Springfield, MO – According to a Gallup poll, in 2013, one third of Americans didn’t visit the dentist. Were you in that group?
While it is recommended that you see a dentist twice a year for check-ups, nearly one in three American adults still admitted they didn’t see the dentist even once in 2013. The poll found that women were more likely than men to visit the dentist regularly. African Americans and Hispanics are less likely than Caucasians and Asian Americans to see a dentist.
“This is troubling to us,” says Dr. Nick Matthews, one of the Ozark dentists at Excel Dental. “Study after study shows the intricate link between oral health and whole body health, and failing to maintain regular visits with your dentist can impact not just your mouth, but the rest of your body as well.”
Why Go To The Dentist? Is It Important?
While you may think all a dentist does at your yearly checkups is brush and floss your teeth, you’re wrong. Your dentist is looking closely at every aspect of your mouth to ensure proper oral health care is maintained. More than 50 percent of Americans suffer from gingivitis, which can quickly lead to periodontal disease if not caught and treated quickly. Periodontal disease is closely linked to other serious health conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes.
The Center for Disease Control estimates that one in three Americans have untreated tooth decay.
“Tooth decay occurs mainly in the back molars,” says Dr. Tracy Davis, an expert in Ozark dental care. “That’s because those teeth are harder to clean because they have more pits and grooves where food particles can get stuck. Plaque and bacteria can grow on these back teeth, and if you aren’t seeing a dentist regularly, you may not realize it until it’s too late.”
While modern advances, such as the addition of fluoride to toothpaste, are helping more Americans than ever maintain their natural teeth, failing to visit the dentist regularly may result in the need for tooth implants or dentures. At your twice yearly checkups, your dentist not only thoroughly cleans your teeth, he or she also looks for signs of decay and gum disease. Finding and addressing these as soon as possible can prevent serious damage from occurring.
Maintaining a relationship with a dental clinic can also be helpful to your oral health. Once you’ve established a relationship with a dentist, he or she can learn everything needed to ensure your healthiest mouth. For some patients, genetic factors may affect their oral health, so it’s important your dentist gets to know you and your complete medical and family history, as needed.
Another interesting fact the Gallup survey found on why it is important to go to the dentist is that visits seem to increase along with income. The higher the income, the more likely one is to maintain regular visits with the dentist. Dental rates have remained virtually the same for higher incomes since 2008, while they have dropped for other groups, particularly low and middle income Americans.
The price of dental care is one factor that keeps Americans from visiting their dentist regularly. One survey found that 44 percent of the people who don’t regularly visit the dentist don’t go because they don’t have dental insurance.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there is an estimated 108 million Americans without dental insurance. At Excel Dental, we never want a lack of insurance to keep you from our office. We offer the highest quality of care at reasonable fees. But in addition to that, we offer flexible financing and payment options to ensure our care can comfortably fit in any budget.
If you are currently in the percentage of Americans who hasn’t seen a dentist in a while, schedule an appointment today for a comprehensive checkup. Don’t let your oral health care suffer any longer.More