The United States might be the most technologically advanced and economically developed country in the world, yet, according to the American Dental Association, 75 percent of American adults suffer from gum disease and do not even know it. Most likely your first reaction to the above statistic is one of disbelief. Then you are probably left wondering how this is possible in a country that spent more than 106 billion dollars on dental care during 2010.
While the large number of Americans with gum disease should be troubling enough, it is more disturbing that only 48 percent of incoming American kindergarten children visited a dentist during the previous year. What is the consequence of this dental neglect? Well, tooth decay now has become the most common preventable illness suffered by American children.
For those of us who are part of the fortunate 80 percent who are covered by dental insurance, we cannot imagine going a year without a dental cleaning and a thorough oral exam. Then again, since three quarters of American adults have some form of gum disease, it is obvious that many people with dental insurance coverage are not doing enough in terms of at home dental hygiene.
According to the top dental associations and dental hygiene associations, all people should spend two to three minutes brushing after every meal and floss at least once daily. It is also important to remember that brushing more than three times each day might be too much, and may lead to the erosion of enamel.
Although dentists are capable of some amazing things, it is easier to spend a few extra minutes each day maintaining your dental hygiene than enduring the cost, discomfort, and loss of time involved with dental repair. All the information on dental hygiene one will ever need is available on the American Dental Association website.