At Family Dentistry of Colorado Springs, we want every family member to enjoy a healthy, great-looking smile. But research suggests that some family members take their oral health more seriously than others. In the U.S., women have better oral hygiene habits, including scheduling more proactive dental appointments, when compared to men, according to a new study published in the Journal of Dentistry.
Women surveyed in the study were more consistent about proactively visiting a dentist when compared to men, whose poor oral health habits may place them at a higher risk for dental diseases like tooth decay and gingivitis. The research team suggests that dentists, dental hygienists, and family members may need to take a more proactive approach to convince men to take better care of their oral health.
“Despite nationally stated goals to reduce oral health disparities, our study confirms a persistent gap in preventive and routine dental care between men and women,” wrote researchers.
The Importance of Quality Oral Health Shouldn’t be Minimized
Quality oral health remains the cornerstone of protecting overall health, but many people remain unaware of the importance of healthy teeth and gums. Previous research has found that women generally perceive oral health as having a significant impact on quality of life, demonstrate more knowledge about oral health, and feel more positive about visiting a dentist than men.
To gain a more thorough understanding of the relationship between oral health and gender, researchers examined data from over 4,700 women and men who took part in the 2017-2018 National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey. All participants were over 30 and had their health data adjusted for demographic variables.
When the study participants were asked when they last visited a dentist, men responded much differently than women. Approximately 54 percent of women reported visiting a dentist within the last six months or less compared to roughly 46 percent of men.
Furthermore, women were more likely to schedule an appointment on their own or when treatment of a condition that their dentist identified during an earlier exam was required. Comparatively, men were more likely to visit a dentist in response to being called in by the dentist or when in discomfort due to a dental issue.
A lack of proactive preventative dental care increases men’s risk for developing oral health problems like gingivitis and tooth decay. By scheduling dental care regularly, not just when in discomfort, women are more likely to enjoy better oral health than men.
Schedule Your Next Appointment at Family Dentistry of Colorado Springs
Dental care is a fundamental part of protecting your overall health. Research has shown that individuals who develop gum disease and tooth decay have a significantly higher risk of developing a range of chronic illnesses, including heart disease, diabetes, dementia, and stroke. By avoiding or delaying dental care, you allow harmful bacteria to attack the foundation of your oral health, making gum disease and tooth decay likely.
Men and women have the same oral health care needs, but women are far more likely to take the time and make an effort to schedule regular care. Don’t neglect your oral health. Contact our team today to schedule your next dental exam and cleaning at Family Dentistry of Colorado Springs.