Americans Love to Smile
Americans love to smile. Keeping those pearly whites nice and white should be a priority for everyone to maintain a great smile and a healthy life. Having good teeth and healthy gums provides overall good health, and studies have shown that oral hygiene is critical to maintaining a healthy body.
Reports by all dental sources and surveys indicate that poor dental maintenance leads to poor health and potentially fatal results if not addressed in a timely basis. According to Dr. Robert Schwartz at NYSmile.com, regular cleanings with an office promote good oral hygiene, but did you know you can also prevent a multitude of diseases?
That two o'clock chair-side rendezvous may not seem nearly as exciting as a late lunch with a friend, but it will be well worth it in the end.
Here are 10 great reasons to stick with your regular cleaning schedule:
It Prevents Oral Cancer - You may or may not realize that you're screened for oral cancer during your regular dental cleaning. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, one American dies of oral cancer every hour of every day. It's a sad proposition, especially when you consider that it is highly curable with early diagnosis.
It Wards off Gum Disease - Gum disease (an infection in the gum tissues and bone that keep your teeth in place) is one of the leading causes of adult tooth loss. It can be treated and reversed if diagnosed early. Unfortunately, not receiving treatment will lead to a more serious and advanced state of gum disease. Regular cleanings and check-ups and daily brushing and flossing are key weapons in the fight against these conditions.
It's about more than Your Mouth - Sure, not getting regular check-ups may make you less kissable, but did you know that studies have linked heart attacks and strokes to gum disease associated with poor oral hygiene? A trip to your dentist's office every six months could reduce your risk of serious health problems.
You Want to Preserve Your Smile - As mentioned, gum disease is one of the leading causes of tooth loss in adults. To keep your pearly whites intact, stick with your cleaning schedule.
It's Best to Detect Dental Problems Early - We've already touched upon early detection of gum disease and oral cancer, but don't overlook more basic dental problems. Cavities and broken fillings are easy to treat. Without regular trips to the dentist, these problems can lead to root canals, gum surgery and tooth extraction. Which sounds worse: a 30-minute cleaning or an hour under the knife?
You Want to Know You're Doing It Right - Maybe you bought a fancy new electric toothbrush, or aren't keeping up with what current research has to say about caring for your teeth. Either way, check-ups allow us to examine your mouth and keep you on the right path.
You Have Dental Insurance - Consider how much money you put into your insurance plan. Take advantage of your plan and save a lot of money in the long run by avoiding costly procedures that result from poor dental habits.
You Want to Upgrade Your Smile - If you're already suffering from tooth decay or gum problems, regular appointments will allow our office to create a personalized treatment plan that will give you the best smile possible.
You Want to Dazzle - Regular cleanings remove most tobacco, coffee and tea stains, polishing your teeth to a beautiful shine!
You Need Some Time Alone - Okay, maybe not completely alone, but the time you spend in the waiting room and in the chair is really your time. You can forget about the office or the stresses of family life. Take advantage of the time you're given, rather than worrying about how to fit it in your tight schedule. Your health and well-being should never take a back seat to your daily planner.
According to Consumer Guide for Dentistry, dental hygiene is the process by which preventative dental care is provided to avoid dental emergencies. At the core of dental hygiene is the in-home dental care regimen. A dental regimen must be supplemented with professional preventative dental care provided by dentists and licensed dental hygienists.
While individuals are responsible for day-to-day dental maintenance, dental hygienists, along with general dentists, family dentists and cosmetic dentists, play an integral role in preventative oral care. Tooth brushing is fundamentally important, though it single-handedly will not remove the dental plaque that builds up over time. Dental plaque must be removed to lower the risk of toothaches, cavities, periodontal disease or even the loss of all your teeth.
By removing plaque, the chances of needing root canals, tooth extractions, dental bridges, crowns and more are reduced. The Guide, found at YourDentistryGuide.com, reports that plaque builds up on the teeth over time. If plaque forms below the gum line, bacteria can invade and create a host of other dental problems. Furthermore, the surfaces and areas between the teeth and under the gum line must be maintained and treated on a regular basis in order to ensure proper dental hygiene.
These areas are often impossible for you to examine yourself; they require a professional touch. Regular dental visits are critical at any age for the maintenance of dental hygiene. The American Dental Association recommends that patients visit with their dentist and dental hygienist a minimum of two times each year to maintain proper dental hygiene.
According to Colgate.com, maintaining good oral hygiene is one of the most important things you can do for your teeth and gums. Healthy teeth not only enable you to look and feel good, they make it possible to eat and speak properly. Good oral health is important to your overall well-being.
Daily preventive care, including proper brushing and flossing, will help stop problems before they develop and are much less painful, expensive and worrisome than treating conditions that have been allowed to progress. In between regular visits to the dentist, there are simple steps that each of us can take to greatly decrease the risk of developing tooth decay, gum disease, and other dental problems.
These steps include:
- Brushing thoroughly twice a day and flossing daily.
- Eating a balanced diet and limiting snacks between meals.
- Using dental products that contain fluoride, including toothpaste.
- Rinsing with a fluoride mouth rinse if your dentist tells you to.
- Making sure your children drink fluoridated water or take a fluoride supplement if they live in a non-fluoridated area.
Modern dental technology has reached a point where saving a tooth is exceedingly possible, no matter the condition of that tooth, according to Healthy.Net. There are dentists available on virtually every corner with advertisements in newspapers, yellow pages and even bus stop benches beckoning the consumer to pay them a visit. There is dental insurance, dental office payment plans and dental schools offering low cost dentistry and discount plans.
However, statistics indicate many people are still not making the routine six month visit to their dentist. Whether it's due to lack of insurance, fear or other reasons, many individuals wait until there is pain before making a dental appointment. Prevention is not a hard concept to understand and carry out, once you know the consequences of disease.
Preventing disease in the mouth follows the same path as preventing disease in any other organ in the body. With the mouth it's even simpler since you can see inside the mouth. It is much simpler to detect and treat illness at the early stages than waiting until it has advanced.
There are only six-in-ten Americans - 59.3 percent-receiving health care through their employers, according to the Center for American Progress. Some people purchase individual dental insurance that can be expensive, have waiting periods and pre-existing condition exclusions.
There are also several leading discount dental plans through companies, like Careington (www.careington.com), Aetna (www.VitalSavingsbyAetna.com), and Dentalplans.com that allow you to visit a participating dentist and receive significant savings at the time of service from general dentists and specialists for oral surgery, periodontal work, orthodontia and more.
Payments as low as $10-$15 a month for a family can be found that provide huge savings between 20% and 60% for most all procedures. A family can save hundreds of dollars or more on dental care using a discount plan. There are several advantages for consumers:
- Nationwide access to providers with no penalty for changing dentists.
- No waiting. You can use your plan immediately with any participating provider.
- No limit on the amount of work to be done. You can use your plan as often as you need and the membership rates will typically never increase for your plan.
- The entire household is automatically included in your membership.
- There are no contracts and no forms to fill out at the dentist when you use your plan.
- You receive immediate savings at the time of service.
- Low monthly membership fees.
- Discount plans can be used in conjunction with some insurance plans.
- You can use your pre-tax flex dollars (FSA/HRA/HSA) to pay for procedures.
- You can cancel your plan at any time with no penalties.
Visit a dentist on a regular basis and practice good oral hygiene consistently to maintain your health. Brushing your teeth is the best way to keep your smile and your health.
About the Author
Mark Roberts has almost 30 years experience in sales and marketing in the tax, insurance, health care and investment markets. As the Manager of National Accounts for Careington International, Mark serves as the account manager to Careington clients including financial institutions, insurance companies and national association groups.
As a licensed life, health and accident insurance agent, Mark regularly participates in employer benefit enrollments for worksite products offered through Careington's affiliate, Core Five Solutions, a nationwide insurance agency and licensed third party administrator. In addition, Mark maintains a health care blog, www.yourbesthealthcare.blogspot.com ,and contributes dental and medical articles to the Cypress Time, www.thecypresstimes.com.
Careington International Corporation is a licensed Discount Medical Plan Organization. Dedicated to improving the health and well-being of individuals, Careington's health and wellness solutions are designed to complement traditional health insurance and provide substantial savings for under-insured or uninsured individuals.
Careington combines its flagship non-insurance discount plans with insurance plans administered through its affiliate, Core Five Solutions, Inc., to create cost-effective solutions that improve the affordability and accessibility of quality health care. For more information, call (866) 222-2558 or visit www.careington.com.