Hillsborough County Dental Association
Dental Care

Your Oral Health Care:


  • Brush your teeth twice a day with an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste. Replace your toothbrush every three or four months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed.

  • Clean between teeth daily with floss or an interdental cleaner. This helps remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line, that a toothbrush cannot reach.

  • Eat a balanced diet and limit between-meal snacks.

  • Visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and oral exams. Need a dental referral? You may contact the HCDA or the West Coast District Dental Association - 813-654-2500.

  • Antimicrobial mouth rinses and toothpastes reduce the bacterial count and inhibit bacterial activity in dental plaque, which can cause gingivitis, an early, reversible form of gum disease. Fluoride mouth rinses help reduce and prevent tooth decay. Clinical studies have demonstrated that use of a fluoride mouth rinse and fluoride toothpaste can provide extra protection against tooth decay over that provided by fluoride toothpaste alone. Fluoride mouth rinse is not recommended for children age six or younger because they may swallow the rinse. Always check labels for precautions and age recommendations and talk with your dentist about the use of fluoride mouth rinse.
Eating or drinking foods with sugar in it increases acid production up to 20 minutes after swallowing. Acid producing bacteria causes cavities in your teeth.
Choose healthy snacks to include water over sodas, fruit and vegetables over sugary snacks.


Your Baby's Oral Health Care:


  • Your child should visit a dentist when the first tooth appears. Early examination and preventive care will help avoid problems in the future. You will want to avoid problems like baby bottle tooth decay or nursing caries - your child may risk severe decay from using a bottle during naps and at night or even when they nurse continously from the breast. To avoid baby bottle tooth decay you will want to encourage your child to drink from a cup as they approach their first birthday and most important, children should not fall asleep with a bottle. At-will breast-feeding should be avoided after the first primary (baby) teeth have erupted. Drinking juice from a bottle should also be avoided - it should be offered in a cup.

  • Start cleaning your child's gums starting at birth - use a soft infant toothbrush and water. You will have to continue this process until your child has the dexterity to handle toothbrushing. Unless advised by a dentist, do not use fluoridated toothpaste until around 2-3 years old.

  • Thumb sucking is normal for infants, but most stop by age 2. If your child has not stopped by age 2, it must be discouraged by age 4. Prolonged thumb sucking can created crowded, crooked teeth, or bite problems. Your dentist will be happy to assist you with suggestions to address a prolonged thumb sucking habit.

  • For teething episodes, many children enjoy a clean, cool teething ring or a cold, wet washcloth. Some children find relief by having their parents simply rub their gums with a clean finger.
Ask your dentist or dental hygienist about sealants.

Facts About Oral Cancer:

Incidence and Mortality
  • Oral cancer strikes an estimated 34,360 Americans each year. An estimated 7,550 people (5,180 men and 2,370 women) about 22% will die of these cancers in 2007.1

  • More than 25% of the 30,000 Americans who get oral cancer will die of the disease. 2 Oral cancer is as common as leukemia and claims more lives that either melanoma or cervical cancer. 3

  • On average, only half of those diagnosed with the disease will survive more than five years.4 African-Americans are especially vulnerable; the incidence rate is 1/3 higher than whites and the
    mortality rate is almost twice as high.5

Risk Factors
  • Although the use of tobacco and alcohol are risk factors in developing oral cancer, approximately 25% of oral cancer patients have no known risk factors. 6, 7

  • There has been a nearly five-fold increase in incidence in oral cancer patients under age 40, many with no known risk factors 8,9,10,11

  • The incidence of oral cancer in women has increased significantly. Largely due to increase in women smoking. In 1950 the male to female ratio was 6:1; by 2002, it was 2:1.
For a healthy mouth, brush your teeth at least 2 times every day.
Spend at least 3 minutes brushing.
Prevention and Detection
  • The best way to prevent oral cancer is to avoid tobacco and alcohol use.

  • Regular dental check-ups, including an examination of the entire mouth, are essential in the early detection of cancerous and pre-cancerous conditions.

  • Many types of abnormal cells can develop in the oral cavity in the form of red or white spots. Some are harmless benign, some are cancerous, and others are pre-cancerous, meaning they
    can develop into cancer if not detected early and removed. (ACS)

  • Finding and removing epithelial dysplasias before they become cancer can be one of the most effective methods for reducing the incidence and mortality of cancer.

  • Knowing the risk factors and seeing your dentist for oral cancer screenings can help prevent this deadly disease. Routine use of the Pap smear since 1955, for example, dramatically
    reduced the incidence and mortality rates for cervical cancer in the United States.12 Similarly,use of colonoscopy now makes it possible to detect dysplastic polyps years before they can
    turn into colon cancer and is contributing to falling rates of mortality for the disease.13

  • Oral cancer is often preceded by the presence of clinically identifiable premalignant changes. These lesions may present as either white or red patches or spots. Identifying
    white and red spots that show dysplasia and removing them before they become cancer is an effective method for reducing the incidence and mortality of cancer.
Use a soft toothbrush. Brush in a circular motion being sure to roll the toothbrush away from the gum line. Brush the backs of your teeth and gently brush your gums.
  More Information about Oral Cancer  
  • The ADA is announcing a nationwide awareness campaign urging people to see their dentist regularly for oral cancer examinations.

  • Oral cancer is more likely to occur among people over the age of 40. Tobacco and alcohol use increase the risk of developing oral cancer. Knowing the risk factors and seeing your dentist for oral cancer screenings can help prevent this deadly disease.

  • Oral cancer is as common as leukemia and claims more lives than either melanoma or cervical cancer. Its incidence is rising among women, young people and non-smokers.

  • 1 in 4 people with oral cancer have no known risk factors for the disease.

  • Small white or red mouth spots, called lesions, might contain abnormal cells that could develop into oral cancer over the next several years. If these abnormal cells are identified early, and if necessary, the spot can be surgically removed before the cells can turn cancerous.

  • Your dentist is your partner in maintaining your oral health. Oral cancer screening is a routine part of a dental examination.

  • Your dentist will examine the inside of your mouth and your tongue for suspicious lesions and will also feel the lymph nodes in your neck for any abnormalities.

  • There are several types of oral cancer screening devices or technologies a dentist can use in addition to conducting an oral cancer examination, one of which is called a BrushTest. As powerful as a pap smear which detects abnormal cells in women, a BrushTest collects cells from a suspicious lesion in a persons mouth. The cells are sent to a laboratory for analysis. If precancerous cells are found, the lesion can be surgically removed if necessary during a separate procedure. It s important to know that all atypical and positive results from a BrushTest must be confirmed by incisional biopsy and histology.

  • Even if the results of an oral cancer examination are negative and if the lesion doesn t go away, it is very important to seek follow-up evaluations by your dentist or physician.

  • By identifying suspicious lesions early, you can greatly reduce the risk of developing oral cancer.

  • The ADA Council on Scientific Affairs' Acceptance of Oral CDx Computer- Assisted Brush Biopsy Analysis Method is based on its finding that the product is an effective adjunct to the oral cavity examination in the early detection of precancerous and cancerous oral lesions, when used as directed. All Oral CDx atypical and positive results must be confirmed by incisional biopsy and
    histology to completely characterize the lesion. Persistent lesions even with negative results must receive adequate follow-up evaluations."
For more information, on dental care topics ranging from "A-Z", please visit: http://www.ada.org/365.aspx/
P.O. Box 202 • Brandon, FL 33509
Phone: (813) 447-3452 • Fax: (813) 441-8494 • Email: hcda@hcdafla.com