The Canadian Dental Association's 5-Point Prevention Plan

  1. Don't rush your brush.
    Brush your teeth carefully at least once every twenty-four hours. It takes about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes to do the job right.
  2. Clean between.
    Floss your teeth daily. Flossing cleans those areas your toothbrush simply can't reach -- between the teeth and below the gumline.

  3. Eat, drink, but be wary.
    Eat a well-balanced diet. Avoid sweet foods and drinks -- especially between meals. And please don't smoke. Smoking can promote serious dental problems like gum disease and oral cancer.

  4. Check your gums.
    Check regularly for these signs of gum disease, the leading cause of adult tooth loss: red, puffy or tender gums; gums that bleed -- even slightly -- when you brush or floss; persistent bad breath. See your dentist if any occur.

  5. Don't wait until it hurts.
    See your dentist for preventive checkups and professional cleanings. Regular visits are the best way to prevent trouble and unnecessary expense.