A new year often prompts people to redefine their health and wellness. But New Year’s resolutions won’t be the only reason people can focus on their health. The current COVID-19 pandemic has played an important role in keeping overall health at the forefront of people’s concerns. More than 3 in 4 Illinois residents (77%) say the COVID-19 pandemic has made them more aware of their overall health, according to a recent survey by Delta Dental of Illinois.
Oral health, the key to overall health
The Delta Dental of Illinois survey showed that almost all adults in Illinois (95%) agree that oral health is very important for overall health. Yet about 3 in 10 people said they did not realize that there is a link between their oral health and conditions such as dementia, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes and breathing problems. . Visiting your dentist and doctor for regular preventive check-ups can identify health problems before they get worse. During a routine exam of your mouth and jaw, your dentist can potentially detect the warning signs of more than 120 diseases. “Taking care of your teeth and gums can play an important role in ensuring the health of your entire body,” said Dr. Sheila Strock, vice president of dental services and chief scientist at Delta Dental of Illinois.
Make oral health a priority
More than 7 in 10 Illinois residents (72%) said they paid more attention to their home oral care habits due to COVID-19, according to the Delta Dental of Illinois survey. Good home oral health habits include brushing twice a day for two full minutes each time and flossing daily. A strong oral health regimen also includes routine dental checkups. While some Illinoisians said they were uncomfortable visiting the dentist during the COVID-19 pandemic, the vast majority (92%) had planned to visit the dentist in 2021. Regular dental checkups are important for adults and children. As noted, they can help spot problems early, prevent problems from getting worse, and avoid the need for more expensive and complex treatments.