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April 2, 2002 - Carbohydrate Nutrition News

Ontario Dental Association News Release - Open Wide and Say: April is Dental Health Month

Source: Ontario Dental Association News Release

TORONTO, April 2 Canada NewsWire - It's that time of year again, when thoughts turn from the frozen gusts of winter to the mild breezes of spring.

With a feeling of rejuvenation in the air it's a great time to think about how we can achieve good overall health. Specifically, it's time to talk teeth again, because April is Dental Health Month.

Good oral health means good overall health and should be a year-round consideration. Dental Health Month, however, reminds us of how we can work our smiles into shape, just in time for summer.

Throughout Ontario, local dental associations will be spreading the word about different aspects of dental health, through displays, events and educational programs.

"Many Dental Health Month activities are geared towards making it fun to learn about good oral health," says Dr. Peter Trainor, President of the Ontario Dental Association. "It's a great time to look at even the basic things we can do to improve our own dental health routine."

In honour of Dental Health Month, the Ontario Dental Association has put together a list of tips to keep your teeth in top shape:

Brushin' to the Oldies
  • Brush your teeth in a gentle, circular motion (at a 45 degree angle) for at least three minutes or as long as a song plays on the radio. Flossing at least once a day removes harmful bacteria, which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, "New research is pointing to associations between chronic oral infections and heart and lung disease, stroke, and low-birth-weight, premature births. Associations between periodontal disease and diabetes have long been noted."(*)
How Sweet It Is
  • According to the Canadian Sugar Institute, the average Canadian eats about 17 kg of sugar each year, which is about eight per cent of daily calories consumed (compared to more than 30 per cent from fat). April is Dental Health Month but it's prime time for Easter candies. Enjoy sticky foods in moderation because they are harder to brush off your teeth.
Mouthguards Save Teeth
  • Canadians love their hockey and now that Olympic Hockey Gold is back where it belongs, hockey is more popular than it ever has been. Unfortunately, damaged teeth are often the result of sports injuries. You can give your teeth a sporting chance by wearing a mouthguard to prevent tooth damage.
Help Us Help You
  • Provide your comprehensive health history. Inform your dentist about any medications you may be taking or changes to your medications. You should also inform your dentist about any allergies that you have or about any changes to your overall health. Medications and health conditions need to be monitored by your dentist in order to provide you with the best possible care.
Be Gentle to Your Teeth - You'll Have Them Your Whole Life
  • Don't chew hard or cold substances like ice cubes. They can cause microscopic cracks in the enamel of your teeth that can eventually weaken them. Biting down on hard foods like popcorn kernels, candy or peanut brittle is notoriously hard on teeth.
Scrape Away
  • Brush or scrape your tongue to reduce the bacteria that causes bad breath.
Prevention is Key
  • Don't use your teeth as a tool. Using your teeth to cut fishing line, open plastic bags, crack nuts, open bottles, or to remove staples will damage them. It's fairly easy to avoid many common dental injuries.

And the number one tip to remember during Dental Health Month:

Don't put off visits to the dentist.
  • Regular, preventive dental care keeps your oral health in tip top shape and prevents small problems from becoming large and painful ones. Oral health is integral to general health.(xx)

The Ontario Dental Association is the voluntary professional organization which supports more than 6,200 member dentists in the provision of exemplary oral health services and promotes the attainment of optimal health for the people of Ontario.


  1. Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General (May 2000).
  2. Ibid.

(*) This news release is not intended for advertisement purposes.

For further information:
Tracey Shepherd, Media Relations,
Ontario Dental Association,
Direct phone: (416) 355-2257,
Fax: (416) 922-9005,