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Ask Us: Get Facts & Quick Tips for Optimal Dental Health

At Callingwood Dental Health Centre in Edmonton, we are committed to providing you the right tools and education to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Here are some frequently asked questions about oral hygiene:


What are the risk factors for oral cancer?

There are a number of risk factors for oral cancer including:

  • Alcohol use
  • Smoking and smokeless tobacco (chewing, shisha, e-cigs)
  • Human papilloma virus (HPV) which is slowly becoming the leading cause
  • Poor diet
  • Men are at a higher risk than women
  • 2.5 Times higher in those with periodontal disease
  • 70% More common in those with a family history of oral cancer

What can I do to prevent oral cancer?

Prevention is vital so we recommend that you perform self-exams. Check inside and around your mouth every month to look for red or white lesions that don’t go away within 2 weeks. If lesions are present, come see us for an evaluation.


How often should I brush and floss?

We recommend brushing after every meal and flossing all of your teeth at least once a day. For some patients with a history of gum disease, we highly encourage you to floss after every meal as well.


How can my eating and drinking habits affect my oral health?

By drinking plenty of water, you can help disrupt disease-causing bacteria. Sometimes eating hard cheeses can help remove plaque, but always remember to floss. Flossing before you brush your teeth can remove biofilm and plaque. Always use a fluoridated toothpaste, approved by the CDA, to help remineralize your tooth structure.


At what age should I start dental care for my child?

Dental care should begin as soon as your baby's first tooth appears, around 6 months. We recommend that you wipe your baby’s teeth with a soft, damp cloth or brush with a soft brush. Children can begin brushing their own teeth around age 2 with adult supervision. An adult must always brush afterwards to ensure proper plaque removal. Children cannot be given full responsibility of brushing and flossing their own teeth until age 6 – 8 depending on their grasp of skill. For tips on children’s dental health visit The Kids Zone.


What are some habits to break to help improve my oral health?

There are many bad habits to break and many good ones to start when it comes to protecting your overall oral health. Here are a few we’d recommend you start with:


  • Avoid smoking as it can stain teeth and cause cancer of the mouth, lips, and tongue
  • Drink less coffee and red wine as these beverages can cause stains
  • Try snacking on foods that are low in sugar and starch
  • Don’t drink too much soda as the sugar and phosphoric acids eat away tooth enamel
  • Drink fruit juices that are labelled “no sugar added”
  • Sports drinks are usually high in sugar and therefore water is the better choice
  • Don’t play contact sports without a mouth guard

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