Can a cheeky viral video restore Americans' commitment to dental hygiene?YouTube
Given how unpleasant a visit to the dentist can be, it'd be a surprise to think anything else could make it worse. And yet, a new report by the Centers for Disease Control reveals that there is something, in fact, that's even better at keeping people from the dentist than the fear of discomfort -- it's cost.
Only 1 in 10 Americans say fear held them back in the face of a toothache or other dental problem, according to the survey. Four times as many blamed the price of a dental visit as the main deterrent to getting routine care. Altogether, that's a lot of Americans missing out oral check-ups. A Kaiser tracking poll found in 2008 that more than a third of the country admitted skipping dentist visits entirely because of cost.
Nevertheless, getting your mouth examined once or twice a year is worth the expense if you can make room in your budget for it. Gum disease, which afflicts some 9 percent of U.S. adults, has been linked to other expensive chronic ailments like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer's. In between visits, brush and floss on a regular basis. Need some encouragement? The Oregon Dental Association is out with a helpful PSA riffing off of Cali Swag District's "Teach Me How to Dougie" -- a must-watch: