Are Your Teeth Healthy? Take our Quiz: Headlines across the country declare how unhealthy Americans are, and this information is not just limited to nutrition or weight. The National Institute of Health indicates that our dental health also leaves something to be desired. According to a recent study, 92 percent of adults ages 20 to 64 have had dental caries (cavities or tooth decay) in their permanent teeth. Even worse, approximately five percent of adults age 20 to 64 have no teeth at all. Studies indicate that families with higher incomes and those with higher levels of education actually had a higher incidence of tooth decay than those of other socioeconomic groups.
Test Your Dental Health
So how healthy are your teeth? We’ve created this quiz from information provided by the American Dental Association to give you some insight. Answer the questions below and score yourself accordingly.
- Do you smoke or use chewing tobacco? Write down 1 point for “yes” and 0 points for “no.”
- Do you chew ice? Write down 1 point for “yes” and 0 points for “no.”
- Do you drink several sodas during the day (diet and / or regular)? Write down 1 point for “yes” and 0 points for “no.”
- Do you have sensitive teeth? Write down 1 point for “yes” and 0 points for “ no.”
- Do your gums bleed? Write down 1 point for “yes” and 0 points for “no.”
- Have you had a regular dental checkup within the last six months? Write down 0 points for “yes” and 1 point for “no.”
- 0 points This is one time when a zero is good news. This means you probably have a good grasp on what it means to have healthy teeth. Still, continue your regular checkups with your dentist.
- 1 to 3 points You have an understanding of what is needed to have a healthy mouth, but there are still areas for improvement.
- 4 to 6 You have several possible risk factors for developing cavities or gum disease. Schedule and appointment with your dentist.
If you didn’t do as well as you’d hoped, here are a few quick facts for you to consider:
- Chewing tobacco and smoking cigarettes can lead to gum disease which, in turn, can lead to tooth loss. It also places the user at a higher risk for mouth cancer.
- Chewing ice can damage the enamel and weaken teeth.
- Sodas, as well as citrus drinks and citrus fruits, are acidic, and can weaken the enamel, leaving your teeth vulnerable to tooth decay.
- While there are several things that can cause bleeding gums, it is never normal for your gums to bleed. It could mean gingivitis or it could simply mean that you are brushing or flossing too hard. Make an appointment to speak to your dentist.
- Sensitive teeth may be a sign that a cavity is developing.
Finally, it is difficult to ascertain your dental health if you haven’t had a regular dental checkup. Be sure to contact your dentist and schedule an appointment today. Your dentist can discuss the results of this quiz with you and help establish a plan for healthier teeth and gums.
Sources: National Institute of Health. “Dental Caries (Tooth Decay) in Adults (Age 20 to 64)” Information for quizzes from the American Dental Association. “Test Your Dental IQ.”