Tooth and mouth care. (2023)

This page:

  • tooth cavity
  • gingivitis
  • How to clean your teeth and gums
  • dentures
  • Dry mouth
  • Mundkrebs
  • How to find affordable dental treatment

Healthy teeth and gums make it easy for youeat welland enjoy a good meal. Various issues can affect the health of your mouth, but good care should keep your teeth and gums strong as you age.

tooth cavity

Teeth are covered by a hard outer layer called enamel. A thin film of bacteria called plaque builds up on your teeth every day. Plaque bacteria produce acids that can damage tooth enamel and cause tooth decay. Brushing and flossing can prevent cavities, but once cavities form, your dentist should repair them with a filling to prevent further damage.

Use fluoridated toothpaste to protect your teeth from cavities. If you have an increased risk of tooth decay (egdry mouthdue to a condition that has ormedicationare taking), you may need more fluoride. Your dentist or dental hygienist may give you a fluoride treatment during an office visit or direct you to use a fluoride mouthwash or gel at home.

(Video) Taking care of your teeth - All the things you need to know


Gum disease begins when plaque builds up along and below the gum line. Plaque causes an infection that damages the gums and bone that hold teeth in place. A mild form of gum disease can make the gums red, tender and prone to bleeding. This condition, called gingivitis, can usually be corrected with daily brushing and flossing.

A more serious form of gum disease called periodontitis needs to be treated by a dentist. Left untreated, this infection can lead to sore and bleeding gums, painful chewing problems and even tooth loss.

How to prevent gum disease:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
  • floss regularly.
  • Visit your dentist regularly for a check-up and cleaning. Tell the dentist about any medical conditions you have and any medications you are taking.
  • iss einsBalanced nutrition.
  • stop smoking🇧🇷 Smoking increases the risk of gum disease.

How to clean your teeth and gums

There is a right way to brush and floss your teeth. Every day:Tooth and mouth care. (1)

  • Gently brush your teeth from all sides with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste. Replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months.
  • Use small circular motions and short back and forth motions.
  • Brush carefully and gently along the gum line.
  • Lightly brush your tongue or use a tongue scraper to keep your mouth clean.
  • Clean between your teeth with dental floss, pre-threaded dental floss, dental floss, or a similar product. This removes plaque and food particles that a toothbrush cannot reach.
  • Rinse after flossing.

people withArthritisor other conditions that limit hand movement may have difficulty holding and using a toothbrush. Some useful tips are:

  • Use an electric or battery-powered toothbrush.
  • Buy a toothbrush with a longer handle.
  • Secure the toothbrush handle to your hand with a wide elastic band.

Tooth and mouth care. (2)See your dentist if brushing or flossing makes your gums bleed or your mouth hurts. If you have trouble flossing, a dental floss holder can help. Ask your dentist to show you the right way to floss.

(Video) Oral Hygiene Instruction Video: Brushing, Flossing, Braces Cleaning Tips


False teeth (dentures) are sometimes needed to replace badly damaged teeth or teeth lost due to gum disease. Partial dentures can be used to fill in one or more missing teeth. Dentures can feel strange at first. First, your dentist may want to see you frequently to make sure your dentures are a good fit. Over time, the shape of your gums will change and your dentures may need to be adjusted or replaced. Be sure to leave these adjustments to your dentist.

Be careful if you wear dentures as you may have a harder time feeling hot food and drink or noticing bones in food. Learning to eat with dentures can be easier if you:

  • Start with soft, non-sticky foods.
  • Cut your food into small pieces.
  • Chew slowly with both sides of your mouth.

Keep your dentures clean and free from foods that can cause stains or bad breath. Avoid small, crunchy foods that can get stuck under your dentures and injure your gums. Clean your dentures daily with a denture care product and soak them in water or denture cleaner in the evening. Be sure to remove them from your mouth while you sleep to prevent gingivitis.

Dry mouth

Dry mouth occurs when you don't have enough saliva or saliva to keep your mouth moist. It can make eating, swallowing, tasting, and even speaking difficult. Dry mouth can increase the risktooth cavity, fungal infections of the mouth and tooth decay. Many common medications can cause this problem. For example medication forhypertension, depression etcBladder control problemsoften causes dry mouth.

There are things you can do that might help. try to drinkaguaor sugar-free drinks. Don't smoke and avoid alcohol, caffeine, sodas and acidic fruit juices. Avoid spicy or salty foods. Sugar-free candies or sugar-free gum that are slightly acidic can help. Your dentist or doctor may suggest using artificial saliva to keep your mouth moist.


Mundkrebsit can start anywhere in the mouth or throat, including the tongue. It is more likely to occur in people over the age of 40. A dental exam is a good time for the dentist to check for signs of oral cancer.Insectit is not usually an early symptom of the disease. Treatment works best before the disease has spread. Even if you've lost all of your natural teeth, you should see your dentist regularly for oral cancer screening.

(Video) CNA Skills: Mouth Care Brushing Teeth, How to keep teeth healthy.

There are several ways you can reduce your risk of developing oral cancer:

  • Do not use tobacco products such as cigarettes, chewing tobacco, snuff, pipes or cigars.
  • If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation.
  • Use lip balm withsun protection.
  • Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are relatively new, and scientists are still learning about their long-term health effects. However, we do know that e-cigarette vapor contains cancer-causing chemicals.

How to find affordable dental treatment

Dental care can be expensive. Medicare does not cover routine dental care, and some states limit Medicaid dental coverage. You may want to find out about private dental insurance for seniors. Make sure you know the costs and what is covered. The following resources can help you find affordable dental treatment:

  • Some dental schools have clinics where students gain experience treating patients at a reduced cost. Qualified dentists look after the students. Visit theNIDCR-Websitefor a list of US dental schools and others that offer affordable treatments.
  • Dental hygiene schools can offer affordable supervised care as part of dental hygienist training. Contact your local university or college to see if they have a program available.
  • Call your health department to find dental clinics in your area that bill on an income basis. View a list ofgovernment oral health programs.
  • To locate a community health center near you that offers dental services, please
  • United Way Chapters can recommend free or low-cost dental services in your community. Call 211 to reach or visit a United Way

read aboutthis topic in spanish🇧🇷 read about itthis topic in spanish.

Learn more about healthy teeth and gums

American Dental Association

American Association of Dental Hygienists

(Video) Perform Mouth Care with Teeth CNA Skill NEW

Health Resources and Services Administration Information Center

National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research

This content is provided by the NIH's National Institute on Aging (NIA). NIA researchers and other experts review this content to ensure it is accurate and up-to-date.

Content Revised: March 13, 2020

(Video) Tips for good dental health


How can I take care of my teeth and gums at home? ›

7 ways to keep the gums healthy
  1. Brush the teeth properly. Share on Pinterest Brushing the teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste can help keep gums healthy. ...
  2. Choose the right toothpaste. ...
  3. Floss daily. ...
  4. Rinse your mouth out with care. ...
  5. Use mouthwash. ...
  6. Get regular dental checkups. ...
  7. Stop smoking.

What are the 5 proper steps for oral care? ›

Maintain a healthy set of teeth in just 5 easy oral hygiene steps:
  1. Brush. Twice a day, use a soft bristled toothbrush and a toothpaste that contains fluoride. ...
  2. Floss. Once a day, use dental floss to clean the tight spaces between your teeth. ...
  3. Rinse. ...
  4. Chew gum. ...
  5. Rinse again.
Nov 1, 2018

How do I take care of my tooth? ›

Take care of your teeth and gums
  1. Brush your teeth twice a day. ...
  2. Floss between your teeth. ...
  3. Cut down on sugar, and other lifestyle tips. ...
  4. Brush baby teeth as soon as they come through. ...
  5. Get children into a teeth-cleaning routine. ...
  6. Straighten crooked teeth with braces. ...
  7. Have regular dental check-ups.

Why is it important to take care of your mouth and teeth? ›

Normally the body's natural defenses and good oral health care, such as daily brushing and flossing, keep bacteria under control. However, without proper oral hygiene, bacteria can reach levels that might lead to oral infections, such as tooth decay and gum disease.

What can restore teeth and gums? ›

Dental restorations are used every day in general dentistry. They are designed to repair and restore teeth that are in bad shape, whether it be due to an infection, injury, or genetic imperfection. The most common dental restorations are fillings, crowns, veneers, and composite bonding.

Which vitamin is good for gums? ›

Vitamin C

Vitamin C helps keep the connective tissues in your gums healthy and strong, which hold your teeth in place. Bleeding gums are commonly associated with gingivitis, an early stage of periodontal disease, but may also indicate low vitamin C in your diet, research suggests.

What is the golden rule for oral hygiene? ›

Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Clean between your teeth daily using floss or interdental brushes. Eat a healthy, balanced diet and limit added sugar intake. Visit the dentist regularly for check-ups and preventative care.

What is basic mouth care? ›

Drink fluoridated water and brush with fluoride toothpaste. Practice good oral hygiene. Brush teeth thoroughly twice a day and floss daily between the teeth to remove dental plaque. Visit your dentist at least once a year, even if you have no natural teeth or have dentures.

How can I strengthen my teeth and gums naturally? ›

15 Ways to Naturally Strengthen Teeth
  1. Oil Pulling. ...
  2. Don't Snack. ...
  3. Eat Mineral Rich Foods. ...
  4. Remove refined sugar from your diet. ...
  5. Remove grains from your diet. ...
  6. Clean your tongue. ...
  7. Eat foods high in fat soluble vitamins. ...
  8. Improve digestion for absorption.

Can you restore tooth health? ›

Once tooth enamel is damaged, it cannot be brought back. However, weakened enamel can be restored to some degree by improving its mineral content. Although toothpastes and mouthwashes can never “rebuild” teeth, they can contribute to this remineralization process.

How do you keep your mouth clean and fresh? ›

Lifestyle and home remedies
  1. Brush your teeth after you eat. Keep a toothbrush at work to use after eating. ...
  2. Floss at least once a day. ...
  3. Brush your tongue. ...
  4. Clean dentures or dental appliances. ...
  5. Avoid dry mouth. ...
  6. Adjust your diet. ...
  7. Regularly get a new toothbrush. ...
  8. Schedule regular dental checkups.
Mar 10, 2018

What happens if you don't take care of your mouth? ›

Possible Side Effects of Neglecting Oral Health

You might also suffer from gingivitis, which can be extremely painful and even inhibit you from eating. In addition, poor oral hygiene can cause problems elsewhere in the body, including kidney disease, cancer, infertility, diabetes, dementia, and heart disease.

What drink is good for teeth and gums? ›

Green and white teas are the best types of tea for your teeth. Green, white, and black tea all have a lot of antioxidants, which help fight cavity-causing bacteria and reduce inflammation in your gums, but black tea will stain your teeth yellow over time. Green and white tea, on the other hand, won't.

Is it too late to take care of my teeth? ›

While it's never too late to start taking care of yourself, those over the age of 30 must pay special attention to maintaining healthy habits. Oral health and hygiene is no exception. Teeth not only serve an important function in daily life; they reflect your overall health.

How can I rebuild my teeth naturally? ›

Demineralization and remineralization are interrelated and in constant flux.
  1. Brush your teeth. ...
  2. Use fluoride toothpaste. ...
  3. Cut out sugar. ...
  4. Chew sugarless gum. ...
  5. Consume fruit and fruit juices in moderation. ...
  6. Get more calcium and vitamins. ...
  7. Consider probiotics. ...
  8. Address your dry mouth.

Is hydrogen peroxide good for gums and teeth? ›

Hydrogen peroxide on gums can reduce plaque. It kills the bacteria that cause gum diseases. The anaerobic bacteria between your teeth can't survive the oxygen released by hydrogen peroxide.

What foods heal gums? ›

Omega-3 foods

For instance, they contain anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe painful gums and heal the damage from gum disease. Common sources of Omega-3s enriched foods include fatty fish like salmon, herring, mackerel, sesame seeds, macadamia nuts, and pistachios.

How can I make my gums stronger again? ›

How to Get Healthy Gums
  1. Brush With Fluoridated Toothpaste. Fluorine helps strengthen your teeth. ...
  2. Floss Regularly. Flossing is something that you need to do at least once a day. ...
  3. Use An Antibacterial Mouthwash. ...
  4. Get Regular Dental Cleanings. ...
  5. Stop Smoking. ...
  6. Watch Your Diet.
Jan 12, 2022

What are three good dental hygiene practices? ›

Here are some general oral hygiene instructions to keep your smile healthy:
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day. Use fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. ...
  • Floss once daily. ...
  • Brush your tongue. ...
  • Use an antibacterial mouthwash every day. ...
  • Visit your dentist regularly. ...
  • Avoid smoking and other tobacco products.
Apr 21, 2022

What is the number 1 golden rule? ›

The most familiar version of the Golden Rule says, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Moral philosophy has barely taken notice of the golden rule in its own terms despite the rule's prominence in commonsense ethics.

What are the 7 golden rules? ›

7 golden rules
  • Take leadership – demonstrate commitment.
  • Identify hazards – control risks.
  • Define targets – develop programs.
  • Ensure a safe and healthy system – be well organized.
  • Ensure safety and health in machines, equipment and workplaces.
  • Improve qualifications – develop competence.

What are the six 6 best ways to maintain a healthy mouth? ›

6 Ways to Maintain Good Oral Health
  1. Brush Properly. The biggest mistake most people make without even realizing it is brushing improperly. ...
  2. Always Brush before Bed. ...
  3. Treat Flossing as Important as Brushing. ...
  4. Use a Fluoride Toothpaste. ...
  5. Limit Sugary Foods and Drinks. ...
  6. Visit Your Dentist Twice a Year.

What does a full mouth restoration consist of? ›

The treatments can include onlays, crowns, bridges, veneers, dental implants, and/or dentures that will essentially provide not only a "smile makeover", but improved chewing efficiency for the patient. In some patients, other specialties will orthodontics may also be employed to facilitate the best possible outcome.

What foods make your teeth stronger? ›

Then, there's calcium-rich foods, such as low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt and cheese, fortified soy drinks, tofu, canned salmon, almonds and dark green leafy vegetables that help promote strong teeth and bones.

What foods prevent tooth decay? ›

Foods rich in calcium and protein

Milk and other dairy products are a primary source of calcium, which strengthens and repairs tooth enamel. Dairy products, especially cheese, also contain proteins that help maintain and repair tooth enamel.

How do you disinfect your mouth? ›

How To Get Rid Of Bad Bacteria In The Mouth: 6 Ways To Inactivate The Harmful Bugs
  1. Brush Your Teeth. May be it goes without saying, maybe it doesn't – but Brush Your Teeth! ...
  2. Swish With A Peroxide Or Alcohol Containing Mouthwash. ...
  3. Floss Between Your Teeth. ...
  4. Brush Your Tongue. ...
  5. Drink Water. ...
  6. Take A Probiotic. ...
  7. Eat Fibrous Food.
Mar 28, 2020

What is the best fruit for teeth? ›

Apples and Citrus Fruit

An “apple a day” is also great for teeth too. Although not a substitute for brushing and flossing, eating an apple or other fibrus fruits like oranges, carrots or celery can help clean your teeth and increases salivation, which can neutralize the citric and malic acids left behind in your mouth.

What toothpaste should not be used? ›

Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS)

Applying SLS to your gums in the form of toothpaste could therefore result in irritation. And for those suffering with mouth ulcers, this could worsen the symptoms further. For this reason, it might be best to avoid SLS in toothpaste.

Is it OK to brush your teeth with baking soda? ›

Does brushing with baking soda damage teeth? Brushing once a day with baking soda or on occasion will not damage the teeth. However, brushing too hard or too often with it can lead to damaged tooth enamel. Some people also mix the baking soda with lemon juice, strawberries or other ingredients to clean the teeth.

What is the number 1 toothpaste in the world? ›

The number 1 best-selling toothpaste brand in the world is Colgate. The Colgate line includes a range of toothpaste that addresses many dental concerns like tooth sensitivity, tartar control, cavity protection, and cosmetic whitening.

How do you know your enamel is gone? ›

As the enamel continues to erode, your teeth might turn a gray or yellowish color. If your teeth change shape, it's a good indicator that you have enamel damage. Your teeth may begin to appear rounded, develop ridges, and often the gaps between teeth will become more substantial.

Can you save your teeth from rotting? ›

Root canals often result in healthy teeth that can last a lifetime with proper care. If the infection has caused too much decay and weakened the tooth too much, though, the exterior may not be strong enough to save. In this case, your dentist will have to extract the tooth.

Can you save a rotting tooth? ›

When decay reaches the inner material of your tooth (pulp), you may need a root canal. This is a treatment to repair and save a badly damaged or infected tooth instead of removing it. The diseased tooth pulp is removed. Medication is sometimes put into the root canal to clear any infection.

What are signs of infection in your mouth? ›

Different oral infections can have different symptoms, but the most common ones are:
  • Recurring bad breath.
  • Bleeding or sore gums.
  • Tooth, gum, or jaw pain.
  • Tooth sensitivity to hot or cold foods.
  • Swelling of the gums, jaw, or lymph nodes.
  • Loose teeth.
  • Sores in the mouth, gums, or lips.
Jul 18, 2020

What are the early signs of dental trouble? ›

Early Signs of Dental Trouble
  • Bad breath. Bad breath isn't something anyone wants and it can be embarrassing. ...
  • Tooth decay. When any of your teeth start to decay, or you get a cavity, it can cause a lot of dental problems/symptoms. ...
  • Gum (periodontal) disease. ...
  • Mouth sores. ...
  • Teeth sensitivity. ...
  • Toothaches.

Which teeth are connected to the heart? ›

Heart – Upper and lower third molars (wisdom teeth) Bladder –Upper and lower incisors. Kidney – Upper and lower incisors.

How do I know if my breath stinks? ›

If you lick your wrist, let it dry for a moment, then take a whiff, you should be able to get an idea if your breath has an odor too. Another method is to floss toward the back of your mouth, then smell the floss. Or gently scrape your tongue using a tongue scraper or soft bristle toothbrush, then smell the scraper.

What is a good mouth cleaner? ›

Best alcohol-free mouthwashes for a clean tongue

“We commonly suggest Crest Pro Health or Listerine Total Care Zero,” he says. “These rinses help to control the bacteria from areas one cannot mechanically clean and in your mouth overall.

What home remedy can I use to clean my mouth? ›

10 quick bad breath remedies to try at home
  1. Drink water. ...
  2. Rinse with warm salt water. ...
  3. Chew on cloves. ...
  4. Apple cider vinegar. ...
  5. Eat fruits and veggies. ...
  6. Make your own alcohol-free mouthwash. ...
  7. Tea tree oil. ...
  8. Floss your teeth.
Jan 26, 2022

Is it too late to take care of my gums? ›

It's never too late to seek treatment for gum disease, and the degree of treatment you require will depend on how advanced it is.

Can a tooth infection affect your whole body? ›

Yes, a tooth infection can affect your whole body. In severe cases, a dental infection can spread to your face, sinuses, neck, jawbone, blood, and even your entire system. Infection vs. abscess — An infection of bacteria can lead to an abscess (AKA a pocket of pus).

What are complications of poor dental care? ›

Poor oral hygiene can lead to dental cavities and gum disease, and has also been linked to heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Maintaining healthy teeth and gums is a lifelong commitment.

Which of the following are part of the 5 basics of oral health? ›

The following are the five most important principles to follow for good oral hygiene.
  • Keep a consistent brushing schedule. ...
  • Floss and use mouthrinse every day. ...
  • Use fluoride toothpaste and mouthrinse. ...
  • Avoid harmful foods and drinks. ...
  • Drink water throughout each day.
Oct 14, 2018

What are five ways to prevent teeth and mouth problems? ›

Subsequently, it is important to properly protect your teeth using these five oral care techniques.
  • Brush several times a day. First and foremost, good oral hygiene starts with brushing several times each day. ...
  • Floss and use mouthwash. ...
  • Use a fluoride treatment. ...
  • Avoid harmful foods and drinks. ...
  • Visit the dentist regularly.

What are the 5 parts of the mouth? ›

Parts of the mouth include the lips, vestibule, mouth cavity, gums, teeth, hard and soft palate, tongue and salivary glands.

What are the signs of unhealthy teeth? ›

Symptoms of tooth decay

tooth sensitivity – you may feel tenderness or pain when eating or drinking something hot, cold or sweet. grey, brown or black spots appearing on your teeth. bad breath. an unpleasant taste in your mouth.

What is a good oral health routine? ›

Floss all of your teeth at least once a day, preferably at night before you go to bed. If you floss at the time when you brush, you'll want to floss first. Flossing drags out particles of food that hide between teeth and helps loosen plaque so brushing can be more effective.

What three daily factors can poor oral care? ›

A continued high intake of free sugars, inadequate exposure to fluoride and a lack of removal of plaque by toothbrushing can lead to caries, pain and sometimes tooth loss and infection.

What are 3 examples of preventative care for your teeth? ›

What's your role in preventive dental care?
  • Brush your teeth at least 2 times a day—usually morning and night—using a soft bristled brush and a fluoride toothpaste. ...
  • Floss daily to get food that's stuck between teeth before it turns to plaque.
  • Use a mouthwash to rinse out food particles after flossing.

What are six common diseases of the mouth and teeth? ›

7 Types of Common Mouth Infections
  • Dental cavities. Also known as caries, cavities are typically the result of tooth decay. ...
  • Gingivitis. Gingivitis can be caused by different species of bacteria and is the earliest stage of gum disease. ...
  • Periodontal disease. ...
  • Hand, foot and mouth disease. ...
  • Herpangina. ...
  • Thrush. ...
  • Canker sores.

What stops tooth decay? ›

You can prevent tooth decay by eating a healthy diet, drinking plenty of tap water instead of sugary drinks, brushing your teeth twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste, and flossing once a day. Tooth decay should be treated by a dentist to prevent it from getting worse.

What does a healthy mouth look like? ›

In a healthy mouth, the tissues are pink, firm and moist. If you have a healthy mouth, your breath will smell pleasant or neutral. Healthy gums are firm and pink, not red or white. They are not swollen or sore.

What your mouth says about your health? ›

Your mouth can tell you a lot about the health of your body. The mouth shows signs of tooth decay, gum disease and other oral health problems. It can also show signs of other disease, if you're missing certain foods from your diet and unhealthy habits such as using tobacco and tobacco-like products, and alcohol.

Which organ is closest to the mouth? ›

The pharynx (throat) is involved in both digestion and respiration. It receives food and air from the mouth, and air from the nasal cavities.


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