Importance of Preventative Dental Care and Underprivileged Communities Access to Dental Services
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Proper oral care is not only essential for oral health, but it is essential to maintain a good overall health. Tooth decay, dental caries, and diseases in the mouth can lead to different health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Proper oral hygiene habits like regular brushing, flossing, and limiting sugar intake are important for one to adopt earlier in life to avoid complicated dental procedures and long term health issues. Visiting the dentist regularly is also important to ensure overall wellness. However many individuals do not have access to dental care. Dental visits are expensive and many can not afford to pay for them out of pocket or do not have insurance to cover it. Many Americans do not have dental coverage because they are not eligible for medicare or medicaid benefits. Additionally, for those who are eligible, medicaid and medicare only offer limited coverage for dental procedures so it is still costly. Individuals from low-income families, minority ethnicities like Hispanic and Native American, and low educational attainment individuals experience a lot of dental health issues. This is because many are not educated enough to visit the dentist or do not have access to the dentist due to its cost. Dental services can be improved identifying the barriers people face to obtain dental care. Providing dental plans, educating individuals about the importance of good nutrition and the importance of oral care can transform one’s quality of life.
Senior honors thesis / Embargo to 26 April 2023
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