We’re told from birth to have good dental practices, but many people sadly slack off on keeping their teeth in good condition. Installing good oral health in children is especially important — tooth decay can cause problems for them later on down the road and can cause a bunch of medical and dental bills down the road. Proper care for teeth and gums can help minimize your risk of tooth decay and periodontal disease, which can also cause other illnesses that might make you miss school or work. Dental care is not something to be taken lightly at all, despite the fact that many people go three years between dental appointments, instead of seeing their dentist once every six months for optimal dental care. Treat yourself to a beautiful smile and never have to worry about cavities or the negative effects of periodontal disease.
What’s The Problem With Our Teeth?
For one thing, we aren’t starting our kids off on the right foot by teaching them how important dental care is. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost one out of five kids has cavities that aren’t treated. For kids between the ages of two and five, almost 20% have untreated cavities and almost 23% have untreated cavities between the ages of six and 19. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry also reports that tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease, beating out asthma, allergies, obesity, and diabetes. Indeed, tooth decay is five times more common than asthma and is four times more likely for kids to have than early childhood obesity. It’s 20 times more common than diabetes as well.
The Center for Health and Health Care in Schools reports that dental problems actually impact the school day. There are over 50 million school hours lost by students annually because of illnesses they contract that are related to dental issues. Indeed, one out of four children have never visited the dentist before kindergarten and over a third of schools have to refer kids to a dentist to fix dental problems.
What Are Some of the Consequences of Not Having Good Dental Practices?
You may wind up needing cosmetic surgery to correct issues that have gone wrong with your teeth and that can get quite expensive. Removing cavities is not a particularly fun process and you’ll need fillings, and possibly even caps or crowns put in. Watching what foods you eat will also be important — nothing too hard or sticky!
Periodontal disease can also have an effect on your heart health, higher cholesterol levels, and higher blood pressure. Your dental health does have an effect on your body overall!
So What Can We Do About It?
Considering that almost 80% of people have a cavity by the age of 17, fostering good dental practices from a young age is extremely important. Under a quarter of people say they floss regularly and three-quarters of people aren’t replacing their toothbrushes with regularity, which leads to inefficient brushing and an increased likelihood that plaque will build up on teeth between dental visits.
Brushing and flossing regularly are part of good dental practices, as is taking the time to go visit your dentist twice a year.
If your child plays a contact sport, make sure they’re wearing a mouthguard to protect their teeth. Though many people don’t think about this when they think “good dental practices,” this is an important step that can help your child protect his or her teeth. Colgate reports that almost 40% of dental injuries happen when kids are playing sports and around 80% of all dental injuries happen to a kid’s front teeth. Although mouth guards aren’t 100% foolproof, they can certainly help lessen the number of incidents. If there is some kind of accident, get your child to a dentist right away.
Keep your child’s smile healthy, white, and strong, by instilling good dental practices in him or her early. It’s an easy enough thing to do and can help avoid many other issues down the line. It’s important to listen to your dentist and visit him or her often!