It’s Time to Go to the Dentist. Your Health Depends On It.
Delaying dental work can lead to more serious dental issues, and can potentially impact overall health. That’s why it’s important to see a dentist, particularly if you’ve put off a trip to the dentist during the COVID pandemic.
Good oral health is fundamental for overall health and well-being. It contributes to effective chewing and healthy nutrition, speech, social confidence, and – in the case of older adults – better cognitive and functional capacity, according to a 2021 report from the National Institutes of Health.
The report explains that “mounting evidence has demonstrated the essential role of oral health in a long and healthy life. Good oral health represents not only the ability to eat, speak, and smile, but also freedom from pain that can interfere with normal functioning – including sleep, work, and learning.
Oral and medical conditions often share common risk factors, and just as medical conditions and their treatments can influence oral health, so can oral conditions and their treatments influence medical conditions, the report points out.
Oral health problems can occur at any point across the lifespan, but more often than not, they are preventable through individual, family and community efforts.
CT Residents Overwhelmingly OK With Going to the Dentist
A statewide survey of Connecticut residents found that largely due to COVID-19, the percentage of state residents who have not been to see a dentist recently is more than twice what is true in a typical year. In addition, one-third of those who have not been to the dentist in 2020 or 2021 had issues with their teeth or gums but decided not to go to the dentist due to the pandemic.
There’s potential peril in that delay, as described above. And people may not realize that dental offices observe strict infection control protocols established during the pandemic.
Among those who did have a dental visit amidst the pandemic, an overwhelming 95% indicated afterwards that they were comfortable doing so.
In the 2021 survey, only 5% of survey respondents said they were not comfortable, down from 7% in the previous year. The Connecticut State Dental Association commissioned the statewide survey in November 2021, and a year earlier. The surveys were conducted by Connecticut-based Spectrum Associates Market Research.
If you already have a regular dentist, it’s time to go back. If you don’t, click here to find a dentist near where you live.
Should you have any questions about safety protocols in place at your dentist’s office, please reach out to them directly. Currently, Connecticut law for health care facilities requires that masks be worn in the office. The Connecticut State Dental Association urges all dental offices to continue ongoing compliance with the latest CDC guidelines and protocols.