Each June, since 1994, Men’s Health Month focuses on improving the lifestyles of men. While several approaches improve overall health, diet and exercise remain the most important targets of change. In honor of the campaign, encourage the men in your life to get regular medical and dental checkups. They should also take steps to learn about the risks for their ages, ethnicities, and lifestyles.
Understand Your Risks
- Create healthful habits
- For early detection of disease, schedule and show up for routine tests.
- Learn your particular risk factors
- Document your family history with your physician and dentist
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says the leading causes of death among men are heart disease, cancer, and accidental death.
Prioritize Your Health
- Make dental and medical checkup appointments. (Don’t cancel them. Show up.)
- If you are at risk of health issues, make changes to your lifestyle to improve health.
- Talk to your physician and dentist about the steps to take.
- Talk to the men in your life about getting medical and dental checkups.
- Take a walk with your father, brother, husband, son, friend, or co-worker.
- Cook healthy food for the man in your life.
- Learn more about Men’s Health Month by participating in Wear BLUE Day the Friday before Father’s Day.
Men & Dental Health
In general, teeth are teeth. So, the same preventive measures apply to anyone who has them, regardless of their sex. In fact, rather than making a doctor’s appointment when they get sick:
- 66% of women and 52% of men said they would rather wait to see if they get better; and,
- 43% try to self-diagnose—often via searching the Internet—and self-treat their conditions.
- 80% of survey respondents said forego or delay preventive care.
- Millennials are most likely to fail to schedule appointments with physicians than people in other generations.
Men and Medical Appointments
According to the Association for Retired Persons (AARP), half of the 1,174 adult men surveyed said they get regular checkups. And 72 percent said they would rather do household chores (such as cleaning the bathroom) than go to the doctor. The gender difference is due, in part, to the fact that:
“Women get plugged into the health care system from an early age, seeing gynecologists, and get in the habit of annual visits. Whereas guys, unless something’s going on, they may not see a physician until their 30s or 40s for routine screening,”
AARP also reported: “Some men just don’t like talking about their health…even when they do see a doctor. One in 5 admitted they haven’t been completely honest with their physicians. Common reasons included embarrassment or discomfort with discussing certain issues and not wanting to be told that they should change their diets or lifestyle. Some said they didn’t mention a health concern because they weren’t ready to face a troubling diagnosis, or because they didn’t want to be judged. One-quarter of men say they’ve ‘felt judged’ by their doctors.”
Men & Dental Care
The American Dental Association (ADA) reports that men are less likely than women to seek preventive dental care and may neglect their oral health for years.
- The average man is less likely to brush his teeth after every meal (20.5% compared with 28.7% for women).
- The average man is less likely to brush his teeth twice a day (49% compared with 56.8% for women).
- Men are more likely to have untreated dental decay than women (29% compared with 25% for women, age 35-44).
How Men & Women Should Care for Teeth
- Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste for two to three minutes at least twice daily. Choosing a toothpaste with fluoride can reduce tooth decay by as much as 40%. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush properly by positioning the brush at a 45-degree angle where your gums and teeth meet.
- Replace your toothbrush every three months or after you’ve been sick.
- Floss daily, using the proper technique. Gently insert floss between teeth using a back-and-forth motion. Curve the floss into a C-shape against one tooth and then the other.
- Visit the dentist at least once a year for cleanings and exams. Call to schedule an appointment at Blue Ocean Dentistry in Glendora: (626) 852-6999.
About Dr. Fred Wong of Blue Ocean Dentistry in Glendora, California
Dr. Fred Wong and the staff at Blue Ocean Dentistry use the latest available dental treatments, equipment, and materials – all of which make a marked difference in our patients’ experiences. We are committed to helping our patients achieve optimal dental health. We creatively combine dental science and artistry — which can literally redesign your smile. Since even a subtle change in your smile will help you to project self-confidence and high self-esteem, we love helping you feel good about yourself. We deliver the finest dental care at the most reasonable cost and accept most dental insurance plans as well as CareCredit. For more about the dental treatment plans we offer or to schedule an appointment, call today (626) 852-6999.