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Forty-two percent of Hispanics in the U.S. have not visited the dentist in the past 12 months, according to the results from a 2008 Gallup-Healthways poll, a rate much higher than the 29 percent of all Americans who hadn't seen a dentist in the same time period. The ADA recommends seeing a dentist for a dental checkup and teeth cleaning twice a year.
The poll, reported by USA Today, saw the number of people omitting visits rise as income went down, implying that the tight economy is forcing Americans, especially those without dental insurance, to cut back on dental care.
"Skipping regular dental care is risky and can lead to serious and costly tooth and gum problems in the long run," said Dr Cesar Sabates, vice-president of the Florida Dental Association.
Sabates is collaborating with Proctor & Gamble's diversity outreach arm to raise awareness in the Hispanic community of the necessity of paying attention to dental health, even in difficult financial circumstances. Gum disease has been linked to a number of health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.
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