We want to see you for regular checkups and cleanings — and we hope that’s all we need to see you for. In a perfect world, all our patients would brush at least twice a day, floss daily, eat healthy diets, and drink mostly water. Unfortunately, most of us are falling short of this ideal.
But we’re here to help. Read these statistics; maybe they’ll inspire you to grab your toothbrush. Surprising Statistics About Oral Hygiene
One in five American adults has not seen a dentist recently. Although 52 percent of adults are visiting their dentists every six months, one in five hasn’t been to the dentist in the last few years. Men are less likely than women to see their dentists for regular preventive care. And according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, 23 percent of children age 2–11 have never been to the dentist.
Kids should have their first dentist appointment by their first birthday, or when their first tooth appears.
A whopping 92 percent of adults have had cavities at some point in their lives. One-quarter of adults have untreated tooth decay right now, and 47 percent of adults have untreated periodontal disease—the leading cause of tooth loss.
42 percent of children age 2–11 have had cavities in their primary teeth. And sadly, 23 percent of them have untreated cavities. Over 86 percent of children will have tooth decay in at least one tooth by age 17. Although tooth decay in children declined from the 70s to the mid-90s, it is now on the rise again, and in even younger children. This is likely due to increased sugar consumption — not just in candy, soda, and sweets but also in “energy” or “sports” drinks, which have tons of sugar. Water is always the best choice!
Supervise young children while they brush and floss in order to teach them good dental hygiene and help prevent tooth decay. If kids need extra help (or think they’re fun), electric toothbrushes contribute to longer, more thorough brushing. Also, consider sealants for your child’s molars — they reduce the risk of cavities by 80 percent.
One-third of adults never floss their teeth. Did you see a news article a couple of years ago that declared that flossing doesn’t actually do anything for your oral health? It just isn’t true! Have you seen what comes out of your mouth when you floss? Remember, you only need to floss the teeth you want to keep!
The flossing statistics take an uneven split along gender lines. Men are less likely to floss than women, with 39 percent of men reporting that they never floss versus 27 percent of women.
About a third of Americans don’t brush their teeth at least twice per day. As with flossing, the ladies are ahead on this one. Although 57 percent of women brush their teeth at least twice per day, only 49 percent of men do. And 23 percent of Americans have gone two or more days without brushing in the last year. Ew!
One-third of Americans (mostly women) have made their partners brush their teeth before kissing. Well, there’s another reason to maintain good oral health!
Men are more likely to develop gum disease than women. Possibly related to the brushing and flossing statistics above, about one-fifth of women ages 30–54 have gum disease, whereas one-third of men in the same age group have it.
If you don’t want to become a statistic, please:
Brush at least twice a day,
Floss once a day,
Cleaning teeth every a few months,
See your dentist regularly, not just after something has gone wrong. Not only will dentists help you get your teeth shiny-clean, but regular visits allow them to spot problems while they’re small and easy to fix, before they become big problems.