More millennials might get stressed over their teeth, says expert

As the gig economy continues to grow among millennials, businesses who offer dental plans to employees are becoming rarer — and that spells bad news for their dental wellbeing.

“The nature of work has changed so much over the last few decades. There seems to be more contract work, more gig work,” says Lori Kleinsmith, a health promoter at the Bridges Community Health Centre, in Port Colborne.

A recent report by BMO Wealth Management supports this statement as it shows the workforce in Canada is filled with temporary jobs that are growing by the minute. Unfortunately, these jobs don’t come with health benefits.

Kleinsmith witnesses this play out consistently. According to her, people need jobs, yet they need additional benefits. To them, it's a huge issue, as some are going numerous years with no preventive work since they can't bear going to the dentist.

In Ontario, 33% of paid workers don't have access to medicinal or dental privileges through their boss. Though the Ontario government covers dental administrations for kids from low-salary families— and is set to reveal a dental program for low-pay seniors this mid-year—specialists state that millennial and Gen-X experts are still the biggest losers.

Dentist visits are becoming less frequent in Ontario with an estimated two to 3 million residents never visiting the dentist all through last year, according to the College of Dental Hygienists. This was because, for most of them, such visits are expensive and not affordable.

But as shown in a report released in spring by the Ontario Oral Wellbeing Partnership, a significant number of those individuals end up seeking treatment in inappropriate places. However, this ends up becoming ineffective given that doctors are unprepared to manage oral sicknesses. Additionally, it sets the region back financially by $38 million yearly.

As a member of a group of health-care workers, Kleinsmith is clamouring on the provincial and federal governments to close the gaps in the general health-care initiative by incorporating dental care services. Canadians to a great extent have supported the idea as the results of a recent survey by Ipsos reflected. 86 per cent of Canadians are ready to give their full support to freely subsidized dental care for individuals without dental insurance, according to the survey.

Studies have shown there is a deep relationship between your oral wellbeing and your general wellbeing. For instance, there might be a connection between cardiovascular illness and the bacterial contaminations that happen in the mouth. Besides, early signs of Alzheimer’s include losing your tooth before attaining the age of 35. Therefore, it is important to always maintain great oral health.

However, for most people—including millennials—the dentist can project an image of pain in their minds, and this can equally deter them from taking adequate care of their oral health. While for others, continuous unpleasant experiences in the hands of their dentist while catering to a vulnerable part of their body has left them more susceptible to dental fear.

However, a good dentist would always ensure they develop and maintain a healthy relationship with their patient through effective communication, providing a conducive environment and working hard to allay every one of their fears—either through empathetic listening or therapy.

“It is important for me to build trust and comfort with my patients throughout the entire dental visit process,” said Dr. Adam Chapnick, doctor of dental surgery at Molson Park Dental Office.

While great oral hygieneis fundamental, the value you get from regularlypaying the dentist a visit should never be underestimated—most especially formillennials, known for always wanting to look their best.

Dental issues can dampen your smile, leaving your mouth full of sores. But visiting a dental specialist can provide you with tips on the most effectiveway to take the best care of your teeth. That way your teeth can remain silvery white for a very long time to come.

However, having dental insurance is an important element to achieving both good oral wellbeing and anenchanting smile. But while support is quite high from Canadians, the government doesn’t seem to be just as supportive, says Kleinsmith.

She says Ontario could gain a lot of insights from governments in the Unified Kingdom and France, where essential dental care is all-inclusive.


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