Dental Tribune USA
According to a survey, millennials are more frequently experiencing dental disruptions. (Graphic: American Association of Endodontists)

Survey reveals COVID-19 is a major factor in Americans’ failing dental health

By Dental Tribune USA
February 16, 2021

A recent survey commissioned by the American Association of Endodontists reveals that more than half of Americans say the COVID-19 pandemic has caused them to put off general dental check-ups, which can lead to serious oral health problems.

The survey also showed that the pandemic is takings its toll on those working or studying remotely when it comes to changes to their daily dental hygiene routine. Significant findings include:

  • 31 percent were snacking more on sweets.
  • 28 percent didn’t schedule or forgot to schedule a dental visit.
  • One in four said they waited until later in the morning to brush their teeth, while 21 percent didn’t brush in the morning at all.
  • There was also a major drop-off in flossing, with 24 percent saying they’re flossing less frequently, while 23 percent say they aren’t flossing.
  • Millennials more frequently reported experiencing dental disruptions, with 43 percent of those surveyed indicating that working from home or attending virtual classes from home led to disruptions to their usual dental hygiene habits during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.

Clearly, the pandemic is causing a major disruption in Americans’ dental habits, which is leading to more serious tooth problems. Fortunately, it appears much of the public understands the importance of facing serious dental issues head on: Even with the pandemic, 60 percent say experiencing tooth pain that won’t go away would lead them to make a dental appointment. The survey also asked about tooth loss versus procedures to save a bad tooth, with four out of five people stating that it’s better to go the root canal route vs. extraction.

When it comes to tooth pain, it’s important to know that an endodontist is a toothache sufferer’s greatest ally. It’s also important to remember that it is extremely safe to visit the endodontist in the era of COVID-19, with endodontists practicing the utmost caution and disinfection protocol. Even at the height of the U.S.’s COVID-19 shutdown period in the spring of 2020, most endodontic practices remained open to safely treat dental emergencies.

To keep emergency rooms clear, in the case of a dental emergency, patients should continue seek an endodontist instead of dialing 911.

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“If you’re suffering with a toothache that wakes you up out of a sound sleep at night, or because you’re eating hot or cold food, you need an endodontist,” said Dr. Alan H. Gluskin, president of American Association of Endodontists. “You should not delay treatment.”

(Source: American Association of Endodontists)

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