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Content Credit: CDA
Written by: Dr.Rajvinder Bhatia


1. Keep your mouth clean 

  • Brush twice a day using a soft-bristle toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
  • Wait at least 20–30 minutes after eating before brushing your teeth.
  • Floss every day. After flossing, roll it up in a tiny ball and put it in the garbage. Never flush floss down the toilet.
  • Look for oral care products bearing the Canadian Dental Association (CDA) Seal.


2. Check your mouth regularly   

Look for signs of gum disease:

  • Red, shiny, puffy, sore or sensitive gums
  • Bleeding when you brush or floss
  • Bad breath that won't go away

Look for signs of oral cancer:

  • Bleeding or open sores that don't heal
  • White or red patches
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Small lumps and thickening on the sides or bottom of your tongue, the floor or roof of your mouth, the inside of your cheeks, or on your gums


3. Choose a variety of healthy foods & drinks each day

  • Eat a well-balanced diet. Good nutrition helps build strong teeth and gums.
  • Limit foods and beverages containing sugar, sodium, carbohydrates or saturated fats.
  • Make water your drink of choice.
  • Limit drinking alcohol.
  • Munch on mouth-healthy snacks like cheeses, nuts, vegetables, and non-acidic fruits.




4. See your dentist regularly

  • Regular dental exams and professional cleanings are the best way to prevent and detect problems before they get worse.
  • Don't wait for a toothache or a dental emergency to look for a dentist. Ask for recommendations from friends, family, neighbours, or co-workers. If you're moving, ask if your current dentist can refer you to a dentist in your new area.


5. Limit alcohol, and avoid smoking, smokeless tobacco and vaping

  • Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in Canada.
  • Smoking tobacco can affect the appearance and health of your mouth and gums. Smokeless tobacco ("snuff", "spit" or chewing tobacco), is held in the mouth between the teeth and cheek.
  • By giving up tobacco, you can dramatically reduce your chance of developing a range of health conditions.
  • Talk to your dentist about how tobacco is affecting your oral and overall health.