Did you know that a 2013 survey of Los Angeles residents with dental insurance found that 51% delayed dental care because of concerns about the cost?
This doesn’t surprise us, but it does cause us a lot of concern.
When times are tight and funds are limited, it can be difficult to spend money on things you don’t want to do, such as going to the dentist. Sometimes it might sound like a good financial decision to skip your biannual visit to the dentist or ignore a toothache, but the truth is, it’s not.
Brushing and flossing alone cannot replace a professional teeth cleaning at a dentist’s office. Plaque and tartar can build up in hard-to-reach areas, and if not removed, it will compromise your oral health. Additionally, your dentist’s examinations can detect problems like tooth decay early enough to keep the fixes relatively simple.
If financial concerns keep you from going to the dentist, maybe you can think about it like this: the money you spend on maintaining your oral health and addressing dental concerns as they arise can actually save you money by preventing the need for complex and expensive dental treatments in the future. And besides the money, taking care of your teeth now can also prevent untold amounts of discomfort, pain, and shame resulting from poor dental hygiene and infrequent visits to the dentist.
Before you delay your dental care, consider the following negative effects that poor dental hygiene can have over the course of your life.
- A national survey found that nearly 1 in 7 children ages 6 – 12 reported having a toothache in the previous six months.
- Children with poor oral health are 3 times more likely to miss school due to dental pain.
- Children reporting recent toothaches were found 4 times more likely to have a lower grade point average than peers reporting no dental pain.
- According to the American Dental Association’s 2011 survey of dental fees, the average cost of a dental filling is $171. Other studies have found that due to the necessity of filling repairs and replacements over time, the lifetime cost of a single cavity is around $2000. For a decayed molar, the number can jump to $6000 or more.
- In 2009, Americans made over 800,000 visits to hospital emergency rooms for dental conditions that could have been prevented.
- Oral infections can lead to systemic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, bacterial pneumonia, and diabetes mellitus, as well as strokes.
- Tooth loss due to poor oral health is also a risk factor for memory loss and early stage Alzheimer’s.
- A 2008 study found that people with missing front teeth are perceived more negatively than people with “full dentition” on all social traits, including: attractiveness, intelligence, trustworthiness, health status, and friendship.
At Soft Touch Dental, we don’t want to scare you with these facts and statistics. We want you to understand the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene and visiting your dentist regularly. We know it’s not on the top of the list of things you want to do with your time and money. But we’ve seen the toll it can take on a person’s physical and emotional health – as well as their finances – when they don’t. You owe it to your future self to practice good dental hygiene now. Call us at (858) 877-9411 for an appointment. We promise to help make you as comfortable as possible while we take care of your smile.