Thursday, March 10th, 2016
People of all ages need regular dental care. Regular dental care saves health care dollars in the long run by preventing gum disease and managing dental decay.
The National Center for Health Statistics completed a survey of the percentage of patients who had at least one dental visit in 2013.
The good news — over 80% of children aged 2 to 17 visited the dentist. The bad news — only about 60% of adults over age 65 visited the dentist. The survey also confirmed that women were more likely to visit the dentist than men.
Men, in general, tend to visit any type of health care practitioner less than women. In dentistry, this is reflected in more gum disease and eventually possible tooth loss. The good news among the sexes is that men have slightly increased their dental visits between the 2010 survey and the 2013 numbers. Come on guys, make and appointment and reap all the benefits of a healthy smile!
Among adults aged 18 to 64, almost 2/3 of women visited the dentist every year but those numbers drop off after age 65. The survey did not cite reasons for the decline in dental visits. Perhaps it is because Medicare does not include dental coverage or perhaps it is because homebound seniors do not have easy access to dental care. Because oral bacteria and the inflammation from gum disease has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers and Alzheimer’s disease it is vitally important for those over 65 to continue regular dental visits and maintain good oral health. A healthy smile can impact both quality of life and longevity.
As we age it is important to remember that those old fillings and dental crowns don’t last forever. They last a really long time considering they are used many times a day, every single day, but eventually they will need to be replaced. If it has been a while since your last dental visit please contact Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today at 706-391-8777 to schedule your appointment.