Take Care of Your Teeth
Good oral health is an integral part of overall health and well-being. Dental problems not only lead to speech difficulties and eating discomfort but share a connection with other serious health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, and pre-term and/or low birth weight babies. The good news is, dental decay and periodontal diseases are both preventable. A healthy smile can last a life time when healthy habits are established, such as brushing, flossing, smart food choices, and regular dental visits.
In children, tooth decay has been associated with difficulty eating, sleeping and learning, and in maintaining proper nutrition. In Arkansas, 61 percent of children under age nine have already experienced tooth decay. Among adults, untreated decay and the resulting tooth loss causes negative effects on self-esteem and employability. In Arkansas, 29 percent of adults 65 and older have lost all of their teeth. The burden of tooth decay is far worse for Arkansans with low socioeconomic status and for those who live in rural areas. In both cases, access to prevention and treatment services is limited.
How do adults in Arkansas view their oral health? This fact sheet summarizes select data on self-reported oral health status, attitudes and dental care utilization among Arkansas adults as of 2015, by income level, based on an innovative household survey, including:
- How oral health affects day-to-day function and well-being
- How the appearance of mouth and teeth impacts one’s ability to interview for a job
- Attitudes toward oral health and dental care
- Reasons for not visiting the dentist more frequently
The American Dental Association has an interactive website called Mouth Healthy that provides answers to frequently asked questions. Click here to be directed to their site.
Oral Health Risks
Oral health is an integral part of overall health. Oral health means being free of cavities and gum disease. Oral health also means being free of chronic oral pain conditions, oral cancers, and birth defects such as cleft lip and palate and other conditions that affect the mouth and throat. Research has shown infection in the mouth is linked with diabetes, heart disease, aspiration pneumonia and low birth weight. Poor oral health affects good nutrition, communication abilities, self-esteem, productive work, and social interaction.
Risks to oral health are risks to overall health.
Oral Health Resources
Dental Sealants (Super Tooth brochure)
Dental Sealants (Sealant flyer)
Natural State of Fluoride (Pamphlet on water fluoridation)
Natural State of Fluoride (Water fluoridation poster)
Fluoridation Facts (ADA booklet with FAQ concerning water fluoridation)
Fluoridation Fact Sheet (Office of Oral Health fact sheet)
Oral Health Rules and Regulations
Dental Hygiene Collaborative Care Practice
Board of Health Rules & Regulations for Dental Hygiene Collaborative Care
Arkansas State Board of Dental Examiners Article XIX of Dental Practice Act
Medical Personnel Use of Topical Fluoride Varnish
Optimum Fluoridation of Drinking Water
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