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Many oral diseases have more than one risk factor (having a high-sugar diet, a lot of dental plaque, etc.), but you can protect your oral health by addressing risk factors and practicing good oral hygiene.

You can practice primary prevention by brushing and flossing your teeth daily, eating a healthy diet, using fluoride, and having regular oral examinations. View prevention resources below.

Tips to maintain healthy teeth and gums:

  • Brush twice a day for at least 2 minutes with a soft bristle toothbrush
  • Floss daily
  • Drink plenty of water, especially fluoridated water
  • Limit sugar-sweetened beverages and sugary, salty foods and snacks
  • Avoid sticky and acidic foods.
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables.
  • Schedule and keep regular dental visits.
  • Change toothbrush every 3 months or after getting sick.

Pregnant? Tips for Healthy Teeth

  • See your dentist! You’re more prone to gum disease while pregnant. Untreated gum disease may lead to low birth weight and preterm birth.
  • Rinse your mouth. Stomach acid can harm your teeth. If you vomit, rinse your mouth with 1 teaspoon of baking soda in a cup of water. Do not swallow!
  • Brush and floss every day. You can pass cavity-causing germs to your child if you have untreated cavities. Brush twice a day and floss daily
  • Drink water or milk. Sugary drinks can cause cavities. After eating, chew sugar-free gum with xylitol to help prevent cavities.

Early Childhood Caries (ECC)

Cavities (also known as caries or tooth decay) are the most common chronic disease of childhood in the United States. Untreated cavities can cause pain and infections that may lead to problems with eating, speaking, playing, and learning. Children who have poor oral health often miss more school and receive lower grades than children who don’t. (Source: CDC)

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