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Dental Health

A healthy mouth and teeth are crucial for your overall health. HKPR District Health Unit's team of Dental Health Professionals understands the link between oral health and your overall wellness. Our expert team is committed to nurturing vibrant smiles that contribute to a healthier you. 


  • Step 1: Brush at a 45-degree angle to your teeth. Brush in a gentle, circular, up and down. Don’t scrub. Receding gums can be a result of years of brushing too hard.
  • Step 2: Clean every surface of every tooth.
  • Step 3: Take 2-3 minutes to brush and change up your brushing pattern. Using the same pattern can result in the same spots being missed.  
  • Step 4: There are many different types of brushes, so ask your dentist to suggest the best one for you. In general, a soft brush with rounded bristles and with a size/shape that allows you to reach the way to your back teeth is best.
  • Step 5: Canadian Dental Association recommends you replace your toothbrush every three months.


  • Step 1: Wrap floss around your fingers and leave about 2 inches between your hands
  • Step 2: Slide the floss between your teeth and wrap it into a “C” shape around the base of the tooth. Wipe the tooth from base to tip two or three times.
  • Step 3: Floss both sides of every tooth. Make sure to use a new section of the floss as it wears and picks up particles. After flossing, put it in the garbage, never flush floss down the toilet.
  • Step 4: Brush your teeth after you floss – it is a more effective method of preventing tooth decay and gum disease.


Fluoride is a natural occurring mineral that plays a role in strengthening tooth enamel. Fluoride has a positive effect on oral health by helping prevent tooth decay. It does this by:

  • Making teeth strong and more resistant to acid
  • Stop tooth decay by putting minerals back into teeth and,
  • Interferes with bacteria's ability to make acid

For more information check out the video below!

Poor oral health can cause periodontitis (infection of the bone holding the tooth in place). This type of infection can cause:

  • Delivering a pre-term baby
  • Delivering a baby with a low birth weight
  • Preeclampsia
  • Bleeding gums (Pregnancy increases your estrogen and progesterone which can cause your gums to bleed, even if you have good oral hygiene. You may experience “pregnancy gingivitis” which would be when your gums are swollen, red or irritated from bacteria).

Morning Sickness

Morning sickness exposes your teeth to your stomach acid which demineralizes your teeth and weakens them. This would put you at risk of erosions and tooth decay.

Tips for morning sickness:

    • After vomiting, rinse your mouth with water or fluoride wash. Wait 30 minutes so the acid in you mouth reduces and the brush your teeth

What to look for: 

  • Unexplained bleeding in the mouth 
  • Changes in taste or tongue sensation 
  • Lumps on lips, tongue, and neck 
  • Sores or patches in the mouth that do not heal 
  • Lumps or changes in the texture or colour of the mouth tissues 
  • A sore that is persistent and/or difficulty with swallowing 
  • Dark red or white patches in the mouth or on your lips or tongue 

How to prevent: 

  • Brush and floss your teeth daily 
  • See an oral health professional for regular checkups 
  • Use lip balm with UV protection when going out in the sun 
  • Use a condom or a dental dam when you’re performing oral sex  
  • Follow Canada’s food guide  
  • Reduce alcohol consumption 
  • Reduce/quit smoking and using tobacco products

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