Right now I’m struggling to get my kids to understand the importance of oral care. It’s so important to set a good example and start them young. I let them be involved in picking their toothpaste and toothbrush, which is helping. I also put a timer on that they use to make sure they’re brushing for the right amount of time; it’s just one of little hourglasses that came with an old board game. Making it fun seems to making a difference, which I’m really happy about. I heard somewhere that just flossing can apparently add 5 to 10 years to your life! Crazy.
That said, I have a reason to be concerned! A recent national survey led by the Hispanic Dental Association (HDA) and sponsored by Procter & Gamble brands Crest and Oral-B, found that, when compared to the general population, many Hispanics in the U.S. are facing barriers to achieving better oral health.
One of these barriers is dental insurance. According to the survey, nearly one in five Hispanics have not seen a dentist at all in the past two years and only 30% visit the dentist regularly (twice a year or more), compared to 45% of the general population. The lack of dental insurance is one of the main reasons why.
This doesn’t surprise me one bit because my family is part of that statistic. Come to think of it, I don’t believe we’ve ever had an insurance plan that included dental coverage! I know I need to fix this, but I just haven’t gotten around to it. I end up seeking out discounts online and in the mail, which helps, but I know I can do better.
I think one of the reasons I haven’t looked into it more is that we just don’t see dental visits as a priority. Apparently I’m not alone. The survey shows that about half of Hispanics feel that as long as they have good oral health habits, visits to the dentist aren’t necessary. The majority of U.S. Hispanics believe that if more information about good oral health habits was available – as well as access to affordable oral health care – this would help a great deal in them achieving better oral health. I’d have to agree, especially about the health care factor. It should be included in every health insurance plan.
To learn more about the survey, please visit www.crestcomplete.com/study or read the mini-report here. Do any of the survey findings surprise you?