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As some family budgets get tighter from the current recession, dentists in California are reminding people to administer routine teeth cleanings for optimal dental health.
"What you shouldn't put off is your cleaning because that's when the gum disease starts," Dr Laura Fathi, told the Ventura County Star. "The number one way you lose your teeth is gum disease."
Fathi's comments come as recent reports have shown more people putting off dental checkups, either because they can't afford it or because they lack dental insurance. As a way to save money, it appears some Americans have cut back on their dental care.
Dentists say cutting back on care can be much worse for people with chronic heart conditions, who are HIV positive or who suffer from type 2 diabetes.
Guillermo Sanchez, another California dentist, told the news provider that because of the proximity of the teeth to the brain, a dental infection can cause life-threatening problems.
"A dental infection can be serious," Sanchez said. "You can die from it."
The American Dental Association recommends brushing twice a day, flossing daily, eating a balanced diet and visiting your dentist regularly to maintain optimal dental health.
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