Oral Health Survey Contains Some Shocking Results
A new survey carried out by the American Dental Association has provided a worrying insight into the approach to dental care taken by many people, and the misconceptions which people have regarding issues of dental hygiene and good health. Correcting these mistaken assumptions will go a long way towards improving the overall dental health of the general population.
According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), nine out of ten adults between the ages of twenty and sixty four have had cavities in their permanent teeth, whilst nearly half of all children aged between two and eleven years have developed cavities in their baby teeth. Although dental problems are usually taken somewhat for granted, and not really treated as being a disease, that’s exactly what they are, and, what’s more, dental problems are the most common chronic disease amongst children.
Oral health isn't just a question of looking after your teeth and caring about the appearance of your smile. Healthy teeth are often a sign of general good health, and the build-up of plaque and the bacteria which accompanies it has been linked to other illnesses, such as heart disease. Raising awareness of good dental health practice is therefore vital, and a survey such as this, which questioned 1,500 adults, will go a long way towards providing the information upon which future education programmes can be built.
Amongst the facts which the survey uncovered are the following:
- 90% of the people surveyed believed that teeth should be brushed after every meal, whereas research has actually shown that this can be damaging, driving dangerous acids further into the enamel of the teeth. The actual advice is to give your teeth a good clean twice every day.
- 81% of the people surveyed thought that cavities are caused by sugar. The actual reality is that sugar on the teeth attracts germs which feed on it, and it’s the germs themselves that create the acid which attacks the enamel and causes cavities.
- 75% of people don't know the age at which it is appropriate to take a child to the dentist for the first time. The actual recommendation is that a child should be taken for an examination less than six months after their first tooth appears and before their first birthday.
- 65% of the people surveyed thought that they should replace their toothbrush twice a year. The actual recommendation is that it be replaced every three months.
- 59% of the people surveyed did not realise that the germs which cause cavities can, in fact, be passed from person to person.
What these findings indicate is that, even in a country with the excellent dental health reputation of America, there are massive and very worrying gaps in people’s knowledge. The irony is that it has never been easier than it now is to access treatments which not only keep your teeth healthy and well, but also offer the possibility of transforming the appearance of you smile until it is something which fills you with a sense of confidence and well-being. A treatment such as invisalign, known as ‘invisible braces’ for example, can shift your teeth until they're perfectly straight, whilst being unobtrusive enough to let you get on with the rest of your life.
Finding out exactly how to go about looking after your teeth is the first step towards having the smile you’ve always wanted. Modern orthodontics techniques can do so much more than just keep your teeth healthy, with treatments such as invisalign and the fitting of a dental implant offering the chance to totally transform the appearance of your smile.
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