Does Dental Health Matter For Future Astronauts?

18 February 2015
 Categories: Dentist, Blog


When it comes to childhood career aspirations, few are more prevalent and common than astronaut. After all, what child doesn't think that floating around in outer space would basically be the best thing ever? However, if you are among the handful who continue to have such aspirations through childhood and into adulthood, you know there is a great deal more to consider than how fun it would be. When it comes to the possibility of being an astronaut, your physical condition is of the utmost importance. Whether you thought of it or not, this includes your teeth. Get to know some of the important aspects of dental health that will affect your eligibility to be an astronaut in the future. 

Avoid Cavities and Fillings

One of the best ways to ensure your eligibility to one day be an astronaut (dental-wise) is to keep your teeth as healthy and cavity-free as possible, avoiding dental fillings as much as possible. This means, of course regular brushing and flossing (twice a day), and twice semi-annual visits to the dentist. While this dental health care is important for everyone, those who intend to travel into space need to be particularly meticulous. This is due to the fact that the screening process for medical and dental health to be an astronaut is intense and stringent. This avoidance is also necessary because developing cavities usually means that your dentist will remove the infected tissue and fill the holes with dental fillings. Fillings, unfortunately, may not hold up well under the immense pressure and vibration that occurs when a ship launches into space.

Astronauts who launch into space with fillings could have their fillings jarred loose in takeoff, resulting in a great deal of pain and discomfort throughout their several months in space. Filling loss can further damage teeth, expose nerves, and help new cavities to form. Six or more months in space without a dentist would do little to help with such issues. 

Dealing With Otherwise Damaged Teeth

So, you keep your teeth clean and cavity-free, but what happens if you get into an accident or other incident that causes physical damage to your teeth? If you crack, chip, or otherwise injure your teeth throughout your life, this does not automatically preclude you from becoming an astronaut. 

In fact, even if you have lost adult teeth at one point or another, you can still become an astronaut. Missing adult teeth need to be replaced as soon as possible when they occur to keep you eligible. This is because missing teeth lead to bone loss in your mouth that can advance quickly and result in catastrophic damage to your mouth's internal structure. 

Dental implants (the best option for tooth replacement) have been shown to remain in place and intact following a trip to space and back to Earth. These tooth replacement devices are placed directly into your jawbone and are structurally just like your natural teeth. As such, they are one of the only dental interventions that can withstand a trip to space without causing you pain or difficulty in the journey. 

When your lifelong dream is to become an astronaut, you need to make sure to take proper care of your teeth. Luckily, even if your teeth sustain damage and need replacement, you may still be able to make it to the International Space Station. So, start taking good care of your teeth now in preparation for your future. Visit a local dentist like Dillon Family Dental PLLC for more information.