Hispanic Heritage Month – A Look Into Oral Health
Every year, Americans observe and celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15. During this time people celebrate the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Mexico, Spain, the Caribbean and Central and South America.
The day of September 15 is a significant date in Hispanic heritage because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.
While celebrating this month, we wanted to shed light on some of the facts of the Hispanic community as it relates to oral health. According to the Hispanic Dental Association's fast facts published in 2010:
Twice as many Hispanic children are likely to have untreated dental caries as are non-Hispanic white children.
The percentage of children who have never visited a dentist is highest among Mexican children (17.7 percent).
Nearly 40 percent of Hispanic adults live with untreated oral disease – nearly double the rate of non-Hispanic whites.
Hispanics have the highest un-insured rates in the U.S., which is often a barrier to scheduling professional dental visits.
Oral health problems can affect people of all races and nationalities, so prevention is key!