Dental visits a good habit to start

By on August 8, 2014

NAPERVILLE, Ill.—While two-thirds of Illinoisans visit the dentist at least once a year, nearly half of them have gone three years or more without seeing the dentist.

“According to the Delta Dental of Illinois Oral Health and Well-Being Survey, most Illinoisans visit the dentist at least once a year, and those who do are more likely to report their oral health as good or better versus those who are in a dentist’s chair less frequently,” said Dr. Katina Spadoni, dental director for Delta Dental of Illinois. “Still, a lot of people take a break from routine dentist visits at some point in their lives.”

More than half of Illinoisans say they have felt fear or reluctance regarding a dental visit. Most said they had a bad past experience or were afraid to find out what care they needed. Younger Illinoisans ages 18 to 44 have felt more apprehension than those 45 years and older.

“Regular dental visits are part of important preventive care,” Spadoni said. “It’s good to stay in—or get back into—the habit of visiting a dentist. Your dentist can help you determine how often you need to visit, and preventive care is key to help avoid more comprehensive and costly treatment.”

For people with existing oral health problems, such as gum disease, or medical problems like diabetes or dry mouth, one dental visit a year may not be enough, according to Spadoni. For those at higher risk of developing oral problems, three or four visits a year may be best.

“On the other hand, if you have low risks, you will not need the same level of preventive treatments or exams,” Spaldoni said.

One way to stay in the habit is to find a regular dentist. One in five Illinoisans do not have a regular dentist, while nearly half say they’ve beenusing the same dentist for three years or more.

It’s more refreshing than a relief

Despite the fear and reluctance many Illinoisans feel in going to the dentist, most say they feel refreshed after doing so.

“More often than not, you feel good walking out of a dentist’s office,” Spadoni said.

For more information about how you can improve your oral health, visit