7 tips for a healthy mouth on World Oral Health Day

7 tips for a healthy mouth on World Oral Health Day

INDIANAPOLIS — In celebration of World Oral Health Day on Friday, March 20, dental professors at the Indiana University School of Dentistry offer these seven tips to keep your mouth healthy and disease-free: Brush your teeth for two minutes, twice a day, with a soft-bristled brush. Use fluoridated toothpaste. Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by strengthening tooth enamel when cavities are forming. . Use only a pea size amount of fluoridated toothpaste for children. Floss daily to remove plaque between the teeth where the toothbrush can’t reach. Reduce sugar intake. Sugar is one of the leading causes of tooth decay; bacteria that create plaque use sugar for their energy. Go the dentist regularly for a dental examination and teeth cleaning by a dental hygienist to prevent plaque buildup and the gum diseases of gingivitis and periodontitis. Have a dentist place sealants on your back teeth. Sealants prevent pits and cavities. Quit smoking. Smoking is a leading cause of gum disease and numerous other health issues. “Of the almost 300 chronic global health conditions, three oral diseases are in the top 10: adult caries (cavities) is number one, periodontal disease is 6, and childhood caries is number 10,” said Michael J. Kowolik, executive associate dean of the IU School of Dentistry. “All, if untreated, can lead to significant health problems and tooth loss. And there is increasing evidence they may aggravate some systemic diseases, in particular inflammatory diseases, such as stroke, heart disease and diabetes, which together kill millions of people around the world each year. “A healthy mouth is the one of the first lines of defense for a...