There's no shortcut to oral health. Setting aside a few minutes at both ends of our day to brush and floss your teeth is the only way to maintain your smile. "There are dental implants to be sure, but you're not going to get a chance at another set of teeth," says Richard H. Price, a spokesperson for the American Dental Association. "This is it."
Over time, our dental education tends to fade from memory (what is fluoride again?) so it's important to remind yourself how critical caring for your mouth is and how painful oral issues can be. Here are 10 ways to keep your teeth healthy so that you can keep them as long as possible.
Prevent Oral Cancer
The rate of occurrence of oral cancer has risen each year for the last five years, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation, and kills one person every hour. It's something many people associate with tobacco use, but that's an incomplete picture. “Seventy-five percent of people with oral cancer usually have some association with alcohol or tobacco, but that leaves 25 percent that don’t,” says Price. Other possible causes include the human papilloma virus (HPV), which is transmitted to a person’s mouth through oral sex, excessive sun exposure, and a diet low in fruits and vegetables.
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