The Oral Cancer Foundation has stated that one American is dying from oral cancer every hour. Many people are unaware of the fact that early detection is essential to prevent oral cancer, so it’s important to raise awareness about oral cancer and how screenings help in early detection.
April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month. Take this opportunity to create awareness and highlight the significance of oral cancer screenings, and also familiarize yourself with simple yet effective ways to reduce your risk of oral cancer.
Practice Sound Oral Hygiene
Brush twice and floss daily to keep your immune system in top shape, enabling your body to fight off potential problems.
Keep Regular Dental Appointments
During your routine dental exams twice a year, your dentist will check your mouth for abnormal issues that may point to mouth cancer or other serious oral conditions.
Conduct Monthly Self-Exams
Take a few minutes each month to inspect the back and sides of your mouth and tongue for lumps, bumps, tender regions, or irregular coloring. If you spot anything unusual, consult your dentist.
Steer Clear of Tobacco Products
Both smoked and chewed tobacco exposes the cells in the mouth to toxic cancer-causing chemicals. If you currently use tobacco products, then it’s time to quit. If you don’t use tobacco products, then don’t start.
Eat a Variety of Fruits and Vegetables
Incorporate a range of fruits and vegetables into your daily diet, including dark green leafy vegetables, cruciferous vegetables (i.e. broccoli, cabbage), grapes, tomatoes, and berries. Eating varied produce will increase the vitamins and antioxidants in your diet, which may help lower your risk of mouth cancer.
Limit Alcohol Consumption
Chronic excessive alcohol intake irritates the cells in the mouth, making you more susceptible to mouth cancer. Women should limit alcohol to one drink per day, while men should limit alcohol to two drinks per day.
Limit Sun Exposure
Whenever possible, stay in the shade to shield your lips from the sun. When you do go out in the sun, apply ample sunscreen and wear a broad-brimmed hat that shades your face, including your mouth.
Go in for Oral Cancer Screenings
Early detection helps in treating oral cancer successfully. The American Cancer society has recommended oral cancer screenings every three years for people who are over 20 years old and annually for those who are over 40 years old. Get screened now!
Plaza Dental Group, a dentist in Des Moines, offers oral cancer screenings because they believe that early detection saves lives. Call us at 515-612-7148 to schedule an appointment today!
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