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Oral Care

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Taking Dental Medications

Your dentist may prescribe medications to fight certain oral diseases or to prevent infections after surgical procedures such as tooth extractions and gum surgery. Sometimes, certain drugs are given prior to the dental procedure to help fight infections or to prevent infections from existing medical conditions such as heart valve problems or recent joint replacement surgery. Your dentist will discuss any medications you may need to take, when to take them, and why you need to take them.

Recommended Related to Oral Health

How Your Oral Health Affects Your Overall Wellness

When Joanne Maglares, now 50, visited her dentist for a broken tooth from chewing on ice, she had no inkling that her overall health was in jeopardy. A scholarship coordinator at a New York City high school and mother of four, she was so consumed with work and family that she often ignored her own well-being. But her dentist took one look at her mouth, noticed multiple toothfractures and rapidly advancing gum (periodontal) disease, and surmised that she had an underlying health problem."Those were...

Read the How Your Oral Health Affects Your Overall Wellness article > >

Questions to Ask Your Dentist or Your Pharmacist About Your Medication

  • What is the name of the medication?
  • Why do I need to take it?
  • How often should I take it?
  • What time of day should I take it?
  • Should I take it on an empty stomach or with meals?
  • Where should I store the medication?
  • What should I do if I forget to take a dose?
  • How long should I expect to take the medication?
  • How will I know it is working?
  • What common side effects should I expect?
  • Are there any rare, but serious side effects to watch for?
  • Will the medication interfere with driving, working or other activities?
  • Does the medication interact with any foods, alcohol or other beverages, or other medications, vitamins, supplements, over-the-counter products, herbal products, or eye drops?

Review the drug information sheet that comes with each prescription. Write down any side effects you experience and call your dentist to discuss them. Update and review your history every time you see your dentist.

Facts to Tell Your Dentist About Yourself

  • If you are taking any other medications, supplements, vitamins, herbal products, over-the-counter products, eye drops, or prescription skin lotions
  • If you are allergic to any medications
  • If you are pregnant or think you might be pregnant
  • If you have problems taking any medications
  • If you have any health-related problems or medical conditions, especially any serious conditions that affect your body's major organs -- the kidneys, lungs, heart, or liver

How Do I Measure Up? Get the Facts Fast!

Number of Days Per Week I Floss

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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.

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