Oral Health Facts

Oral Health Information Sheets

A Few Important Facts

Regular dental and dental hygiene check-ups are needed throughout your lifetime.

Dental hygiene check-ups include examination of teeth as well as all tissues in and around the mouth. People with full or partial dentures also need to have their mouths examined regularly to assess the fit of their dentures and the overall health of their mouth.

Good nutrition contributes to the health of your teeth and gums which is directly linked to your overall health. Following Canada's Food Guide is a healthy choice.

Between-meal snacking may contribute to tooth decay. Choosing nutritious snacks that are low in sugar and do not promote tooth decay helps in the fight against cavities. Foods such as apples and raw carrots, and hard cheese have a natural cleansing action on teeth, making good snack food choices.

Acid production from bacterial plaque occurs most dramatically within 20 minutes of eating, contributing to tooth decay. That is why rinsing your mouth with water after eating is a good habit.

Effective brushing techniques clean only the most exposed tooth surfaces. Flossing is a good choice to clean the areas between your teeth and where your toothbrush can't reach.

Brushing and flossing with an ineffective technique may do more harm than good. Dental hygienists can teach you how to use your toothbrush, dental floss and other cleaning aids effectively without causing excessive wear or damage to the teeth and gums.

A vigorous rinse with water may help to dislodge food particles and dilute acid produced by plaque bacteria. Rinsing throughout the day supports daily brushing and flossing to maintain oral health.

Fluoride is an important tool in the fight against tooth decay and may be found in such sources as community water supplies, private wells and tooth paste. Read more about the benefits of fluoride .

Sports injuries often involve damage to the teeth. When engaging in rugged and contact sports, a mouth guard should always be worn.