According to one study, nearly one-third of Americans say that the first aspect of another person’s face they typically notice is teeth. A survey done by Kelton Research revealed that the majority of adults perceive individuals with straight teeth to have more desirable characteristics than those with crooked teeth, including qualities such as happiness, success, and a close network of friends and loved ones. Yet, according to a new poll, two in five middle-aged adults do not get regular dental care. This is in part because of the high cost of dental care and in part because most people do not think that preventative dental care is important. But it is, and this post details why.
The Importance of a Healthy Smile
Not enough people make oral health a top priority until a major oral health issue arises, such as tooth loss, gum disease, or major decay. When a major issue does pop up, it is almost too late to undo the damage via cost-effective means. At such points, the only options for restoration are costly and oftentimes invasive. Keeping the costs of care down and treatment to a bare minimum is only possible with ongoing dental care.
Cost and treatment aside, there are other, just as important reasons to invest in your smile. According to Dr. George Hatzigiannis, a dental health professional who focuses on providing affordable care to low income neighborhoods, cites the following reasons for maintaining one’s oral health:
- Your oral health affects your ability to digest foods. Most people aren’t aware, but their teeth aid in the overall digestive process. The better teeth can chew, the more nutrients the body gets from the food put into it. Moreover, if foods are swallowed in large chunks, the body has a more difficult time breaking it down, leading to digestive problems and possible weight concerns.
- Your oral health affects your overall comfort. Many dental issues are painful, and not just when the teeth are in use. If you’ve ever had a tooth ache or an impacted tooth, you know the pain.
- Your smile affects others’ impressions of you. As mentioned above, one of the first things that people notice about others is their smile. If you want to make a strong and positive first impression, maintain your smile.
- Your oral health affects your overall health. Poor dental health can lead to complex and possibly life-threatening illnesses. For instance, an untreated dental abscess, inflammation, or infection can send toxins into the blood stream and cause fatal complications.
On a less serious note, poor oral health may force you to eat softer and less-nutritional foods for the sake of keeping pain at bay. This can result in jaw and bone deterioration, muscle deterioration, tooth loss, and reduced overall health.
What You Can Do To Maintain Your Smile
It’s never too late to implement healthy lifestyle changes, and, fortunately for you, better oral health habits are neither costly nor difficult to apply. Some things you can begin doing today to improve the appearance of your smile and reduce your risk of dental-related issues include the following:
- Visit your dentist twice a year.
- Floss daily and brush twice daily.
- Limit your intake of red wine, coffee, and black tea.
- Quit smoking.
- Drink plenty of water.
- If you sense an oral health issue coming on, get it looked at.
- Discuss whitening products with your dentist before using one.
- Talk to your dentist about sealants.
Your smile has an impact on others’ perceptions of you as well as on your overall health. For these reasons and some many others; such as your own comfort and peace of mind; it is worth it to invest a bit of your time and hard-earned money into its maintenance. Talk to your dentist today about what you can start doing to work toward a healthier smile.
Article Submitted By Community Writer