The Surgeon General’s first report on oral health observes that dental cavities are the most common childhood health problem – 5 times more common than asthma. More than 50% of children ages 5 to 9 have at least one filling.
One of South Florida’s best cosmetic dentists, Dr. Charles Nottingham, observes “We lack adequate access to dental care for many Americans. For every American with dental insurance, there are three more who don’t have it.”
Poor children are two times more likely to suffer from cavities than their more affluent peers. More than 51 million school hours are lost to dental-related illnesses and the corresponding pain can cause problems with learning, eating, and speaking. “We have the technology and know-how to ensure that everyone can improve their oral health, but not everyone has access to it,” notes Dr. Nottingham, one of South Florida’s best dentists.
Adults don’t fare much better. Fewer than two-thirds visit a dentist in a given year. Americans lose more than 164 million hours of work time each year from dental disease or dental visits. Severe periodontal disease affects 14% of adults 45-54. “Smoking and other forms of tobacco use are big contributors to poor oral health,” says Dr. Nottingham, a cosmetic dentist. “Yet many Americans remain unaware of that.”
“Oral care is an integral part of overall health care. Dental visits can prevent a number of problems – such as infections – which, left untreated, can spread to the rest of your body,” points out cosmetic dentistry specialist Dr. Nottingham.