October is National Orthodontic Health Month and at Forever Smiles, we want to let you know about some critical, but little-known facts about the importance of your oral health. For example, did you know that nearly one in four orthodontic patients are adults? That’s right! And it’s a good thing too. As we get older caring for our teeth is more important than ever as overall systemic health often starts with our mouth. Why? Let’s dig deeper.
According to the CDC, Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., followed by cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke, accidents, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes. Moreover, “With the exception of accidents, each of these causes can be linked to proteins, enzymes, and bacteria in the oral cavity in some way.” (The Oral-Systemic Link: Monsters in Your Mouth, 2015). You see, our mouths contain bacteria that can form into a harmful film that sticks to teeth called plaque. When this calcifies it hardens into tartar. These two damaging substances on your teeth over time inflame the gums allowing more bacteria to gain access beneath the gumline to the tooth roots, jawbone and even rest of the body. With this advanced gum disease, the potential for the other problems defined above becomes even greater.
So how do orthodontics help? To maintain optimal health, we all know a proactive at-home oral care regimen is key. Additionally, visiting your regular dentist for cleanings and checkups can significantly decrease risk of issues by catching them early on or hopefully negating them altogether. But it is worthwhile to note, that straighter teeth are simply easier to clean and care for. Plaque and tartar often form where crooked or misaligned teeth overlap. What’s more, complex orthodontic issues such as an uneven bite can cause abnormal wear to tooth enamel leading to further problems with bacteria, decay and possibly even lead to tooth loss. That said, patients with orthodontic issues such as malocclusion are at a higher risk for development of these compounding issues and orthodontic screening and treatment by a certified orthodontic specialist like Dr. Yan Razdolsky is the right answer.
Orthodontics is key in the role it plays in helping patients maintain optimal tooth and jaw function to not only avoid disease but allow for proper long-term nutrition in the form of foods which require biting, chewing, and crunching to aid in digestion. Dr. Razdolsky and the Forever Smiles team have been espousing for years the importance of oral systemic health. We take very seriously our role in helping patients and their families understand the correlation and its implications for a longer, healthier life. After all, proper nutrition starts with optimal tooth and jaw function.
So, let’s talk numbers. Did you know that according to the CDC, in 2010 the United States spent about $108.9 billion on coronary disease? Just behind that was oral health conditions at $102 billion, the second highest total healthcare spend over all others. While these healthcare costs are astounding, it is something that you personally can begin to address with respect to your own long-term outlook, as well as that of your family. Something as simple as utilizing a Health Savings Account (HSA) and Flexible Spending Account (FSA) sometimes offered by an employer can allow you to set aside money for qualifying health care expenses for yourself, your spouse, and eligible dependents. This can include orthodontic care! And with open enrollment, from November 1, 2021, through January 15, 2022, there’s no better time to review your policy to allow for you and your family’s future needs. Simply check with your insurance agent or provider to see if there’s a more suitable option for your needs.
But that shouldn’t stop you today -- especially if you think you may have an issue that needs attention. At Forever Smiles we offer flexible payment arrangements, accept cash, personal checks, and credit cards, as well as payments from private dental insurance carriers. We also offer an interest-free finance program for more extensive treatment plans. So ultimately, there’s no better time and more reason than ever to seek orthodontic consultation and treatment from Dr. Razdolsky and Forever Smiles. You owe it to your future self to do it today!
The Oral-Systemic Link: Monsters in Your Mouth. (2015). Inside Dentistry. https://www.aegisdentalnetwork.com/id/2015/10/the-oral-systemic-link-monsters-in-your-mouth