Don’t neglect your teeth – the price you pay will hit both your body and your pocketbook.
We’ve made great strides in dental health. The majority of Baby Boomers will maintain their natural teeth over their lifetime, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Americans’ widespread consumption of fluoridated water, use of toothpaste and regular dental checkups have helped reduce tooth decay among all ages.
Despite these gains, more than 100 million Americans say they don’t regularly go to the dentist because they can’t afford it, according to a recent study conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation. But many people don’t realize that good dental care contributes to overall health.
Researchers have discovered a number of diseases may be linked to poor dental care, such as endocarditis (an infection of the inner lining of the heart), cardiovascular disease (clogged arteries and stroke may be linked to oral bacteria) and premature or low birth weight babies.
Good preventive care can reduce dental costs and the day-to-day care is just as important as regular checkups. The best way to prevent expensive treatments is to:
• Brush and floss after every meal, or at least twice a day, paying special attention to the gum line.
• Get your teeth professionally cleaned annually. Dentists screen for oral cancer and look for side effects of medication.
• Eat a healthy diet and avoid sugary and starchy snacks.
• Don’t smoke or chew tobacco.
Whole mouth health is closely linked to whole body health. Because of this, there are many factors that can contribute to the development of dental disease. This quick assessment will examine common risk indicators and provide custom feedback to help you maintain a healthy smile.
Visit our new oral health and wellness website DentalCentral to learn more about the importance of preventive care and how you can start improving your oral health today.