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How to brush up on your oral health between dentist visits.

Manulife July 27, 2020
Woman brushing her teeth while looking in the mirror in the bathroom.
Regular trips to the dentist can do a lot more than give you an attractive smile. They can also help to prevent tooth decay and gum disease, help preserve the shape of your face, and help you retain your teeth as you age. Currently, you might have to go a little longer before seeing your dentists for a routine checkup. That’s why it’s more important than ever to focus on your oral health. So, make sure you’re brushing your teeth (for at least two minutes) and flossing at least twice a day. And, because it might be a while before you get to see your dentist again, try to also work in a post-lunch brush.

Ever wondered why regular brushing and flossing is so important?

There are over 500 types of bacteria in your mouth at any given time. Some of them can form plaque, which accumulates on teeth along the gum line and between teeth. Plaque can cause gingivitis. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to a serious gum disease known as periodontitis.1 

Periodontitis can eventually cause tooth decay, which could lead to costly dental procedures and gum surgery. Pain from tooth decay and abscesses can be severe enough to disrupt work, sleep, or studies, and can affect your quality of life. 

But these harmful bacteria don’t just stay in your mouth. They can also travel to distant parts of your body, where they can wreak havoc:

  • People with gum disease, including gingivitis, could be at a higher risk for heart attack and stroke.2 Cardiovascular disease can require medical intervention, therapies and medications. 
  • Mouth bacteria can travel to the digestive tract, where they may cause intestinal issues, irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive disorders.
  • Advanced gum disease can increase the risk of delivering low-weight, pre-term babies, via oral toxins released into the bloodstream. These pre-term infants can face a lifetime of medical complications.2
  • Gum disease can contribute to diabetic complications.2
  • Scientific evidence is mounting on a link between gum disease and Alzheimer’s disease. The same bacteria present with chronic gum disease has been found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.3
  • Gum disease may also be linked to pancreatic cancer. Researchers at Harvard School of Public Health cited a 64% increased risk of pancreatic cancer among males with periodontitis.3

CAA Health & Dental Insurance makes dental checkups affordable.

Regular checkups can help your family maintain a clean and healthy mouth and teeth. You can be prepared, with CAA Health & Dental Insurance. These plans can help with the cost of routine and unexpected out-of-pocket health expenses that may not covered by your government health insurance plans. And all dental plans include a benefit that covers a recall visit every six to nine months. 

Consider that the average Canadian household spends over $2,579 out-of-pocket on health and dental expenses like prescription drugs, dental care, and more.4 And over 6 million Canadians avoid going to the dentist each year because they can’t afford it.5

But CAA Health & Dental plans could help you save hundreds of dollars a year. It pays to be prepared in more ways than one!

For more information or to get a quote for CAA Health & Dental Insurance.

Find Health & Dental Plans

Or call: 1-888-334-4561


1Mouth Bacteria, Friend or Foe?

2Oral Health: A window to your overall health, The Mayo Clinic

Canadian Dental Association, Your Oral Health

How poor dental care can affect your overall health

3Beyond tooth decay: why good dental hygiene is important, Medical News Today 

Gum disease, Alzheimer’s Disease May Be Linked

Pancreatic Cancer Risk Tied to Specific Mouth Bacteria

4Statistics Canada, Survey of Household Spending 2017

5High Costs Keep 6 Million Canadians From the Dentist Each Year, CTV News 

Dental care: Growing calls to put some teeth into health care