This month celebrates Father’s Day, as well as Men’s Health Month. It’s the perfect time to remind the dads you know, and love, to take better care of themselves, so that they can be around to celebrate many more father’s days.
Why do men need a reminder? Because apparently when it comes to their overall health men don’t seem to worry about it as much as they should. Men are more likely to skip or postpone their routine dental exams and cleanings, and only seek a dentist as a last resort – when they have a tooth ache, or a tooth breaks.
Because oral health directly affects overall health, studies show, over and over again, that good oral health promotes good overall health, as well as longevity. They’re directly connected. So, when men neglect the health of their teeth and gums, they also harm their well-being. Fortunately, it’s never too late to learn (even for men) and to perfect a healthy oral health routine.
How to Help Men Maintain Better Health
- Don’t Miss Dental Cleanings & Exams – When it comes to neglecting their oral health, men do a pretty good job of it overall. Postponing routine dental care for long periods isn’t good for your teeth or your overall health. It can lead to gum disease promotes more serious health issues, like diabetes, or heart attacks, which men are twice as likely as women to get. It also places men at greater risk for losing their teeth. Taking the time to make at least one annual visit with us, will help keep teeth clean, and allows us to keep an eye out for any dental issues, or changes in oral health, like dry mouth. This gives us a fighting chance to save our patients from tooth aches and possible tooth loss. If it’s been a while since your dad visited a dentist, a comprehensive new patient dental exam and a teeth cleaning will help ease him along the road towards good oral health.
- Get an Oral Cancer Screening – Besides heart disease, men have a higher risk of developing oral cancer, particularly over the age of 45. The good news is that the earlier oral cancer is detected, the more successfully it can be treated. In fact, 80 to 90% of patients survive when they are diagnosed early. We screen for oral cancer during routine dental exams, and we also offer patients a more comprehensive screening that involves the VELscope examination – a non-invasive cancer screening tool that helps us discover any signs of oral cancer before they become evident in ordinary light. Should we see any areas of suspicion, we’ll request a biopsy with standard pathology tests. Depending on your age, health or family history, we recommend this simple test for many patients as an extension of their regular dental exam – these visits might save more than just a tooth.
- Wear a Sports Mouthguard – The more teeth you have, the more likely you are to live longer. Studies confirm this. But each year over 3 million teeth get knocked out due to recreational and sports activities. The American Dental Association now recommends wearing a mouth guard for over 30 sports and recreational activities – like playing a game of hoops. When it comes to protecting their teeth, men have 32 good reasons to a mouth guard , or 28, if they’ve had their wisdom teeth extracted. A custom fitted sports mouth guard is an inexpensive way to protect teeth while recreating. Losing a tooth isn’t good for your health, your selfies, or your finances.
- Maintain Good Daily Oral Hygiene – Who practices better daily oral hygiene, men or women? Is there any doubt? Compared to women, the average man brushes his teeth less than twice a day, so it’s no wonder that he’ll lose at least 5 teeth by the time he turns 72. Making a little more time for oral hygiene will serve men well. Brushing correctly twice a day, for 2 minutes and mastering the art of flossing can help keep men’s teeth healthy, and reduce any unexpected visits to the dentist.
- Don’t Use Your Mouth to Open Things – Using your mouth like a swiss army knife is another way men can put their oral health in harm’s way. Besides turning the mouth into a bottle opener, here are some other ways men damage their teeth.
Father’s day is a great time to appreciate the dad’s in our lives. Reminding them that we want them around for a long time and encouraging them to take better care of themselves may also be the gift that keeps on giving.
Devoting a little more time towards their own oral health will go a long way towards keeping your dad smiling and in good health throughout the year. And if it’s been a while since they’ve been in for a dental exam, or teeth cleaning, please nudge them in the right direction to call us at (206) 242-0066 to make an appointment or contact us online!
P.S. We’ve been helping men (and dads) throughout Burien, Normandy Park and Seattle, take better care of their oral health since 1975!