Monday, April 29, 2013

Even your teeth are getting better

I got a friendly dental reminder from ZocDoc today, and naturally that made me wonder how much better we’re doing with our teeth as a society. Here are some tidbits from Stephen Moore and Julian Simon’s It’s Getting Better All the Time. (Keep in mind that since that book came out in 2000, these stats are probably even better now.)

They write, "The father of our country, George Washington, had wooden teeth. Most of our grandparents wore dentures (if they could afford them) because their teeth had rotted away. But due to modern dental care, better oral hygiene, and fluoridated water, far fewer Americans than ever before lose their teeth.” Some stats:
  • Average Americans have 3 more teeth today (2000) than they did in 1970 (21 then, versus 24 now). 
  • Americans in general keep their teeth about 10 years longer than they did in the 1960s.
  •  The average 55 to 64-year-old now has 4 more of their real teeth than that age group did 20 years ago. 

More details and charts can be found in this CDC report.