Middleton advises following this step by step guide and looking for anything unusual at every stage. If you spot anything of concern you should visit your dentist or hygienist.
FACE: Look at your whole face, are they any swellings you haven’t noticed before? Check your skin – do you have any moles that have become larger or itchy or started to bleed? Turn your head from side to side, stretching the skin over the muscles to make seeing lumps more easy.
NECK: Run your fingers under your jaw and feel along the large muscle either side of your neck using the balls of your fingers to feel for any swellings and to check if both sides feel the same.
LIPS: Use your index, middle finger and thumb to feel the inside of your mouth. Pull your upper lip upwards and bottom lip downwards. Look inside for any ulcers or changes in colour.
GUM: Use your thumb and forefinger. Examine your gums feeling around for anything unusual.
CHEEKS: Open your mouth and pull your cheek away, one side at a time. Look for any red or white patches. Does everything look and feel the same on both sides? Use a finger to feel for ulcers, lumps or tenderness. Repeat this on both sides, your tongue can be helpful to locate sore areas, ulcers or rough patches.
TONGUE: Stick your tongue out and check the whole surface. Pull your tongue from one side and then to the other. Check under your tongue by putting the tip of your tongue in the roof of your mouth.
FLOOR & ROOF OF MOUTH: Tilt your head back and open wide to inspect the roof of your mouth. Lift your tongue and look at the floor of your mouth. Look for any colour changes or ulcers. Gently press your finger along the floor of your mouth and under your tongue, feeling for any swellings, lumps or ulcers.