factors in maintaining good oral health. Regular check-ups can prevent ​cavities, root canals, gum disease, oral cancer, and other dental conditions. Don’t wait until you have a problem before you see your dentist, help prevent problems before they happen.


Bad Breath Could be the Result of a Dental Problem

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About 85 percent of people with persistent bad breath have a dental condition that is to blame. If bad breath is the cause of a dental condition, mouthwash will only mask the odor and not cure it. Don’t be embarrassed to talk to your dentist, they are there to help you. Flossing daily and brushing your teeth and tongue twice a day can greatly reduce and possibly eliminate bad breath.


Proper Nutrition Is Important for Good Dental Health

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The sugars from soft drinks and non-nutritional foods combine with the bacteria in our mouths which produces acids that attack tooth enamel. This can lead to cavities and gum disease. Limiting beverages and foods that are high in sugar can greatly help to maintain good dental health.


Dental Problems Do Not Get Better or Go Away Without Treatment

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If your dentist gives you a treatment plan for dental work that you need to have done, you should focus on getting your teeth fixed as soon as possible. Even cavities continue to get bigger. If they get big enough to reach the nerve in your tooth, your only options would be to have a root canal or have the tooth extracted.


A Root Canal is Usually Not Painful

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With today’s technology, root canals are nothing like most people think. A root canal is as painless as having a filling.


Change Your Toothbrush

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Manual toothbrushes become worn out after about 3 months and are not as effective as they once were. If you have gum disease, you should change your toothbrush every 4 to 6 weeks because bacteria can harbor in the bristles. You should always rinse your toothbrush out with hot water after every use and change it after you have been sick.


Maintaining Good Dental Health Is Easy

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Some people think that having good dental health takes too much effort. Seeing your dentist for regular dental check-ups and cleanings, brushing twice a day, flossing daily and eating a nutritional diet are the key factors in having healthy teeth and gums. Now, what’s so hard about that?

7 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. University of Rochester Medical Center. How to keep your gums and teeth healthy.

  2. Messadi DV, Wilder-smith P, Wolinsky L. Improving oral cancer survival: the role of dental providers. J Calif Dent Assoc. 2009;37(11):789-98.

  3. American Cancer Society. Treatment options for oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancer by stage.

  4. Harvard Health Publishing. Gum disease and the connection to heart disease.

  5. Cleveland Clinic. Gingivitis and periodontal disease (gum disease).

  6. University of Illinois at Chicago Dentistry. The true story of why you get cavities, according to a billion microbes.

  7. American Association of Endodontists. Root canal explained.

By Tammy Davenport
Tammy Davenport is a dental assistant with experience on the clinical and administrative side.