Let’s face it, chances are you don’t brush and floss as often as you should. Heck, even your friendly Overland Park dentist is guilty of that sometimes, and we’re the professionals! But the fact is, even though it is largely preventable, tooth decay is the most common chronic disease in both children and adults all over the country.
We live in an age of unparalleled opportunities when it comes to oral health, with access to all kinds of great oral care techniques and devices to make brushing and flossing easier and more effective, from electric toothbrushes to water picks to those little disposable things that let you floss your teeth on the go. In spite of all that, many of us aren’t doing the job as well as we should.
Here are a few scary statistics that may make you re-think your dental care regimen. You may want to have a toothbrush on hand, because reading these has been known to cause a sudden and overwhelming desire to start brushing right away!
- According to the National Institutes of Health, 92% of adults (aged 20 to 64) have had tooth decay in their permanent teeth. What’s more, 26% of those adults have untreated
- As a result, adults between the ages of 20 and 64 have an average of 3.28 decayed or missing teeth, and an average of 13.65 decayed or missing permanent surfaces.
- Tooth decay is the #1 chronic disease among children, and is 5 times more common than asthma and 7 times more common than hay fever.
- According to the Centers for Disease Control, as much as 12% of the adult population of the US suffers from advanced gum disease
- In spite of all this, only about 61% of adults had a dental visit in the past year.
It’s pretty obvious that Americans are concerned about oral health and tooth decay—and with good reason! We spend more than $1 billion annually on dental devices alone. Unfortunately, just buying the devices doesn’t do us much good. We have to use them, and use them regularly.
The great news about all those scary statistics is that most oral health problems are preventable, and can be mitigated by setting and keeping good oral care habits. Many of us start out with the very best intentions, but after a few days we stop brushing as regularly or for as long, or our dental floss lies untouched in the bottom of our drawer. If you want to prevent tooth decay and other oral health problems, you need good oral care habits that stick around, including regular brushing, flossing, eating a good diet, and seeing your family dentist in Overland Park twice a year for cleanings and screenings. When we put it like that, it doesn’t sound so bad, now does it?
This article brought to you by Watts Family Dental in Overland Park, Kansas. Our friendly office specializes in preventative dental care for the whole family. To make an appointment, please call (913) 338-3384 or click here to fill out our online contact form.