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Did you know that April is Oral Health Month? What better time is there to reflect on how important it is to practice oral hygiene in relation to maintaining a healthy lifestyle?

Oral health is linked to many health problems, from diabetes to heart disease, cancer and more. Oral cancer is also on the rise: it's 13th most common cancer in Canada.

Switch up your dental routine by following these tips to salvage your health, starting with your mouth.

Tooth Brushing 101

Make sure you're getting the most out of your brushing routine by cleaning your pearly whites properly. A healthy smile means brushing well and often. Not only does this keep your breath smelling fresh but it also prevents gum disease and tooth decay, both of which are linked to heart attacks and strokes. Brush at least twice a day for two minutes — and don't forget to brush your tongue to keep your dental hygiene up.

Try Oral B professional Care SmartSeries 5000 ($184.99, at drugstores), the first toothbrush that combines teeth cleaning with gum care. This toothbrush gently removes two times more plaque than a regular hand brush. It includes a pressure sensor that signals when you're brushing too hard and offers a SmartGuide timer that takes the guessing out of your brushing time. It also includes an advanced FlossAction brush head for exceptional plaque removal.

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The Flossing Facts

As important as brushing is, it doesn't remove all the nitty-gritty plaque and food particles that can hide between teeth and under the gumline. Floss your teeth at least a once a day. The type of floss you need depends on the spacing between your teeth: opt for waxed floss if you have tight spacing and unwaxed if you have regular spacing.

To avoid gum injury, floss by gently inserting in between your teeth using a back and forth motion. Don't force the floss under gums; just curve the floss around the edge of your tooth in the shape of the letter "C". Try Oral-B Glide Deep Clean ($4.99, at drugstores), a microtextured wax floss that slides easily between teeth and helps remove plaque buildup. Its also formulated with a cooling sensation to give you fresh blast for that extra clean feeling.

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Mouth Wash

Finish off your brushing routine by rinsing your mouth out with mouthwash. Not only does it freshen breath but it will also help to reduce tooth decay from cavities and gum diseases. Mouthrinse is also a good solution to stop the buildup of plaque and bacteria. For best results, don't rinse your mouth with water after use. Doing this will prevent teeth from completely being coated. Try out Crest's Pro-Heath Multi-Protection Rinse ($3.99, at drugstores), an alcohol free mouthwash.

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