During WWI, the US government declared oral health a threat to national security. Today, more people own smart phones than toothbrushes. While this may make it seem as though not a lot has changed, we have actually come a long way in the last century. In fact, it’s because of the oral health problems discovered in soldiers enlisting to fight in WWI that dentists focus on preventive checkups rather than reactive care. The lesson learned by examining numerous cases of severe tooth decay and gum disease in otherwise young, healthy, men is that reactive dentistry is not enough. Unlike some health issues that clear up on their own over time (the flu, cold, etc.) oral health issues typically get worse the longer they’re left untreated. At the Dental Center of Westport, we encourage patients to maintain twice a year dental visits to keep smiles healthy.