Americans simply aren’t making dental health a priority, a fact highlighted by a recent Gallup poll revealing that one-third of U.S. adults didn’t visit a dentist at all – much less twice – in the past year.
The rate of adults making a periodontal appointment last year hit 64.7 percent. That’s nearly the same as in 2008, when attendance hit 65.7 percent, meaning we’re seeing no significant increase in visits despite almost a decade of oral health education.
So Who is at the Greatest Risk?
Preventive dental hygiene, such as regular checkups and cleanings, help reduce tooth decay and prevent more extensive services. Skipping visits? Well, unfortunately, you will eventually find yourself in a dentist chair, one way or another.
How likely are you to make an appointment, according to the poll?
The largest differences were among income groups, with people who earn more than $120,000 per year continually picking up the phone to schedule a visit more than other earners.
- Women visit more than men.
- Adults between 18 and 29 visit less than their middle-aged or older counterparts.
- East coast folks have the highest attendance rates.
- Caucasians visit more than many other ethnic groups.
Gallup interviewed 178,072 American adults throughout 2013, as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.
Healthy Teeth Make For a Healthy Body
Not taking care of your teeth doesn’t just lead to cavities and other related issues. It can significantly impact your overall health. Studies suggest your periodontal health may provide clues and warning signs to more than 90 percent of all systemic diseases, including:
- Heart Disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Coronary Artery Disease
Many dentists look to bacteria as the main culprit.
Brushing clears out the bacteria that regularly camps out in your mouth. Without preventive measures, it builds up. This allows the germs to make it into the bloodstream, leading to infection and possibly blood clots.
How often do you need to visit?
Well, it depends on your specific situation but, in general, twice a year sufficiently keeps your mouth in shape. We encourage high-risk patients to make more frequent visits.
About Brand Greenfield, DDS:
I started Lake Orion Family Dentistry in 2010. Now in my 15th year of private practice, I am as excited as ever about the breakthroughs and innovations in dentistry and our office. Schedule two appoints a year. Visit us at 1375 South Lapeer Road, Suite 200, Lake Orion, MI, 48360 or call 248.693.6213..