INDIANAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Men may go the extra mile when it comes to taking care of their families and their careers; however, according to the Academy of General Dentistry, they are less likely to take care of their oral health needs.
“June, a month where Americans pay special tribute to men and fathers in particular, is the perfect time for men to form new habits that can help decrease or prevent oral health problems in the future,” said Dr. George Koumaras, national dental director for Anthem, Inc.
Some studies suggest that men are less likely than women to seek preventive dental care and often neglect their oral health for years, only visiting a dentist when a problem occurs1. Other studies2 show that the average man brushes his teeth 1.9 times a day and will lose 5.4 teeth before age 72; however, there are a number of things men can do to help stop this trend.
Dr. Koumaras suggests the following tips:
- Sit in the Chair. It’s important for men to visit the dentist for checkups at least twice a year. The American Dental Association (ADA) suggests that the frequency of the regular visits should be tailored by the dentist to accommodate for one’s current oral health status and health history. The ADA also suggests that certain high-risk patients, such as those who smoke or have diabetes, may benefit from more frequent visits and cleanings to prevent periodontal disease (gum disease).
- Brush Twice, Floss Once. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends men brush their teeth two times a day for two minutes. It’s also recommended to floss at least once a day. This simple habit can make a big difference over time.
Use Fluoride. Fluoride isn’t just for children, men can also
benefit from using fluoride. Fluoride is the only nonprescription
toothpaste and mouthwash additive that’s proven to prevent dental
caries (cavities). It works in three ways:
- It inhibits the loss of healthy minerals found in tooth enamel,
- It can repair minor tooth decay by remineralizing areas of the tooth enamel that plaque has attacked,
- It reduces the ability of oral bacteria to produce acid3.
- Sports Player. Men who play sports have a greater chance of experiencing trauma to their mouth or teeth. When playing contact sports, such as baseball, basketball, football, soccer, or when involved in individual sports, like riding a bike, motorcycle or horses, the Academy of General Dentistry recommends men wear a mouthguard and a helmet.
- Stop Smoking. Smokers and those who use smokeless tobacco have an increased risk of developing oral cancer, gingivitis, periodontitis (gum disease) and tooth decay. In addition, tobacco contributes to bad breath and stains the teeth.
- Medications. Men who are on medications for heart disease, high blood pressure and even depression can be taking medications that cause dry mouth, which inhibits their salivary flow and increases the risk for cavities. Saliva helps reduce the cavity-causing bacteria found in the mouth by washing away food particles. It also helps neutralize the acids formed by plaque. Men can ease dry mouth by drinking more water, chewing sugarless gum, using an alcohol-free mouth rinse, and by avoiding overly salty foods, alcohol and carbonated beverages.
If men follow the tips outlined above, they will be proud to show off their pearly whites on Father’s Day, as well as throughout the year. Please note: The same guidelines apply to women.
1) Academy of General Dentistry, 2014.
2) Academy of General Dentistry, 2015.
3) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2015.
About Anthem, Inc.
Anthem is working to transform health care with trusted and caring solutions. Our health plan companies deliver quality products and services that give their members access to the care they need. With nearly 71 million people served by its affiliated companies, including more than 38 million enrolled in its family of health plans, Anthem is one of the nation’s leading health benefits companies. For more information about Anthem’s family of companies, please visit www.antheminc.com/companies