100 years ago 50% of adults in North America were toothless. Today less than 10% of adults over age 65 have lost teeth. This huge jump can be attributed to many factors including the commercialization of toothpaste into the marketplace. Colgate for example introduced its toothpaste in a jar in 1873 and by 1896 Colgate was selling toothpaste in the tubes most consumers are familiar with. Today Americans spend about two billion dollars on dental products including toothpaste, dental floss, and mouth wash and of course toothbrushes. No wonder more people reach their sixth fifth birthday with a full set of their own teeth than a hundred years ago.
Today most people under the age of 35 years old who have missing teeth have lost them due to fights, accidents or athletic trauma. Athletes are 60 times more likely to damage their teeth because they are not wearing a mouth guard during athletic activities than athletes who take the proper precautions and wear a mouth guard. For people over 35 years old the major reason for tooth loss is periodontal disease which is why it is so important to make regular dental visits and twice a year cleanings a priority.
Let's face, no one loves going to the dentist. For many people it is a fearful thing to sit in the dentist chair even with the modern advances that can make the visit almost pain free. However preventative visits are far easier and less stressful in the end than the alternative which can amount to spending lots of time and lots of money to repair neglect and missed dental problems such as tooth decay. Tooth decay is one of the most common and most widespread diseases around. It is also one of the oldest diseases around. Archeologists have discovered that our prehistoric ancestors suffered from the same problems with tooth decay then as we do today. The difference is they suffered with the pain of decay and tooth loss while we have the luxury of being able to see a dentist and have dental decay removed and cavities filled to ease the pain.
With all of the options at our fingertips today including braces, dentures, bridges, caps and invisible sealants, not to mention dentist who are highly trained professionals in their field, there is no reason anyone should suffer from dental pain or unnecessary tooth loss like our ancestors did only a hundred short years ago.