Gender differences are often discussed, theorized over, and hotly argued. Do women think differently to men? Do they communicate better? Do men or women make better managers? The list that’s up for debate seems to go on and on. But have you ever wondered if there are differences in oral health between men and women?
Research seems to indicate that there are. But despite oral health risk factors that are unique to women and that are often associated with hormonal fluctuations, it seems that women are no more prone to caries than men are. But there’s more to it than just that, and there are reasons why women, despite extra risks, are able to keep pace with, and even outstrip men when it comes to oral health.
Here’s what repeated studies have found and confirmed.
Women are More Likely to visit the Dentist for Checks
You can probably recite the guideline as well as anyone else, regardless of whether you are male or female: “Visit the Richmond dentist for your six-monthly check-ups.” But knowing something and actually doing it are two different things.
When it comes to visiting the dentist when not suffering from a dental emergency, pain, or discomfort, women are hands-down winners. The chances of having been to see a dentist at any time during the past year are nearly twice as great among women than men.
WE CAN INFER THAT:
- Women are more likely to have oral health problems attended to early.
- Women are likely to see an oral hygienist more frequently than men.
There are facts to back this up. A study tracked the incidence of gingivitis (a mild gum infection) and periodontitis (a severe gum infection that starts with gingivitis) and found that men were more likely to have periodontitis than women. But there’s another reason why women’s oral health is better than that of men.
Women are More Likely to Brush and Floss Regularly
A study on dental students confirmed what several researchers have previously concluded: women are more likely to brush their teeth regularly. It’s particularly interesting that this study used dental students as subjects. Presumably both male and female subjects were equally informed on the benefits of good oral hygiene. But despite this, the ladies were more likely to practice good habits.
This links back to the finding on gum disease because the best way to prevent serious gum disease is to maintain a good oral hygiene routine at home.
Two Nil to The Ladies – Gents, what are You Going to Do About That?
We are dealing in generalizations here, and it’s worth noting that “more likely than,” is not the same as “all.” So, yes, some ladies probably don’t take care of their teeth as well as they should, while some gents are as kind to their pearly whites as any person should be. But if we’re going to look at likelihood, male readers are more likely to need reminders about good oral health and hygiene practices.
So, here’s the challenge: step up to the plate! Brush those teeth manfully, but not too hard, twice a day. Floss. And if you haven’t been for a check-up lately, now’s the time to make your appointment!