Almost all adults (997%) surveyed by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry believe a health smile is socially important.
And why not? A healthy smile is indicative of many positive behavioral qualities: the ability to keep strong a new habit, the ability to take pride in one’s appearance, and the ability, simply put, to look healthy and attractive.
A healthy smile is important, which is why it’s so shocking that more Americans don’t go to a dentist. Recent statistics suggest:
- The average time people went between dental visits was three years
- 100 million Americans each year don’t go to the dentist
This is still when 82.5% of people said they saw a significant difference in their teeth when they have their teeth whitened by a dentist. And to further accentuate the problem: 74% of adults think an unattractive smile can hurt them professionally, which is according to a survey by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.
So, it appears that though Americans value a brighter, cleaner smile, they (or adults at least) don’t go to the dentist as often as they should. Some possible reasons include the sometimes uncomfortable nature of going to the dentist, where sharp metallic objects are probed into the mouth while the patient sits prone in the chair. Cost may be another consideration, as some Americans don’t have dental insurance.
For Americans, even dental hygiene is not a strong practice.
Three quarters of Americans don’t replace their tooth brushes as often as they should.
There are several important tips for keeping good dental hygiene, including the following list:
- Brush twice a day, for two minutes each time, to scrape of plaque
- Brush with a fluoridated toothpaste, as that helps to remove bacteria
- Floss daily to remove plaque that a toothbrush can’t reach
- Avoid cigarettes and chewing tobacco, which can cause gum disease and cancer
- Visit the dentist regularly for cleanings and exams; this can help catch early signs of gum disease as well as treat cavities and other issues
The importance of regularly scheduled dental visits cannot be overstated. While many think of the dentist as just an opportunity to check for cavities and get a cleaning, going to the dentist has health benefits far beyond the “just check how my teeth are doing”. They include:
- 90% of all systemic diseases have early oral manifestations
- These include diabetes, pancreatic cancer, kidney disease, heart disease, oral cancer, even leukemia
- These illnesses can show up as swollen gums, mouth ulcers, dry mouth, and excessive gum problems
- Gum disease can also be seen as showing complications with stroke or heart disease, as well as pre-term, low weight births in pregnant women
One of the most tricky procedures when it comes to dentistry is the crown. A crown is used when a large cavity threatens to overtake the entire tooth or implant. Crowns can be made of many materials and are often shiny metallic colors.
The process of fitting crowns is often through an indirect method. Generally, in this case, a mold is taken of a person’s teeth and cast using hardening enamel. This allows the dentist to design crowns using the mold for perfect fits.
Once the enamel has been cast and the tooth has been analyzed for crown fitting, the dentist may strategize on how much of the tooth to take out. This depends on how large the cavity is and determines the material the tooth will be crowned with. An example is in a certain case the dentist might use .5 millimeters of gold. Since gold is such a strong material, only a small amount has to be used.
However, if a dentists (and patient) wishes to have porcelain on top of the gold (to remove the effects of a gold shiny tooth), an additional 1 millimeter may have to be incised, adding to the layer of material in the tooth.
Crowns go along with the idea of implants, which are artificial teeth used to replace those that are rotten or decayed. In 2006, there were over 5 million implants performed by dentists in the United States, and each year 500,000 people have a dental implant procedure.
If you’re experiencing tooth pain, gum pain, bleeding gums, or face and mouth pain, think about seeing a dentist. They relieve the pain and make for cleaner teeth.