More than one-third (35%) of Americans who regularly visit the dentist have cut back, according to a recent public opinion survey conducted by Oral Health America (OHA), a national nonprofit organization.
“In today’s economy, Americans are delaying their oral health care,” Beth Truett, President and CEO of OHA, said. “Lower-income families, in particular, have a difficulty accessing oral health resources yet have the desire to provide better care for their families.”
In addition to having financial issues, many Americans are not fully informed about dental and orthodontic treatment options. Forty-three percent of parents surveyed said they were not very or not at all knowledgeable about dental sealants, and 32% said they were not at all or not very knowledgeable about braces. About one-quarter of parents (26%) said they were not knowledgeable about "tooth-friendly" foods.
OHA is a partner with Smiles Change Lives (SCL), a national charity that helps low-income families access affordable orthodontic care for their children. "This survey further reinforces the need for an organization like SCL, which finds the children who may be falling through the cracks and assists families in getting braces for their kids," said Kelly Toombs, DDS, of SCL (pictured). "More importantly, braces correct not only the appearance of teeth, but align the teeth correctly to prevent tooth loss and tooth decay for a lifetime."