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Don’t risk oral cancer

In addition to keeping your smile pearly white, your dentist may be able to detect signs of oral cancer during your annual exam. Do your part to help prevent oral cancer by following these American Cancer Society recommendations:

  • Avoid using tobacco and alcohol. Smoked or chewed tobacco, when taken with alcohol, raises your oral cancer risk by as much as 100-fold. Lower your risk by quitting smoking and limiting alcohol to one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men.
  • Limit ultraviolet light exposure. Lips are particularly sensitive to the sun’s rays, so be sure your lip balm has an SPF of at least 15. Seek the shade or wear a hat, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are strongest, and skip the tanning beds.
  • Eat a healthy diet—don’t skimp on your five daily servings of fruits and vegetables. Cut bacz on processed and red meats.
  • Wear properly fitted dentures. Avoiding sources of oral irritation may also lower your risk.