Oral health: How basic dental care can keep your mouth healthy

Woman brushing her teeth

Your mouth does more than chew and talk. It tells dentists a lot about how well you're taking care of yourself, and gives them a peek at the health of your mouth for years to come.

The good news is that almost all oral diseases that affect children and adults can be prevented. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), cavities affect up to 60% of children by the age of 15 and tooth decay affects 95% of adults. Problems with oral health can lead to tooth loss and gum disease, but caring for your teeth and mouth lowers the risk of serious problems down the road.

Taking simple steps such as flossing at least once a day and brushing before bed and in the morning help mouths stay healthy and help prevent problems like cavities, receding gums and tooth decay.

In addition to the steps you take at home, making an appointment to see your dentist every six months is an important step to keeping your mouth healthy. Through periodic visits, you and your dentist can keep track of your growth and health, and stay on top of any problems that might come up.

Another simple step is as simple as taking a drink. The CDC says that drinking tap water with added fluoride will help keep tooth enamel strong.

It's true that most people don't like visiting the dentist, but if you follow the CDC's and your dentist's advice, your visit will most likely be much easier to bear. Not only will your mouth be healthier, but you and your dentist will have something to smile about together.

Stay motivated to stay active

Tempted to skip your workouts? Get tips to help you stay on track.

Read about sticking to an exercise plan

Talk to your doctor

Research shows that a personal connection with your doctor boosts the quality of your healthcare.

Read build your patient-M.D. bond

Stay one step ahead with regular screenings

Find out why early and regular tests for colorectal cancer can make all the difference, especially for people over age 50.

Read about colorectal cancer screenings