When it comes to Oral Cancer, the startling fact of the matter is that this year alone it will wipe out roughly 8,000 Americans, meaning 1 person per hour, 24 hours per day. The numbers are staggering and the importance of early detection and prevention is critical in successful treatment. The good news is that there are preventative measures you can take that are simple and, luckily, quite tasty!
Here are two easy ways to approach Oral Cancer prevention:
1. Embrace those fruits and veggies!
Pumpkins, butternut squash and sweet potatoes: What do all of these foods have in common? Other than their fall delivery date and frequent appearance in dishes during this time of year, these foods are bursting with Vitamin A, a powerful anti-oxidant helping the body to reduce exposure to free-radicals and prevent cell damage! This Thanksgiving, take comfort in the fact that your after-dinner slice of pumpkin pie is delivering over 246% of your RDA!
According to the Journal of the American Dental Association, research shows that eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables plays an important role in preventing Oral Cancer. So is it possible that the protective measures we’ve been waiting for have been sitting in our refrigerators and on our countertops all along? It’s hard to dispute the growing amount of evidence supporting the effect of fruits and vegetables in preventing Oral Cancer and other dental diseases such as tooth decay and periodontal disease.
We know incorporating more fruits and veggies into your diet can be a daunting task, especially if you’ve never quite “acquired” the taste for kale, an emerald powerhouse packed with anti-oxidants A, C and K. But remember, even adding one more serving to your daily food intake is a step in the right direction. So if you need to, start slow! And pat yourself on the back for each cancer-fighting bite you take.
Here’s a quick list of fruits and vegetables high in anti-oxidants that you can start incorporating into your daily routine today (feel free to add pumpkin pie and sweet potato gratin to this list!):
- Apples and apricots
- Blueberries, Blackberries, Acai Berries, Cranberries, Raspberries, Strawberries
- Oranges, limes and other citrus fruits
- Kale, Chard, Spinach and other leafy greens
- Green and Red Bell Peppers
2. Annual Oral Cancer screenings are key!
Oral Cancer is one of the easiest forms of Cancer to diagnose, and if spotted early, is usually curable. Ask your dentist to perform an Oral Cancer screening at least once a year during your visit and look for a dentist who uses digital screening tools, which are a high-tech alternative to traditional naked-eye inspections or mouth rinses that leave behind an awful taste in your mouth. Not only will digital screening tools be quick and efficient, but they avoid waste produced by screening products that could be toxic to your body and the environment.
Search our member directory to find dentists in your area who practice high-tech, wellness based dentistry!