The Top 10 Tips for Keeping Your Mouth

Top Ten Tips for a Healthy Smile

  1. Brush your teeth at least twice a day. In the morning and night is always easy to remember.
  2. Floss in addition to brushing. Flossing loosens plaque between teeth, where the toothbrush cannot reach.
  3. Get regular dental checkups. Dental professionals are capable of removing tartar from your teeth. You cannot remove tartar on your own at home. Additionally, your dental professional can identify and treat small problems occurring in your mouth before they become larger ones.
  4. Limit sodas, coffee, and alcohol. Limiting these beverages is important for reducing tooth decay and discoloration.
  5. Visit your dentist before becoming pregnant and during pregnancy. You may reduce your risk of having a baby born prematurely by controlling gum infection.
  6. Put out the cigarette. Smokers are seven times more likely to develop periodontal disease, and tobacco products are a major risk factor for over 75 percent of oral and throat cancers.1 There are 30,000 new cases of oral cancer each year. The five-year survival rate for oral cancer is about 50 percent.
  7. Increase your calcium intake. Adults who consume at least three servings of food rich in calcium each day have significantly lower rates of periodontal disease, a leading cause of tooth loss.2
  8. Wear a mouthguard if you play contact sports. Mouthguards help cushion blows that might otherwise cause broken teeth and injuries to the lips, tongue, face, or jaw.
  9. Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. Limiting sugary food left on the teeth may reduce tooth decay and discoloration.
  10. Consider using an electronic toothbrush.* Many brands of battery-powered toothbrushes have a timer— so you won't underbrush—and a vibrating or spinning action that encourages you to brush softly.

1 ACS (American Cancer Society). Cancer Reference Information revised 7/10/2006.
2 Nishida M, Grossi, SG, et al "Calcium and the Risk for Periodontal Disease."
Journal of Periodontology. 2000 Jul; 71 (7): 1057—1066.
* Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts offers a discount on Philips®'' Sonicare toothbrushes.
Go to www.bluecrossma.com/discounts.