According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Roughly 78 percent of Americans have had at least one cavity by age 17.
- 80 percent of the U.S. population has some form of periodontal (gum) disease.
- In 2007, Americans made about 500 million visits to dentists and spent an estimated $98.6 billion on dental services.
- Between 2005-2008, 16 percent of children ages 6-19 and 23 percent of adults 20-64 had untreated cavities.
- Dental fluorosis (overexposure to fluoride) is higher in adolescents than in adults and highest among those aged 12–15.
- Most adults show signs of periodontal or gingival diseases. Severe periodontal disease affects approximately 14 percent of adults aged 45-54.
- 23 percent of 65-74 year olds have severe periodontal disease
- Men are more likely than women to have more severe dental diseases.
- Oral cancer occurs twice as frequently in men as women.
- Three out of four patients don’t change their toothbrush as often as is recommended. Toothbrushes should be changed every two to three months and after illnesses.
Oral hygiene greatly affects overall long-term health, and promotes a more confident you. When it comes to dental care, prevention through daily cleaning and regular visits to the dentist’s office is better not only for your health, but for your budget. That's why it's important for parents to play a key role in reinforcing smart oral hygiene habits. Kids are likely to follow in the footsteps of those who set positive examples and will carry those healthy habits through their own adult lives. Remember, whatever your age, it’s never too late to take a serious stand in keeping your teeth healthy and your smile confident.
References: Medline Plus: Child Dental Health