Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Oral Care

Font Size
A
A
A

Prevent Canker Sores

Canker sores can be very painful, making talking, eating, and drinking hard. The following measures may help reduce your chance of getting canker sores:

  • Avoid injury to the inside of your mouth.
    • Chew food slowly and carefully.
    • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush your teeth thoroughly but gently.
  • Avoid foods that can trigger canker sores. This may include:
    • Acidic foods, such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, or nuts.
    • Abrasive foods, such as bread crusts, corn chips, or potato chips.
  • Don't use tobacco in any form.
  • Limit your use of alcohol.
  • Visit your dentist twice a year.

If you have frequent canker sores, talk with your doctor about having blood and allergy tests. Some sores are caused by nutritional deficiencies, an allergy, or other preventable causes. Vitamins or nutritional supplements may prevent canker sores from returning or reduce the severity of the sores that develop.

Recommended Related to Oral Health

8 Ways to Keep Your Mouth Healthy

Brushing, flossing, and rinsing are the ABCs of oral health, but they're only the beginning. A marvelous mouth takes more than squeezing paste out of a tube -- think improving your toothbrushing technique, ditching the daily soda habit, and saying good-bye to cigarettes. David Leader, DMD, an assistant clinical professor at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in Boston, outlines eight oral care musts for a healthy mouth. Pay a visit. If you're prone to ditching the dentist, you're...

Read the 8 Ways to Keep Your Mouth Healthy article > >

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer David Messenger, MD
Last Revised September 15, 2010

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 15, 2010
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

How Do I Measure Up? Get the Facts Fast!

Number of Days Per Week I Floss

Get the latest Oral Health newsletter delivered to your inbox!


or
Answer:
Never
(0)
Good
(1-3)
Better
(4-6)
Best
(7)

You are currently

Only 18.5% of Americans never floss. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Floss removes food trapped between the teeth and removes the film of bacteria that forms there before it turns to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Try flossing just one tooth to get started.

You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for 3 more days!

You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily, but you're well on your way to making a positive impact on your teeth and gums. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for all 7 days!

Only 50.5% of Americans floss daily, and good for you that you are one of them! Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Congratulations on your good oral health habit!

SOURCES:

American Dental Association, Healthy People 2010

This tool is intended only for adults 18 and older.

Start Over

Step:  of 

Today on WebMD

big smile
Article
Man grinding teeth
Article
 
Is Diabetes Affecting Your Mouth
Tool
how your mouth impacts your health
Slideshow
 

are battery operated toothbrushes really better
Video
bpa dental sealants
Video
 
Healthy Mouth Slideshow
Video
Young woman holding lip at dentists office
Video
 

15 myths and facts about cavities
Video
how healthy is your mouth
Video
 
elmo brushing teeth
fitVideo
5 ways to prevent diabetes dental problems
Video
 

WebMD Special Sections