At-Home Dental Care and Disease Prevention
Did you know that taking care of your teeth and gums protects against chronic diseases like diabetes, cancer and heart disease? In fact, data suggests that what we do everyday can have more of an impact on our health than visiting our health care provider.
Oral Health and Diabetes
Simple at-home dental care—like brushing and flossing regularly—helps prevent gum disease, which has been linked to an increased risk of diabetes. These behaviors remove plaque and prevent the build-up of harmful bacteria in the mouth. In addition to brushing and flossing, eating a healthy diet and limiting sugary drinks also reduces inflammation and stabilizes blood sugar levels—all good things when diabetes is concerned.
Oral Health and Cancer
Research has shown that poor oral health may also be associated with an increased risk of developing certain cancers, like oral, throat, and esophageal cancer. Taking care of your teeth and gums every day removes plaque and harmful bacteria that contribute to inflammation and cancerous conditions. Adopting a healthy diet rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, along with limiting sugary and processed foods, also supports a strong immune system, which can help stave off cancer.
Oral Health and Heart Disease
There is also a known connection between healthy teeth and gums and the prevention of heart disease. Studies have shown that poor dental health can contribute to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure. Regular, at-home dental care helps remove plaque and harmful bacteria that are linked to inflammation and the formation of plaque buildup in the arteries—which can lead to heart disease. Diet matters too! A heart-healthy diet includes fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains, and limits the intake of sugary and fatty foods. Combining a healthy diet with daily brushing and flossing is a key step in protecting your heart against disease.
Tips for Families to Keep Smiles Bright at Home
Keep up on the the skills needed to keep your teeth healthy now and for many years to come.
Protect your teeth from cavities. Always brush with fluoride toothpaste.
Children under 3 should only use a tiny amount of toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice. Those under 8 need a pea-sized amount.
Remember to brush twice a day to keep the germs away! In addition, floss once per day.
Don’t brush off the dentist! Once babies get their first tooth, it’s time to schedule a dental visit. From there, schedule a dental visit based on your risk for developing oral disease.
Seeing a dentist at least every year is important for adults, too, even if you have dentures or no natural teeth.
Going to the dentist is safe and recommended for everyone. If you haven’t gone in for a while, make your appointment soon.
Find a Vermont Dentist
Medicaid and Dr. Dynasaur Reminders
Have Medicaid, Green Mountain Care or Dr. Dynasaur?
Adults are eligible for up to $1,500 a year in dental services. Learn More >>
Pregnant people, just like children, have no dollar cap for dental services. Learn More >>
Helpful & Fun Resources
Find the links to some fun websites, videos, and activities here!
Help your kids form a regular routine of brushing twice a day and work together toward a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums!
Download the Monthly Brushing Calendar.
The whole family can dive into this fun and engaging dental health YouTube channel featuring an 802 Smiles dental hygienist.
Geena the Giraffe’s Tremendous Tooth Adventure
This 8-minute animated film from Oral-B North America helps kids learn about how to take good care of their teeth.