Millennials are now the largest generation, so you’d think that there would be a lot of dental patients to take care of. But experts are finding that the opposite is true.
Are you a millennial who has been putting off seeing your dentist? Well, you certainly aren’t alone.
Keep reading to learn more about millennials and dental care, including why they need it and how they can take the first steps towards a cleaner, healthier, and more beautiful smile.
Millennials Are Likely to Have Tooth Decay, and Not Even Know It!
According to a study by the American Dental Association (ADA), just 30% of millennials visit their dentist annually. As a result, over 30% of millennials have tooth decay that’s gone untreated. That is the highest percentage for any age group.1 Whoa!
On top of that, 35% of millennials have trouble chewing and biting, while 38% of them have oral problems that make life less satisfying. And tooth pain is the most common complaint amongst individuals in this age group.1
Why are millennials reluctant to go to the dentist regularly? It could be because:
- Millennials who have dealt with a difficult economy may not be able to find employment and get the income that they need to afford dental care. Of those who are employed and who have health insurance, many do not have a separate dental insurance plan. Therefore, financial concerns are part of the reason why millennials avoid dental appointments.
- Millennials might be under the impression that, if you don’t feel any mouth pain, you don’t have any oral health issues. However, this is not always the case, as dental problems could advance without causing pain. Regular checkups would pick up on problems in their early stages so that less expensive and less invasive treatments can be provided.
- Tech-savvy millennials are more likely to look up health issues online and self-diagnose. They may think that they don’t have any oral problems to worry about, even though this may not be the case because those problems could exist without symptoms.
- The Millennial Generation is more likely to consume beverages that are bad for oral health, such as energy drinks, citrus drinks, and sugary sodas. The acids in these drinks could weaken tooth enamel, while the sugars could lead to cavities.
- Millennials may not have a clear understanding of the link between overall health and oral health, so they put off taking care of their mouth.
Millennials: You’re Getting Older…
During your 20s and 30s, oral health problems may begin to arise, even if you never had to deal with those issues before. These ailments could include sensitivity to foods and drinks, teeth grinding as a result of stress, TMD (also known as TMJ) that could be the result of teeth grinding, and gum disease.
We know you don’t want to hear it, millennials, but you’re getting older and your body is changing with age, so stepping up your dental care game could help ensure you retain that lovely smile for many years to come.
A Millennial’s First Steps Towards Better Oral Health
Here are some more interesting stats: According to the American Dental Association, one in every three adults between the ages of 18 and 34 are actually reluctant to smile. And one in five millennials have even reduced the amount of time that they spend socializing with others. Why? Because they are already experiencing symptoms, such as tooth pain or inflamed gums, and they are self-conscious. But it gets more serious: 28% of these adults have stated that the way their mouth and teeth look has actually adversely affected their ability to go on job interviews!1 That’s not cool.
What can you do? Well, in addition to brushing and flossing at home, simply seeing a dentist every six months, or at least every year, will allow you to get the x-rays and exams that you need to pick up on problems and resolve them sooner rather than later. And millennials who don’t have dental insurance can purchase affordable plans to get the care and cleanings that they need to keep their teeth strong and their gums free of disease.
Once millennials realize just how important dental exams are, and once they access the affordable dental insurance that they need, they’ll be on their way to having a pain-free smile that they’ll be ready to show off while socializing with friends or while landing their dream job.