Reader beware, you may be in for a scare! With Halloween looming in the distance like a harvest moon, it’s time to brush away the dust from the grimoires of oral health. Within these volumes, you’ll find the most frightening statistics about oral health to date.
If you enjoy a fabulous fright, continue reading. You just may get your wish from the monkey’s paw.
If You Are Easily Scared, Skip This Section
Some of the most frightening features of oral health lie just below, creeping in the darkness of your mouth!
- Among adults (20–64 years old), 27% have untreated dental decay and almost 90% have cavities.
- Approximately 18% of kids between the ages of 5 and 19 have untreated cavities.
- In one way or another, gum disease affects around 47% of adults (30–64) and 70% of seniors (65 and older).
- Among seniors 65 years of age and above, 25% had lost every tooth.
- In the previous year, more than 38% of individuals (aged 18 to 64) did not visit the dentist.
These stats paint a pretty bleak picture of adherence to oral health practices. You could have a cavity right now. The children aren’t safe from the ravages of tooth decay. Older adults are very likely to lose all their teeth and contract gum disease. Worst of all, many are choosing to navigate this harrowing predicament themselves with no help from their dentist!
If You Wish to Protect Your Oral Health…
Don’t panic just yet, there are ways you may yet avoid becoming a part of this statistical zombie horde. Here are a few ways to shield your teeth this Halloween:
One of the biggest indicators when it comes to cavities is contact time with sugar. Eating candy throughout the day is far worse than chowing down all at once. This offers a smaller window for the bacterial plaque on your teeth to continue producing acid. In turn, this lowers your odds of tooth decay by limiting the amount of time the sugary candy sits on your pearly whites.
Make Smart Candy Choices
There are so many varieties of candy it’s hard to know where to turn to for tooth-friendly treats. Here are the biggest offenders you should avoid:
- Sticky Candy – Gummys, caramels, toffee
- Candy that Sits in Your Mouth – Suckers, jawbreakers, Jolly Ranchers
- Acidic Candies – Sourpatch Kids, Warheads
See Your Dentist
The Smartest move you could make as you navigate Halloween night is to make an appointment for after the holiday. The sooner you can get this appointment on the books, the better. After all, who knows what may be lurking inside your mouth at this very moment?
While it can be off-putting to look at some of these large statistical numbers, it doesn’t have to unnerve you. Brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing regularly could help you create your own peace of mind. One night of sweet treats won’t be the end of your oral health but beware the shadows of complacency.
About the Author
S. John Salivonchik is a skilled and friendly dentist who understands how scary navigating your oral health can be. For over 20 years, he’s been restoring smiles and lifting spirits (but not raising them). He earned his Doctor of Dental Medicine at Temple Dental School, and has since then expanded his knowledge and skills through multiple professional organizations like The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and the Pennsylvania Dental Association. To schedule an appointment at S. John Salivonchik, DMD, PC, call (610) 502-1545 or visit the website to learn more.