A Gallup-Healthways poll reported that more than one-third of the population did not visit a dentist last year, which some dental health officials have deemed a "silent epidemic."
People who skip on dental care, either because of high costs or lack of dental insurance, may be doing more harm to their overall health in the process, said Matthew Messina from the American Dental Association, the Chicago Tribune reports.
"The message of the value of your teeth is not getting through," Messina said. "If people consider dental care a luxury item, they're shorting themselves. Prevention's always cheaper than fixing problems later."
Messina told the news provider that the money people use toward a teeth cleaning today may be the "$3,000 you save later on a root canal and crown."
The ADA recommends people schedule a dental checkup twice a year as well as brushing and flossing after meals.
Families who are searching for ways to save money on dental care may want to consider discount dental plans. These plans, an alternative to dental insurance, offer discounts of 10 to 60 percent on most dental procedures.
For more information on discount dental plans call 1-888-632-5353
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