What Do We Have Against Oral Health?

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How much does your smile say about you? Some people can beam their pearly whites for the camera on the spot without any hesitation. Others shudder at the possibility of having to show their less-than-radiant smile. Tooth stains, gum disease, and a prevalent culture of disregard for oral health seems to hold many people back from revealing the potential of their shining smile.

Many possibilities and reasons exist for why people neglect the care of their teeth. Sometimes it is because we are so busy throughout the course of the day that we can’t find the time or forget as a result of everything else on our minds. Sometimes we neglect visits to the dentists for regular cleanings or to keep up to date on the general condition of our teeth, whether it also be because of time or because of cost. Some of us just plain fear the dentist and dentistry as a whole. And sometimes, maybe, some of us just can’t be bothered.

A survey conducted by Delta Dental has shown that about 30% of Americans don’t seem to brush their teeth enough – at least twice per day, and only approximately 40% of those surveyed floss daily.

We all know the risks associated with a lack of oral care. Discolored teeth, gingivitis, potential loss of teeth and need to replace them with dentures or partials. So, what is the stigma behind motivating ourselves to brush and floss our teeth on a regular basis?

While statistics in the United Kingdom have shown that their overall oral health has increased, corresponding statistics display a concerning trend between the United States and England, Wales and Northern Ireland, where 31% of reported adults have some degree of tooth decay and 66% have some measure of visible plaque on their teeth.

So, it’s obviously not just an American thing. The need for oral care doesn’t seem to settle too well with a considerable margin of the population in either country. Due to what some consider outstanding expenses, people are even willing to jeopardize the oral health of their pets and postpone regular teeth cleanings with veterinarians. Which is unfortunate since our pets are prone to similar health concerns as we are: namely the likes of periodontal disease and tooth decay.

Not only our pets, but attempting to promote good oral health in children has become something of a social issue. Some statistics conclude that children lose an approximate total of 51 million hours in school attendance each year due to dental-related issues, and approximately 1 in 5 children have untreated dental caries (cavities).

So, what is it about our teeth that seems to make us conscientiously object to taking proper care of them? Why is it that in a world pioneered by scientific research and technology, where we have proven a link between oral care and heart disease among other afflictions, that people still can’t seem to get on the bandwagon? What is the answer to encouraging the population to be more mindful of their oral health?

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Melissa Thompson

Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of HarcourtHealth.com and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.