Dental Care for the Millennial Generation

The Millennial Generation refers to those people born between 1980 and the early 2000s. They are part of a generation that may have written reports by hand using encyclopedias for source material during high school but finished college typing reports using a computer and the World Wide Web. They are generation who have watched the economy struggle and yet still looks for ways to volunteer their time, and often their money, to those causes they have endorsed. This generation looks eagerly to change and embraces it with open arms, and is unafraid to question the beliefs and opinions that other generations accepted as status quot.

But in spite of this openness to change and advancement, one area is often overlooked. In fact, despite the many advances in dentistry, the Millennial Generation has actually been found to be less interested in dental care. Survey results by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Group reveal that only a little more than 50% of adults ages 20 to 34 have been to the dentist in the past year as compared to 62% of adults between 35 and 64. This is proven even more so, as the survey found that the Millennials group had the highest percentage (85%) of untreated decay, missing or filled in permanent teeth.

So, what should the Millennial Generation do to change the survey results? They need to be doing the things already proven to support a healthy smile. These include:

  • Brush at least 2 times a day, for at least 2 minutes.
  • Floss at least once a day.
  • Minimalize, or eliminate carbonated drinks, and drink more water!
  • Diet – Low fat dairy items, fruits, vegetables and drink fluoridated water (yes, water again. It’s that important!) and low-fat milk is an important part of having a healthy smile.
  • Replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months; if you have been sick, replace your toothbrush upon getting better, as well.
  • Use fluoridated toothpaste.
  • See the dentist twice a year, so that any concerns can be dealt with sooner not later. (The same survey revealed that a large portion of the Millennial Generation has avoided the dentist for 2 to 3 years, or more!)

It should be acknowledged, that one of the reasons cited for the Millennial Generation not having regular dental visits is due to a lack of dental insurance or not having a sufficient income. However, this does not excuse one from receiving dental care.There is a variety of dental care providers where one can receive checkups and treatments at a reduced cost or possibly for free.

While many things have changed for this generation, there are still many things that stay the same. One of these constants is the necessity for good health and hygiene habits. If you, or someone you know, think that daily dental care and frequent office visits are not necessary, then consider this: Your smile is one of the first things a person notices about you. What kind of impression do you want to make?

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