Dr. Monteagudo is always telling you to brush your teeth twice a day, floss your pearly whites, and come into the office twice a year to get your checkups.
We all know that we should do these things for our dental health, but what is the reasoning behind it? Why do we have to perform those daily ‘teeth tasks?’
The motivation for checkups is so Dr. Monteagudo can find if a culprit is lurking in the hidden spaces of your mouth. That perpetrator can be Oral Cancer—a mouth cancer that can spread or could cause disfigurement of the face if not diagnosed and treated.
What is Oral Cancer?
No one wants cancer, especially when it looks like this. Oral Cancer is simply defined as cancer of the mouth. The mouth can include the lips, the gums, tongue, cheek lining, under the tongue (the mouth floor), and the salivary glands (the glands that make saliva). Any or all of these areas can be affected by Oral Cancer, and the places affected can be extremely small to start.
So, in order to make sure that Oral Cancer does not affect you or someone else that you care for, here are some simple and easy ways to not only yield good dental health but also ensure good overall health for years to come!
Take note of some of these Oral Cancer prevention tips from the Monteagudo Center for Smile Designs. These pointers will help to keep your smile bright and healthy for a lifetime.
1. Put down the Cigarettes- not only will your body thank you for tossing the cigarettes down the drain, but your teeth will too. In fact, the oral cancer foundation reports tobacco as the greatest risk factor for developing oral cancer. For ways to quit using tobacco, including cigarettes and chew tobacco, visit this link.
2. Watch the Drinking- like smoking, alcohol abuse is one of the top factors for developing oral cancer, especially when combined with tobacco use. The dehydrating effect of alcohol on the mouth’s cell walls boosts the capability of tobacco carcinogens to attack tissues of the mouth. When you throw in heavy alcohol use, which lowers the body’s natural ability to use antioxidants to stop cancer formation, then you have a full blown war happening in the tiny space of your mouth. To keep it simple, don’t drink excessively, and don’t smoke.
3. Be Wary of the Sun- while it is important to go outside and absorb some Vitamin D from the warm sun rays, it is also equally important to be careful of the amount of time you are sunbathing. Since your lips are exposed to the sun continuously, they are also at risk for developing oral cancer. Make sure that your lips get sunscreen lip balm applied to them, and be smart when you are out in the sun. Wear a hat, throw on that sunscreen, and keep your lips healthy and part of your gorgeous smile.
4. Eat Fruits and Vegetables Everyday- some studies suggest that not eating enough of the essentials, fruits and vegetables, can actually elevate your risk of developing oral cancer. Start throwing colorful, natural ingredients into every meal. Avoid eating processed foods and boost the amounts of antioxidants and vitamins that you are reaching for. You know that eating right keeps you trim and feeling good, but now you know that what eat can possibly affect your risk of developing cancer. That is a statistic to munch on.
5. Don’t Smoke- this might have already been stated earlier, but it is that important. If you have a history of Oral Cancer, then you are at greater risk for developing another Oral Cancer, especially if you continue to use tobacco. Make sure that you are coming in regularly for checkups, and stop smoking or chewing tobacco.
6. Use That Toothbrush- find a timer, grab your toothbrush, and get brushing. Making sure that you practice good dental habits is one of the simplest things that you can do to ensure your overall health. Your mouth is the entryway to the rest of the body—the first impression that is given to the entire world, so you want to make it a good one. Maintaining good flossing, brushing, and checkup practices will keep that entryway pristine. What’s not to smile about?
7. Stop In and Visit Dr. Monteagudo- at the Monteagudo Center for Smile Designs, Dr. Monteagudo knows how to analyze all 32 permanent adult teeth that you have, and make sure that everything looks healthy and beautiful. Your job is to schedule your appointments and make sure that you come into our office, to ensure that you are always smiling your brightest possible smile.
• Pubmed Health. Oral Cancer.
• Oral Cancer Foundation. Oral Cancer.
• Healthy Teeth. Healthy Teeth- Oral Education Database.
• National Cancer Center. What You Need to Know about Oral Cancer.