Did you know that March 6th is National Dentist's Day? While this day has been established to show appreciation for dentists, it's also intended to bring an awareness to the practices of dentistry and dental health. During National Dentist's Day, you can find out more about the process of dentistry, consider your own dental health, and show your dentist that you appreciate the work that they do. And if you've been putting off a visit to the dentist, now is a great time to schedule one.
What is National Dentist's Day?
Being a dentist can be difficult. Many people loathe going to the dentist—not because it isn't necessary, but because they hate getting their teeth worked on. National Dentist's Day is a special day designed to make you think about your dentist, your dentist office, and your dental health care. Dental health shouldn't be something you neglect, and your relationship with your dentist is an important one.
Dentists put a lot of work into making sure their patients are comfortable, even though they may be incredibly anxious walking in. Pediatric dentists need to make sure that children don't find the process frightening, while general practice dentists work to make sure that their patients are well-educated about their dental health. And they do this because dental health is so incredibly important, not only in relation to your general health but also within your day-to-day life.
How Can You Celebrate—and Why Should You?
Consider making a dental appointment in the days leading up to National Dentist's Day. In addition to saying "thank you" to your dentist, it's important to make sure you're being proactive about your dental care. While any dentist would appreciate being thanked, the best way you can show your gratitude is to continue taking care of your dental health.
Make sure you're flossing often (and correctly), brush your teeth frequently, and use any protective products your dentist suggests. Schedule a cleaning every six months and get checked to see whether you have any cavities that need to be filled. Like many health-related problems, dental problems get substantially worse (and more expensive) over time. By getting checked out now, you'll be saving yourself time, money, and discomfort.
And don't forget that National Dentist's Day is preceded by Children's Dental Health Month. If you haven't already, it may be time to meet with your family dentist and find out whether your children's dental health may need more attention. Children aren't always the best at taking care of their teeth, and they may also need corrective and proactive measures such as childhood braces.
Where Can You Learn More?
There are quite a few things people don't know about dentists! You can learn more at Mouth Healthy, by the American Dental Association. Meanwhile, here are some interesting dental facts:
- Dentistry is one of the oldest medical professions, originating in 7,000 B.C. New information is constantly being discovered about old and primitive dental practices.
- "The Little Medicinal Book for All Kinds of Diseases and Infirmities of the Teeth," published in 1530, was the first book published to be entirely devoted to the process of dentistry.
- Colgate was the first developer of a mass marketed toothpaste product, launching the product in 1873. It remains one of the major brands.
- The first recognized dentist was an Egyptian scribe named Hesy-Re dating back to 2,600 B.C. While there may have been dentists previously, their names and identities are unknown.
- People who drink more than two cups of soda a day have 62% more tooth decay than others. Drink your water! Not only is soda filled with sugar, but it's also acidic; even diet soda can hurt your teeth.
- 40% of tooth enamel in your mouth resides in the space between teeth. You need to floss to get at those areas. Flossing clears out food particles, plaque, and bacteria.
- Most people are brushing less than half the amount of time they really need to be for the best health. Most people should brush a little longer than two minutes each time, though there is also something called "over brushing."
- Nearly 80% of Americans are going to experience one or more cavities by the time they're 17. If cavities aren't treated properly, they can become infected—and an infected tooth can be fatal.
Learning more about your dental health is incredibly important to your overall health. If you've been putting off dental procedures, March is the perfect time to make an appointment.