Body can also benefit from a trip to the dentist

April is National Oral Health Month and the Canadian Dental Association wants people to know that oral health effects a lot more than just teeth and gums.

Our mouths are part of our bodies, not something separate. So it makes sense to care for our mouths the way we care for our bodies. Not only will our bodies thank us, the health care system will as well. Research shows there is a connection between our oral health and our overall health. The Canadian Dental Association (CDA) says there is a relationship between oral disease and health problems such as diabetes and certain kinds of pneumonia.

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The CDA says there may even be a link to heart disease and stroke, as well as premature and low birth-weight babies. The more we care for our mouths, the less chance we have of burdening the health care system. It only makes sense.

More Canadians suffering from dental erosion Canadian dentists are seeing more and more patients with dental erosion. Dental erosion occurs when the hard part of the tooth wears away from direct contact with acid. Dental erosion can be caused by certain health conditions such as stomach acid problems and eating disorders, but eating and drinking foods high in acid such as sport drinks and soft drinks can also cause teeth to erode.

Three steps to preventing dental erosion: . Choose drinks that are low in acid. Carbonated soft drinks are high in acid, which can harm your teeth.

. Do not swish or hold high acid drinks in your mouth for long periods of time or suck on citrus fruits.

. It is best to consume foods and drinks high in acid at the end of mealtime while there is still plenty of saliva in your mouth to wash away sugars and acids.

To learn more about dental erosion and other oral health concerns, talk to your dentist and visit the Canadian Dental Association website at www.cda-adc.ca.

Source: Canadian Dental Association

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