One in Six Americans Miss Work Due to Oral Health Issues, New Study Shows
A new study has revealed just how damaging poor dental hygiene can be to workplace productivity.
According to a June 4 article in The Tennessean, the 2014 Delta Dental Oral Health and Wellbeing Survey recently found that approximately one in six Americans — 16% of the population — miss work due to dental health concerns each year. As a result, more than 164 million work hours are lost yearly.
The news reflects the fact that only about 65% of Americans have visited their general dentist in the last 12 months, as a recent Gallup poll showed. Typically, experts advise individuals to visit their dentist twice a year for regular check-ups and cleanings.
Unsurprisingly, good dental health is correlated to one’s overall well-being, The Tennessean also reports. Skipping visits to the dentist’s office can result in complications like gum disease, tooth decay, tooth loss and dental abscesses that often require emergency dental appointments to fix.
The Delta Dental study also discovered a correlation between dental insurance and frequency of visits to the dentist. Almost eight of 10 Americans (78%) with dental coverage visit their dentist one or more times a year, compared to only about half (52%) of those without coverage.
Preventive care and good dental hygiene habits are imperative in maintaining optimal oral health, according to The Tennessean. People who visited the dentist in the last year were 22% more likely to rate their own physical and emotional well-being as being good or better, compared to those who didn’t.
An astonishing 78% of Americans will have at least one dental cavity by the time they turn 17, and 74% of all Americans have some form of periodontal, or gum, disease. Both these things can be easily prevented with regular visits to the dentist’s office for teeth cleanings. With regularly scheduled dental appointments, you will be able to feel better and more productive every day at work and miss less time due to oral health issues.
Millions of British Prioritizing Social Lives Over Dental Health
A new survey suggests that millions of U.K. citizens are endangering their oral health to focus on their social lives instead.
According to Rochdale Online, the data1 survey of more than 2,000 people revealed that up to one in five, or 18%, of British citizens said they would cancel a dental appointment in order to “go to the pub, order a takeaway, buy clothes, go to the cinema or go bowling.”
Currently, the U.K. is in the midst of National Smile Month, a campaign to encourage British citizens to brush their teeth twice daily, cut down on sugary foods and drinks, and visit their dentist as often as recommended. Experts generally suggest that individuals visit their dentist twice a year for check-ups, to maintain adequate dental health.
Avoiding dental appointments can have dire consequences, including requiring trips to an emergency dentist. Emergency dental extractions and infected root canals are common consequences of skipping the dentist and hallmarks of the emergency dentistry field.
Dr. Nigel Carter, OBE, Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, reinforced the fact that skipping dental appointments for social outings can have severe consequences.
“Visiting the dentist regularly, as often as they recommend, is a cornerstone of good oral health practice,” he told Rochdale Online. “If people are choosing to overlook that and perhaps harm their oral health further by snacking at the cinema, drinking too much alcohol or indulging in a poor diet, they are risking further complications by just skipping one appointment.”
Research shows that the British aren’t the only people around the world who are neglecting their dental health. Only about 61.6% of Americans aged 18 to 64 visited their dentist over the last year, according to the Centers for Disease Control, and an astonishing 78% of Americans will have at least one dental cavity by age 17.
“A shopping trip might be more fun, but the financial savings of prevention -– to your mouth and to your wallet -– are much higher than if you put off oral health treatment until it’s too late,” Dr. Carter said to Rochdale Online. “Visits to the dentist can identify problems in the early stages, before they develop into something more severe. If you forego basic check-ups due to cost, there’s every chance when something goes wrong and you do need to visit the dentist you’ll have to pay a much larger amount upfront.”
The Top Five Qualities You Should Look For in a Dentist
Taking care of your teeth is essential to maintaining a healthy, beautiful smile. A major component of caring for your teeth is seeing a general or family dentist for regular checkups. However, if you don’t have a dentist whom you regularly visit, choosing the best dentist for you can be tough — especially when there are approximately 195,941 licensed dentists currently practicing throughout the country.
Here are the top five qualities you should look for when choosing a dentist:
1. Tech-oriented: The best dentists see their education in the dental field as a lifelong effort, not just one that ends when they earn their degree in dentistry. As such, the best dentists will strive to keep their practices updated with the latest dental technology, making treatment more efficient than ever.
2. Passionate: You should choose a dentist with a passion for his or her career — a passion for providing the best dental care to patients that they can. The best dentists will share their knowledge of good dental hygiene with you.
3. Friendly: The best dentists are personable and friendly toward their patients. Because you’re going to be visiting his or her office every few months, it’s important to choose a dentist with whom you feel comfortable.
4. Considerate: The best general dentists understand that patients’ mouths are a sensitive place. No one wants to go to a dentist who will hurt your gums or teeth by scraping too hard!
5. Affordable: It should go without saying, but no one should have to spend a fortune on good dental care. The best dentist for you will provide the best dental treatments without charging extravagantly for their services.
Do You Need an Emergency Dental Appointment?
Dental emergencies are a common occurrence. While Americans place an emphasis on dental health — we spend approximately $775 million on toothbrushes each year — sometimes dental complications occur that we can’t predict or prevent. Emergency dental appointments when such a complication arises might not be ideal, but they are very important, to ensure your teeth stay healthy. After all, the longer you put off emergency dental appointments, the bigger that emergency can grow.
Here are some of the main signs that indicate the need for emergency dental appointments:
1. Long-lasting tooth pain: Tooth pain that lasts more than several days might be an indicator of tooth decay or a dental abscess. In any case, you should see an emergency dentist to evaluate the problem. The tooth pain might also be a sign of an untreated cavity. According to the CDC, about 15.6% of children aged 6 to 19 in the United States have untreated dental cavities, and approximately 23.7% of those aged 20-64 have untreated dental cavities.
2. Knocked out or broken tooth: Did you know about 30 million Americans are missing at least one tooth? Tooth loss can occur due to a number of reasons, including sports injuries, car accidents, physical altercations, disease or decay of the tooth itself, or in some cases just biting down on something very hard. If one or more of your teeth get knocked out or broken in an accident, it’s essential to go to an emergency dentist office for help. The longer you wait on emergency dental appointments, the less chance there is of the dentist being able to successfully re-implant your tooth! Immediately place the tooth in either milk or water to help keep it safe while you’re en route to your dental appointment.
3. A dental crown or tooth filling falling out: A dental crown or tooth filling can fall out for a number of reasons, including underlying tooth decay. To make sure your crown or filling is replaced quickly without leaving your sensitive tooth exposed, see an emergency dentist.
Did you know that the CDC reports that only 61.6% of people aged 18 to 64 have had a dental visit in the last year? A general dentist should provide a phone number with which you can make emergency dental appointments. Ask him or her today for information about emergency dental appointments so you can be prepared when one arises!
Four Different Types of Dentists, and How They Can Help You
Did you know that, according to a survey by USA Today, teeth are the number one thing single people judge in a potential partner? Both women and men rate good teeth as the most important “must have” — more important than shoes, clothes, or even hair.
There are many types of dentists available to work with your teeth. Although most dentists can do normal checkups, they frequently specialize in treating different types of problems. Here are four types of dentists, as well as what they can assist you with.
Orthodontic dentists specialize in treating improper bites, known as malocclusions. Treatment can alter tooth displacement, the development of the jaw, or both, depending on the needs of the patients. The most common method of doing this is attaching metal brackets to the patient’s teeth, and tightening the brackets together with a wire. Invisalign, which are plastic clear aligners, can also be used. (more…)
Debunking Four Common Myths About Cosmetic Dentistry
Studies show that Americans are spending an astonishing $775 million on toothbrushes every single year. If that seems like a lot, realize that experts recommend you replace your toothbrush at least three or four times a year. So, in that regard, it looks like we’re doing just fine.
But sometimes, brushing (and flossing) multiple times per day just isn’t enough. Some people are born with crooked teeth and require professional assistance to help straighten them out. Some are plagued with yellowing teeth. Some are simply missing their teeth altogether.
The cosmetic dentistry industry has been blossoming for years now, and it’s not surprising. Americans like to look good, and 74% of them even believe a healthy-looking smile can lead to lasting success in one’s chosen career path. Along the way, the cosmetic dental world has picked up a certain reputation — one that’s not entirely earned. Here are four of the common myths you may have heard:
Myth #1: I’m too old for cosmetic dentistry.
While you should always check with your doctor before deciding to undergo any form of surgery — emergency dentistry, cosmetic dentistry or otherwise — older patients can benefit from cosmetic dental work just the same as younger folks. Because teeth often continue to get worse as a person ages, cosmetic dental work can help a smile look five to 10 years younger simply from a few key procedures, like teeth whitening and even dental implants.
Myth #2: I can’t afford cosmetic dental work because it’s not covered by insurance.
That all depends on the situation. Because cosmetic dentistry often fixes the functionality of the teeth as well as their overall appearance, certain procedures may in fact be covered at least in part by your insurance provider. It’s always worth looking into before you book your next appointment.
Myth #3: I can whiten my teeth just as well with over-the-counter whitening strips.
Good luck trying. The reason certain whitening strips and at-home whitening kits are able to be sold in drugstores is because they’re simply not as powerful as what you’d get inside a cosmetic dentist‘s office. In-person whitening often utilizes peroxide-based agents that only dentists are certified to handle, making them much more effective than anything you’d get at the corner store.
Myth #4: I simply don’t have the time for cosmetic procedures.
Did you know that one whitening session requires only about an hour inside the dentist’s office? That dental implant surgery is advancing to where only one procedure (instead of three) is needed to embed the new root? That the best dentists can have you looking better and more professional with only one visit? These advancements have been made not only for your health, but also because modern life is hectic, and folks are always trying to plan around their busy schedules.
What You Need to Know About Cosmetic Dentistry
Before the advent of today’s go-anywhere communication devices, medical doctors were forced to rely on pagers to alert them to emergency developments with their patients. These emergency doctors, through split-second medical decisions, are able to save those patients who cling to life by a thread. Hollywood’s ceaseless portrayal of doctoral brilliance and valor only serves to perpetuate this wide-held view.
You don’t tend to hear too much about “emergency dentists,” though they’re another crucial aspect of the medical industry. Dentists won’t be performing open heart surgery, but they will be called in to restore the four teeth a young soccer player had kicked out of his mouth during a game. These cosmetic dentists are happy to put your front teeth back in after you lost them in a tavern scuffle, and of course, they never judge.
If you’ve only visited a general dentist to have your teeth cleaned to tweak your braces, you’ve really only experienced a small fraction of the wonders of modern oral care and innovation. For example, ever heard of dental implants? They’re essentially fake teeth, but they’re literally embedded into your jawbone like natural teeth. This ensures they won’t go anywhere once they’re put in place, and most implants can boast a 98% success rate.
What about whitening solutions? Ever felt like your smile could be a few shades lighter? Modern dental technology has developed a peroxide-based whitening solution designed to clean off the stains found in coffee, tea and tobacco that can darken your teeth. All it takes is a simple trip to the exam room and about an hour of your time.
Want to straighten your teeth without all the stigma attached to metal braces? Another innovation the cosmetic dentistry world has come up with is invisible braces, which are small plastic strips that are completely discreet when they’re inside the mouth. These have become popular with adults and even children who don’t wish to endure the speech problems and perceived negativity associated with traditional metal braces.
Cosmetic dentistry has become very much an art form, with sculptors creating the perfect artificial tooth and the surgeons implanting it with all the grace and precision of a classical painter. Scientists have even developed potent sedation tools to help you combat your dental anxieties and get back to chewing and smiling more quickly. It’s exactly this kind of innovation — coupled with the fact that an overwhelming majority of Americans believe in the importance of smiles as social assets — that’s allowed cosmetic dentistry industry to flourish.
Naturally Fresher Breath
Talking about your breath can be a sensitive subject. At Mint Dental we want our patients to know that they can talk to us about whatever dental concerns they have, without having to feel uncomfortable. Your breath speaks volumes about who you are, especially if you struggle with a displeasing odor. There are several steps you can take to help eliminate the root causes of bad breath, and naturally freshen it through the rest of the day. Here are some of the methods that we recommend:
Cleaning Your Tongue
Most odorous bacteria in your mouth are found directly on your tongue, hidden among the small papilla that covers its surface. Brushing these papilla isn’t always efficient. Instead, we recommend using a tongue scraper. These flexible plastic devices are swiped over your tongue and visible remove large amounts of the above-mentioned bacteria. Use it once a day or every time you brush; you’ll be surprised when you see the results.
Use A Drop or Two of an Oral-Blend Essential Oils Mixture
Many popular over the counter rinses are made using essential oils as their key ingredient. A drop or two of essential oils like mint or an oral-blend directly to your toothbrush can eliminate odor-causing bacteria and leave your breath fresh for hours after use.
Floss the Areas that Collect Food
Food traps between teeth can cause deep pockets of packed food to be held for hours, or even sometimes days, between your teeth. You can just imagine what this smells like. While flossing may be annoying, removing that debris so that it can’t start causing a stench is very, very important.
Get Regular Cleanings
Visiting Mint Dental for routine preventive care appointments allows us to remove bacterial plaque and tartar from your teeth and root surfaces. Otherwise, those diseased areas with active gum infections can cause breath to be so bad that it can be smelt across the room.
Use an Electric Toothbrush
Routine removal of plaque bacteria is the simplest way to improve your breath, but your manual toothbrush might not be doing a good enough job. When you visit us at your cleaning, as us which electric toothbrush would be best for your individual oral health needs.
Mint Dental patients know that while we care for your teeth, we also care for the way you feel about your smile. Helping you have fresh breath is just one of the many ways we provide customized care to you and your family.
Recovering from an Extraction
Losing a tooth isn’t fun, but it can be a positive experience when you take the care and necessary steps to caring for your dental extraction site so that it can heal properly.
Avoid smoking, carbonated beverages, and drinking through a straw. Why? All of these can prevent proper healing and cause you to develop a dry socket at the site of the extraction. A dry socket occurs when the blood clot fails to form properly or comes out of the extraction site (due to smoking, carbonation or sucking through a straw.) It’s the smart thing to do to avoid these items until your mouth has healed.
Take medication as directed. We may prescribe an antibiotic or pain reliever for you to use after your surgery. It’s important to follow the directions on your medication in order to fully eliminate bacterial infections or prevent discomfort.
Keep hot and cold compresses handy. On the day of your procedure, alternating warm and cold compresses on the side of your face can help reduce or eliminate any swelling that might occur.
Rinse with warm salt water to keep the area clean of food debris. Gentle rinsing with warm water helps to flush food from the area without irritating it with a toothbrush. Adding salt to the water naturally reduces inflammation of your oral tissues.
Soft, cold foods are your friend. Pudding, gelatin or ice-cream are all excellent foods to have on hand after your procedure, because they don’t require any chewing. The cold temperature also helps with discomfort. If you’re up for warmer foods, try mashed potatoes or warm soup.
Most extraction sites will heal completely within 2 weeks of the procedure. Should you experience complications, pain, swelling, or something doesn’t feel just quite right, you should call Mint Dental right away. We’ll get you in to see one of our doctors to ensure that everything is healing nicely, and help you if it isn’t. It’s our goal to provide only the best dental treatment possible as well as preserve the health and comfort of each one of our patients.
Oral Cancer Screenings
It’s not just smokers and people that drink alcohol who are at risk for developing oral cancer. New studies show that people in their 20s and 30s are more at risk than ever, partly due to HPV, the virus that also causes cervical cancers. The American Cancer Society predicts that each year, more than 30,000 new oral cancer cases are diagnosed. This is what makes it so important for us as a dental health care provider to offer oral cancer screenings as a part of every patient’s visit to Mint Dental.
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Mint Dental Alaska
Our Anchorage dentists will provide the absolute best dental care at prices you can afford.
Our emergency dentists in Anchorage are always available.
2665 E. Tudor Rd, Suite 300
Anchorage, AK 99507
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