Dental Health

More information about dental health can be found on this page.

Tips for Your Teeth

  • Foods such as celery, carrots, apples and chewing gum can assist in clearing loose food and debris. Chewing gum may also help prevent plaque build up.
  • You should replace your toothbrush every two-three months or after an illness.
  • Gum assessment can help identify signs of hypertension and heart disease. Dental exams may also help identify other diseases such as HIV infection, oral cancers, eating disorders, substance abuse, and diabetes.
  • Piercing of the tongue or lip can cause blood poisoning, prolonged or permanent drooling, damaged sense of taste, toxic shock syndrome, permanent damage to tooth enamel and oral tissue, and transmission of infections such as Hepatitis B and HIV.
  • Tobacco is the primary cause of oral cancers. Tobacco usage (chewing or smoked) quadruples the risk of developing oral cancer and the prevalence of oral cancer is higher in men.
  • Early tooth decay in infants (baby- bottle tooth decay) is a concern. This occurs when babies routinely fall asleep with bottles filled with milk, formula, juice etc.
  • Tooth decay is an infectious, transmissible disease. Research indicates that the presence of bacteria known as streptococcus mutans leads to tooth decay in children. The primary cause of tooth loss in children and adults is from tooth decay.

The American Dental Hygienists' Association Fact sheet (2008).