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Many people only see a dentist when experiencing a big health issue like a severe toothache or tooth loss. Are you one of them? If so, remember that regular dental checkups play a critical role in preserving oral health. It lets your dentist identify and treat a problem in the initial stage before it becomes more serious and costly.
If you’re wondering about the real state of oral health and hygiene of the nation, we will provide you with data and statistics related to dental trends.
How Often We Visit the Dentist?
It’s impossible to give a universal answer because this widely varies from country to country and person to person. Generally speaking, those having a healthy mouth need to see a dentist every six months.
However, this doesn’t apply to people at high risk for some dental problems. They are advised to visit the dentist more frequently, preferably every three months. Those people can fall into any of these categories:
- Pregnant women
- People with gum diseases
- People who often suffer from cavities or plaque buildup
- People with a weak immunity to bacteria
The good news is that more and more people visit the dentist on a regular basis. A growing number of people give high priority to oral health, so it’s a little wonder that nearly 40% of adults visit the dentist twice a year for preventive services and cleanings.
A recent study conducted by the ADA Health Policy Institute has revealed that the vast majority of Americans highly value good oral health. Even 95% regard their oral health as a critical factor of overall wellness, while 93% said that regular dental visits help them keep healthy.
Why We Visit the Dentist?
As already stated, most of us only go to the dentist in an extreme case. The most common dental problem is caries or cavity. In fact, this is why most adults and kids visit the dentist. Additionally, we also see a dentist due to the following oral health issues:
- Tooth or root decay
- Bone disease
- Gum disease and infection (periodontitis or gingivitis)
- Facial or jaw pain
- Tooth loss
- Oral cancer
The factors like genetics and age play a role in the severity and susceptibility of these conditions. Whatever the case may be, the dentist can detect just about any sign of a dental problem that should be closely monitored or addressed as soon as possible.
How Do We Maintain Oral Health Routine?
Even though there are numerous tips for improving dental routine, we don’t care enough about oral health and often avoid receiving dental exams. Unfortunately, many people maintain a very simple dental routine. That said, most adults merely rely on a toothpaste and toothbrush for their oral health routine. It’s estimated that every fourth person incorporates mouthwash into his/her daily routine, whereas less than 20 percent use dental floss. This is definitely not enough.
Despite being a very important aspect of a general health, oral health is often underrated or overlooked. Let’s improve the current state. Be sure to regularly make dentist appointments to get proper dental care in a timely manner. Prevention is better than cure.
How we take care of our teeth is an important aspect of keeping ourselves healthy. In fact, many dental health experts consider oral health as a window to our overall well-being. Thus, it’s no wonder that one of the health priorities of many people today is taking care of their teeth.
However, despite the many scientific studies about how we should prioritize our oral health, some people still buy into a lot of misconceptions that surround it. So, instead of keeping their teeth first-rate, wrong practices cause their teeth serious damage.
Therefore, it’s a must to separate fact from fiction. For a little help, here’s a list of myths that surround oral health that you need to know — and stop believing now! So take a read!
Myth 1: Just Chew a Sugar-Free Gum
Some people believe that munching a sugar-free gum is the same and as good as brushing your teeth. If this has any scientific basis, sugar-loving kids would surely jump for joy. However, this is just a myth.
Yes, chewing sugarless gum, especially one that contains xylitol can do the job in protecting your teeth. Chewing a sugar-free gum prompts the production of saliva in the mouth which in turn washes away acids from drinks and foods that damage your teeth.
Still, your sugar-free chewing gum won’t take the rightful place of your toothbrush in improving your oral health. In other words, it’s not enough! For you to get rid of plaque, acids, and tiny bits of food in your mouth, you still need to brush your teeth twice daily to achieve that fine smile that you want for yourself.
Myth 2: Sugar is the Only One to Blame for Cavities
The primary thing to blame for cavities is sugar. Yes, it’s true, but it’s not just sugar. Sugar has partners-in-crime when it comes to ruining your teeth. In fact, aside from candies and chocolates, chips and crackers can also do damage to your oral health.
Chips and crackers contain starch and carbs that cause cavities to your beautiful set of teeth. Not only that, but they also stick hard to your teeth. So, as far as possible, avoid overeating sugar as well as starchy foods.
Myth 3: White Teeth is Healthy Teeth
Some of us would likely believe that if a person has a white set of teeth he/she has a healthy teeth. Not, really. White teeth cannot be the standard for good oral health because the natural color of the teeth differs in every individual.
One person may have a yellower set of teeth than another, but it doesn’t mean that that person has bad teeth and the latter has healthy teeth. In fact, discoloration of the teeth can be more evident as we age. It will still depend on the teeth if they have cavities or a bad odor to consider it as not healthy.
Myth 4: Flossing is Not Important
Some people tend to neglect to floss their teeth after brushing. They’ll reason out that brushing their teeth is enough. Actually, not flossing your teeth can cause bacteria build-up.
There are areas in our mouth that are hard to reach just using your toothbrush, and that leaves 33 percent of your mouth not properly cleaned. So it’s advisable that you do regular flossing of your teeth to improve your overall health.
Myth 5: Bleaching Your Teeth is Not Ok
Before 1990, dentists use acidic materials in bleaching their patient’s teeth. During that time, they apply highly-concentrated whitening gels that can shock the teeth. As such, bleaching causes the enamel of the tooth to break down.
However, nowadays, dentists use materials for bleaching that are PH neutral. It makes your teeth whiter than ever. So, bleaching your teeth nowadays is safe for your oral health.
Myth 6: Brushing Your Teeth Hard Will Make It Cleaner
Brushing your teeth too hard will damage your teeth and gums. When you go too hard while brushing, it will wear away the enamel of your teeth that serves as protection from cavities and bacteria.
Thus, when you’re going to brush your teeth, it’s advisable that you make it gentle. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush if your mouth is too sensitive. Use the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums. Brush the inside and outside area of your teeth, as well as your gums and tongue. Just remember: make it gentle.
Myth 7: If You Don’t Feel Anything, It’s Ok Not to See a Dentist
Not visiting a dentist is one of the biggest mistakes for a lot of people. Even if you’re not feeling bad about your teeth, it’s still a must that you see a dentist so that you can prevent the worst from happening.
Most oral health problems are not evident at the beginning. For instance, in cavity and gum disease, you won’t feel the pain right away. Thus, to prevent it from becoming a bigger problem, you should see a dental expert.
Myth 8: Using Aspirin Will Relieve Toothache
If the source of the pain comes from the gum area, there’s a possibility that placing aspirin on that area will alleviate the pain temporarily. But if the source is from the structure of the tooth, chances are the pain will not go away since the aspirin cannot enter the enamel to reach the affected nerve.
You should also avoid overusing the aspirin to alleviate your gum pain because it can cause complications to your gums.
It’s essential that we should prioritize our dental health. When you have healthy teeth, you can have a lower chance of getting diseases that can be dangerous not only to your oral health but also to your overall health. In fact, a study concludes that bad oral health can lead to heart complications.
However, there are myths with regards to taking care of your teeth. It’s essential that you know about them so that you can prioritize your oral health with the right knowledge.