SINCE June is Men’s Health Month, what better time to help the men we know and love remember to take a little time to care for themselves, too?
Unfortunately, recent studies show that men are less likely than women to take care of their physical health, as well as their oral health. In fact, men are less likely than women to seek preventative dental care and will often neglect their oral health for years, visiting a dentist only when a problem arises.
Because oral health directly affects overall health, here are four tips to help men stay healthy throughout the year, and, hopefully, for many more years to come.
Four ways men can maintain good overall health
1. Get an oral cancer screening
Research shows that men have a higher risk of developing oral cancer, particularly over the age of 45. The good news is that, the earlier it’s detected, oral cancer is treatable. In fact, 80 to 90 per cent of patients who are diagnosed with oral cancer and treated early survive.
2. Schedule a dental cleaning and exam
Believe it or not, when it comes to neglecting their oral health, overall, men do a pretty good job of it. Maybe it’s because men are more tempted to forgo preventative dental care and only visit the dentist when they actually have some dental pain. Postponing routine dental care isn’t good for your teeth or your overall health, as gum disease or tooth decay can affect the foods you eat and your blood sugar levels. By making at least one annual visit, dentists can check for any signs of dental problems. And, if any is evident, they can effectively treat them before any dental pain occurs.
If it’s been a while since he has visited a dentist, a comprehensive new patient dental exam will help ease him along the road towards maintaining good oral hygiene.
3. Wear a sports mouthguard
Most men have 32 good reasons to wear one, or 28, if they’ve had their wisdom teeth extracted. Whether your loved one is a weekend warrior, or just an everyday superhero, wearing a custom-fitted sports mouthguard is an inexpensive way to protect his teeth during various forms of recreation. Losing teeth is costly; especially when it comes to replacing missing ones. The American Dental Association now recommends wearing mouthguards for over 30 sports and recreational activities.
4. Maintain good daily oral hygiene
Who tends to be a bigger slacker when it comes to maintaining oral hygiene? Men! In fact, the average man brushes his teeth less than twice a day, so it’s no wonder that he’ll lose at least five teeth by the time he turns 72.
Losing teeth is bad for the pocketbook, and it’s bad for the health, since it affects what types of foods one can eat. Luckily, fitting in a little daily oral hygiene, like brushing correctly twice a day and mastering the art of flossing, can go a long way towards keeping your loved one’s teeth healthy, and helping to decrease any unexpected visits to the dentist.
Men’s Health Month is a great time to appreciate the men in our lives. Reminding them that we want them around for a long time and encouraging them to take care of themselves may also be the one gift they appreciate the most. Taking some time to devote to their oral health will go a long way towards keeping them smiling and in good health throughout the year.
Dr Sharon Robinson, DDS has offices at Dental Place Cosmetix Spa, located at shop #5, Winchester Business Centre, 15 Hope Road, Kingston 10. Dr Robinson is an adjunct lecturer at the University of Technology, Jamaica, School of Oral Health Sciences. She may be contacted at 876-630-4710. Like their Facebook page, Dental Place Cosmetix Spa.
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