With the vast advancements in the dental field this last decade, it may be surprising to learn that untreated cavities are still a prevalent and persistent issue for many people in the United States. More than one in five Americans has untreated cavities and periodontitis, according to Dr. Bruce Dye, an epidemiologist at the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. “It appears that we haven’t been able to make any significant strides during the last decade to reduce untreated cavities” (Dye). This is in part attributed to economic conditions. With more Americans relying on Medicaid, most states have eliminated dental benefits in order to ease strain on stressed budgets.
The good news is that Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provide dental coverage for disadvantaged children, reducing the rates of children needing urgent dental care. Some studies have even suggested that American children are getting the same general level of dental care, regardless of income. The report found that rates of cavities were similar across all age groups, with teens having the lowest rates. Among children aged 5-11, 20% had untreated cavities, compared to 13% of those aged 12-19. Among children and teens, 27% had at least one dental sealant. (Everyday Health)
While comprehensive dental coverage is an undeniably large factor in the prevention and treatment of gum disease and cavities, you can lower your odds of developing dental issues through healthy lifestyle choices. Practicing good dental hygiene by regularly brushing and flossing is essential. Cutting back on sugary drinks and unhealthy snacks that feed the bacteria that lead to tooth decay is another controllable element in cavity prevention. Regular dental visits are also paramount. When problems are identified and treated early, it prevents the necessity for more costly and invasive procedures. If you are experiencing sensitivity or pain, schedule an appointment today.
Dental Health of San Francisco
2407 Noriega Street
San Francisco, CA 94122
Phone: (415) 682-2368
Happy Spring 2015
As we move out of winter, you may be changing your frame of mind from “Snuggly winter days…” to “Time for spring cleaning!” Have you ever considered a dental spring cleaning? If you can spring clean your home, why not your teeth?! Here are three easy points to focus on:
- Healthy eating
- Tooth care
- Dental check-up
When your tummy rumbles, instead of reaching for a bag of chips, grab some veggie sticks or slice up an apple! We understand the convenience of snack foods as well as the deal you get when purchasing a bulk pack. But most of these things lack nutritional value and do not fare well on your body, health or mouth. Create a goal to reach for a healthy snack to fill the nutritional craving your body is after. Your waistline and teeth will thank you!
Foods that are high in sugar wreak havoc on your teeth contribute to the start of cavities. Food consistency also plays a role in oral health. Very hard foods can harm the surfaces of your teeth, and there’s also the potential to cause significant damage by cracking or chipping a tooth!
Reach For Pass On
||Hard and Sticky Foods
|Low Fat/ Fat Free Yogurt
|Low Fat/ Fat Free Cheese
- Are you attentively brushing your teeth twice a day for 2-minutes?
- Are you flossing daily (or at all)?
- Have you changed your toothbrush in the last 3 months?
When brushing your teeth spend the full 2 minutes taking care to cover the front and back of each individual tooth. Before finishing up – give your tongue a once over as well! Many toothbrushes have a built in tongue brusher on the back of the toothbrush head. Toothbrushes do wear out. They can fray and lose the sturdiness to properly clean your teeth. Toothbrushes should be replaced about every three months.
Flossing cleans about 40% of your teeth surfaces. Remember to reach your very back teeth. Flossing helps to lessen plaque build-up and helps prevent gum disease.
Remember how great your mouth feels after a dental cleaning in our office? Now that the holidays have come to a close, your teeth may be in need of a professional cleaning. Call Dental Health of San Francisco for a dental check-up and cleaning. Check-ups are recommended every 6 months unless you are experiencing a problem area in your mouth. And, if that is the case, call us as soon as possible. Whenever you are in pain or have a question, call us.
Now that you have these things fresh on your mind, you are ready to take charge of spring! And you can do so with a bright shining and CLEAN smile!
Dr. N. “William” Quach
Dr. Chalene Chen
2407 Noriega Street
San Francisco, CA 94122-4241