Dental Plaque: A Billion Dollar Business

Dental plaque is a biofilm. Biofilms contribute to a billion dollar business for dental practices with additional office visits and dental treatments. Surveys indicate that nearly 24% of adults in the U.S. have untreated dental caries. In addition, around 39% of Americans have moderate-to-severe periodontitis – a number that rises to 64% for those over 65.

How can we keep teeth through old age, save money and improve health? DENTAL HYGIENE. If you are not being educated by your hygienists about the importance of daily dental hygiene, then consider trying a new RDH.

My sister told me how Jan, her dental hygienist, educated her about how to floss effectively which greatly improved the amount of tartar in the hard to reach places, how to keep her 6mm pocket from getting deeper, and how to treat her implant differently than other teeth. So, when I visited my sister in Utah, I scheduled an appointment with Jan. It’s enlightening to experience how different hygienists specialize in different areas of dental hygiene. There is so much to learn about the health of your mouth. I learn every time I visit my RDH Lisa, but I learned from Jan, too!

Why don’t dental practices educate patients about the importance of hygiene? Some may think it’s because they like your frequent business. But, I think they assume you just want the treatment and be on your way. If you want to be educated about how you can save thousands of dollars over your lifetime by keeping your teeth and gums healthy, then ask!


Eva Grayzel, a nationally recognized Master Storyteller and performance artist was diagnosed at age 33 with Stage IV oral cancer and given a 15% chance of survival. After regaining her deep vibrant voice, Eva applied her stage skills to communicate the depth of her experience in a unique and powerful way.  In 2014, she performed ’Tongue-Tied’ Off-Broadway in New York City to a sold-out audience. A champion for early detection, Eva founded the Six-Step Screening™ oral cancer awareness campaign. Eva is the author of two children’s books, ‘Mr. C Plays Hide & Seek’ and ‘Mr. C the Globetrotter,’ which help children understand cancer and empower them with coping skills and communication strategies.
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