This is the time of year when people make resolutions. Eat better. Join a gym. Read more books. Learn how to stop blading my lob wedge.
Most people don’t include “Take better care of my teeth” on their list. But maybe we all should. After all, a healthy mouth is a key to a happy future in so many ways. At Gentle Dental we advise our patients to come see us every six months for their professional cleanings and exams. This allows us to stay ahead of issues such as gum disease and decay. But not everyone does that.
And it appears those people aren’t alone, at least according to statistics from the American Dental Association. Check out these scary dental statistics.
How often do people visit their dentist?
Everyone knows six months is the goal with dental visits. This is about the time it takes for tartar to start building up in the typical places in the mouth. At six months we can remove it before it starts moving under the gumline.
So, how many people adhere to those guidelines? The ADA says that in 2014, 52.3% of adults visited their dentist every six months. 15.4% visited once a year, and 11% visited every two to three years. Believe it or not, 21.3% said they had not visited the dentist in the last five years. Hello future dentures!
Why do people avoid the dentist?
The top reasons people gave for avoiding the dentist were cost, fear of the dentist (come on, Drs. Strober, Messer, and Butkofski are as friendly and gentle as koala bears!), inability to find a convenient location or a convenient appointment time (that sounds shaky).
How many people have untreated caries/decay in the U.S.?
Between 2011-2014, an estimated 18.2% of children ages 5-18 had untreated decay. For adults ages 19-64 this rose to over a quarter, 26.5%. Seniors over 65 reported 16.7% of untreated caries/cavities. Ouch. Hello root canal!
How many people have untreated gum disease in the U.S.?
The ADA estimates that over 47% of adults over the age of 30 have untreated periodontal disease. Hello collapsing jawbone!
So many dental problems never have to occur; just keeping up with your regular six-month exams and professional cleanings with the team at Gentle Dental keeps things like gum disease and root canals from ever having to become a thing in your life.