Brush up on your oral health

by Curtis Krumlauf

Did you know that the health of your gums and teeth impacts not just your dental care but also directly contributes to your overall health and wellness? And that gum disease can contribute to other chronic diseases, including heart disease and diabetes?

Gum disease is a general term used when someone has been diagnosed with gingivitis or periodontitis. Gum disease can be mild to severe. It is caused by a bacterial coating on your teeth that can make the gums red, tender, swollen, and sometimes bleed. Gingivitis can be prevented or reversed and periodontitis can be prevented or stopped with healthy mouth practices, such as taking care of your teeth and gums.

One out of two adults suffer from gum disease. If you are experiencing any symptoms, talk to your dentist or local DHAT.

April is Oral Health Month so it’s a perfect time to brush up on your healthy mouth practices.

•Brush teeth for two minutes at least twice a day everyday

•Use a soft bristle toothbrush and a recommended fluoride toothpaste

•Clean between your teeth everyday using floss, floss picks, interdental brushes, or a water flosser

•Consume fewer foods and drinks with added sugar

•Visit your dentist or DHAT for routine exams 

•Visit your dental hygienist for cleanings at least twice a year

•Avoid smoking, vaping, chewing of iqmik or other nicotine products

•Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and rinse teeth with water between brushings

Another way to support your oral health and your heart-health at the same time is with a healthy diet. Try our Cheesy Vegetable Frittata below, which is good for you and tastes good too!

Cheesy Vegetable Frittata


•1 tablespoon olive oil

•1 cup chopped onion

•3 cups vegetables, chopped 

•2 cloves of garlic, minced

•8 eggs

•3 tablespoons water

•1 cup shredded low-fat cheese (optional)

•Salt & Pepper (to taste, optional)


1. In a large oven-proof nonstick skillet, cook ½ tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat.

2. Add onion and cook for about 3 minutes.

3. Add vegetables and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 4 minutes.

4. Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute. (Vegetables should be tender.)

5. While vegetables are cooking, whisk the eggs, ½ tablespoon olive oil and water for about 1 minute.

6. Stir ½ cup of cheese and salt and pepper into the egg mixture.

7. Pour egg mixture over vegetables, stirring gently.

8. Cook over medium heat until eggs begin to set. (Eggs should be less liquid and not moving as easily.) Occasionally lift the edges of the frittata to allow uncooked mixture to go to the bottom.

9. Top with remaining cheese and broil in the oven for 2 to 4 minutes, or until cheese is melted and golden brown and eggs are set.

10. Cut into wedges and serve.


•Olive oil is one of the healthier oil choices, but other oils/fats may be substituted.

•Use the vegetables of your choice. Bell pepper and broccoli work well in this recipe.

•To reduce fat in this recipe, use 4 eggs plus 8 egg whites instead of 8 eggs.

•If cheese is used, low-fat cheese is healthier. However, any shredded cheese will work in this recipe.

Adapted from –

Curtis Krumlauf, RDA, RDH, BSDH is a Dental Hygienist at the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation.