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Oral Health America (OHA), a nonprofit advocacy group that promotes access to affordable dental care, released the results of survey on September 1, reporting that a majority of participants chose pain medication for relief over visiting a dentist to have the soreness investigated.

OHA’s questionnaire also showed that 73 percent of respondents said that finances were the main reason for avoiding oral care. Those in the 18-30 age bracket were found to be the most at-risk of not getting necessary dental attention, especially in households making } $50,000 or less per year. These results, the group said, suggest that economic distress has a direct negative impact on dental well-being.

The study was part of the organization’s “Fall for Smiles” campaign, a yearly initiative that promotes oral hygiene awareness during autumn. The annual program focuses on persuading people to consume more teeth-friendly foods, visit the dentist more regularly and eschew harmful products like tobacco and soda.

“Fall for Smiles reminds them to prioritize oral health because the mouth is the gateway to the body, and will affect children’s ability to have no pain, pay attention in school and have healthy self-esteem,” Beth Truett, OHA’s CEO and president, said in a press release that accompanied the survey. The goal of this campaign is to educate Americans about why a healthy mouth is important, and to ensure that all Americans. particularly those most vulnerable to disease, are able to obtain the care they need.”

Those who experience consistent oral pain should visit their family dentist to make sure that the issue is not serious, as avoiding it could lead to long-term dental issues that get harder to treat over time.

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