Taking care of your teeth and gums may help your smile, but it’s also important for your general health. The bacteria in an unhealthy mouth can affect the rest of your body. And research shows that gum disease is linked to serious conditions like heart disease and diabetes.

To keep your mouth healthy:

  • Take care of your teeth and gums by thoroughly brushing and flossing.
  • Go to the dentist regularly for exams and teeth cleanings. Checkups can help your dentist spot early signs of oral health problems.
  • Eat wisely. Avoid sugary snacks. And choose fresh, fiber-rich fruits and vegetables.
  • Say no to tobacco. Cigarettes, pipes and tobacco raise your risk for gum disease, oral and throat cancers, and fungal infections in your mouth.

Limit how much alcohol you drink. It increases your risk for oral and throat cancers.

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