When was the last time you went for a dental cleaning? If you can’t remember, you wouldn’t be alone. Plenty of men dodge the dentist’s chair. According to the CDC, just 59% of adult males go to the dentist every year.
That means more than 40% of adult men don’t get a regular cleaning. The reasons behind this statistic are complex and multifaceted, ranging from cost concerns to societal attitudes towards men’s health. Breaking the silence on this issue is crucial, as regular dental check-ups hold more benefits beyond a winning smile.
3 Barriers to Dental Care for Men
What’s keeping men out of the dentist’s chair? Read below to find out four common barriers to dental health.
1. Cost Concerns
Let’s face it, keeping up with your dental health is expensive, even if you’re insured. An annual check-up with semi-regular x-rays can be too much for you to afford without planning in advance.
The high cost of dental care often leads to dental procrastination, which allows minor issues to escalate into even more expensive problems. Unfortunately, emergency intervention comes with a bill even bigger than the initial cleaning.
If you can’t handle the cost of a cracked tooth or emergency extraction, online short term personal loans are there to help. Just be sure you can budget for their eventual repayment—otherwise, you’re only delaying your financial issues, not solving them. Now you know the risk, what are the benefits of short term personal loans? They work quickly to give you the cash you need to see a dentist in an emergency.
2. Masculine Norms
Societal norms and traditional ideas of masculinity create a stigma against men’s self-care. You’ve been taught from a young age to be tough, and looking after yourself can be seen as emasculating. These internalized lessons keep many men out of the dentist’s chair each year.
Studies show men have a complicated relationship with their dental health. Not only are they less likely to seek oral treatment than women, but they also face greater risks for diseases of the mouth. Some men might not book an appointment because they aren’t aware of these risks.
Why Regular Dental Check-Ups Are Important
Going to a dentist once a year comes with a long list of benefits. Here are four of them below:
1. Preventing Cavities
Regular cleanings can help prevent cavities. Dentists identify cavities in their early stages during these check-ups, preventing them from progressing and causing more extensive damage.
2. Gum Disease Management
Gum disease is often painless in its initial stages, but it can lead to serious, painful complications if left untreated. Regular dental visits ensure that gum disease is caught early and treated effectively.
3. Early Detection of Oral Cancer
Dental check-ups include thorough oral cancer screenings. Early detection is key to successfully treating oral cancer, which has a higher survival rate when identified in its initial stages.
4. Holistic Health Connection
Poor oral health can lead to other health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. A healthy mouth can help you improve your overall well-being.
Men, Get to the Dentist!
Overcoming barriers like cost, masculine norms, and accessibility is crucial in this journey towards a healthier smile and a healthier life. Embracing regular dental visits is a step towards breaking free from these constraints and prioritizing the importance of holistic health.