Fewer Patients Seeing Dentist to Treat Mouth Pain

A recent survey shows patients are more likely to pop pain pills for a toothache than to schedule a dentist appointment.

A recent public opinion survey commissioned by Oral Health America and sponsored by Oral Healthcare Can't Wait and Procter & Gamble, revealed that Americans are more likely to take a pain killer for a toothache than to consult a dentist. Of those who don't regularly see a dentist, most (73 percent) give financial considerations as the reason. (1)  These results confirm that many are still struggling financially in this country and oral health often suffers as a consequence.

The survey findings make the third annual Fall for Smiles® campaign, launching September 1 and running through the end of October, more important than ever. The campaign reminds policymakers and the American public of the importance of caring for their mouths, including regular dental visits, healthy food choices and avoiding tobacco products. Dental offices, health educators, school oral health program officials, parents and others can find a variety of tools to promote healthy mouths, including a social media guide, coloring sheets and the campaign handbook by visiting www.oralhealthamerica.org/fallforsmiles.

Additional findings in the public opinion survey show that Americans ages 18-34 are the most likely not to receive any dental care.(1)  Households earning less than $50,000 with children are also more likely not to consult a dentist first when facing dental pain.(1)  This shows that there is a significant need for policies and programs that support dental care to ensure that the 165 million work hours lost each year from preventable dental problems do not continue to escalate. 

"The findings from the public opinion survey reinforce why Procter & Gamble is involved with Fall for Smiles," said R. Iván Lugo, DMD, MBA, Oral Care Professional and Scientific Relations, Regional Manager for North America and Puerto Rico, Procter & Gamble. "The messages that Fall for Smiles promotes are vital when Americans are making choices about how to allocate resources and stay healthy."

Fall for Smiles is supported by: Atlantic Precious Metal Refining, Aspen Dental, Dental Trade Alliance, DentaQuest, Hispanic Dental Association, Hu-Friedy, Ivoclar Vivadent, Midmark, OralDNA Labs, OSAP, Patterson Dental, Procter & Gamble and Young Dental.
SOURCE Oral Health America www.oralhealthamerica.org via PR Newswire

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