If you read our last blog post, you know that April is oral cancer awareness month. For that reason, our Anaheim area dentists are reminding every patient that now is a better time than ever to double down on your oral care to prevent oral cancer.But how do you actually help prevent oral cancer? Fortunately, we have some tips.
1.Take Care of Your Skin
Taking care of your skin is incredibly important. But too much time in the sunlight doesn’t just pose a risk for skin cancer, it’s a problem for your lips too. To mitigate this risk, try to stay out of the direct sunlight as much as possible, and make sure you wear sunscreen or lip balm with an SPF of at least 15. Also – make sure you re-apply often. And do we need to warn you about tanning beds?
2. Eat Better
Eating well and eating smart is one of the most surefire ways to help lower the risk of oral cancer. A majority of the cancer-fighting nutrients that are found in veggies are cooked away when you cook them too much. Instead, leave a little life in them and avoid too much cooking oils. Bake, broil, steam, or boil your food more than you fry it to avoid some of the carcinogens in cooking oils at high-heat.
3. Watch the Alcohol Consumption
If you’re a heavy drinker, you should know that years and years of alcohol abuse can definitely contribute to your risk for oral cancer. If you have 3 or more drinks a day, your risk of oral cancer goes up considerably. f you drink, try to keep it in check. Try for 1 a day at maximum, and keep binge drinking to a minimum.
4. Visit the Dentist
It’s important to visit the dentist on a regular basis. This is because your dentist is responsible not just for cleaning, polishing and filling cavities in your teeth. He or she is also responsible for checking everything in your mouth from your tongues and lips to your gums and the soft tissue throughout your mouth. Your dentist is your first line of defense when it comes to finding any problems as early as possible.
5. Quit Tobacco: Period
One of the best things you can do to minimize your risk for mouth cancer is to never become a smoker. Or, if you already are a smoker – stop. Cigarettes, pipes, cigars, and chewing tobacco all pose a risk for mouth cancer. Even if you already are a tobacco user, quitting now will minimize your risk and make treatment easier.
Could you be at risk for oral cancer? Stop wondering. If you notice any symptoms or feel anything different in your mouth – a simple visit to the dentist could save you some money, or it could save your life. Learn about our new patient specials today and schedule a visit to answer any questions you may have about your teeth.