Dental health and wellness may not top your list of priorities, but it should. Here’s why.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 31.6% of adults between the ages of 20 and 44 currently have untreated cavities.
Even worse, nearly half (46%) of adults over the age of 29 have some degree of gum disease. If you’re like a lot of people, you have a hard time prioritizing your dental health and wellness. But getting your teeth in shape should be more than just an aspirational goal on your distant to-do list.
Rather, it’s the kind of thing you want to get serious about lest nothing ever changes. It has to be one of those things where you stand up and say, “You know what? I’m taking of care this today.” Because it really is that important. Here’s why:
1. Dental Health Is Health. Period.
The plaque with multiplying bacteria on and between your teeth, the inflammation in your gums, the decay in your enamel… you can’t see any of it, but all of it’s there. These things take a toll, not only in your mouth, but eventually in your whole body. Too often people think about their mouth as being separate from the rest of them.
This is probably because the family physician doesn’t spend too much time examining your teeth. It’s easy to start thinking about them as something “extra,” “other,” or “less than.” But shocking as it may seem, your mouth is actually a part of your body! (Who knew!?) The things that happen there really do affect the rest of you.
Did you know, for example, that heart disease can begin in the mouth? So can cancer and many other serious, systemic diseases. Bacterial infections that are allowed to fester soon start to spread. They can even get in your blood. Mouth disease doesn’t necessarily stay mouth disease. Teeth and health go hand in hand.
2. Your Self-Confidence Matters.
Studies of human behavior have shown that when someone takes steps to improve their appearance, they simultaneously improve their state of mind. Feeling good about the way you look can be empowering, and it may even lead to stronger social interactions, lower stress levels, and increased energy. As the old adage goes, “When you look better, you feel better.”
In that sense, dental health and wellness is as important emotionally as it is medically. Beauty isn’t everything, nor is it a worthwhile metric for assessing yourself. But knowing that you are actively taking care of yourself and putting your best self forward? That can totally transform your self-image, helping you to overcome the feelings of negative self-worth that sometimes seem so pervasive in our society.
As human beings, our smile is our #1 way of communicating our mood and our approachability at first glance.
When you’re confident in your smile — whether it’s the whiteness of your teeth, their alignment, or the overall appearance of good oral hygiene – you’re more likely to engage others with confidence as well.
The importance of dental health extends well into your social life (and beyond).
3. Your Comfort Matters Too.
When your teeth fall out of alignment, your bite becomes uneven, which can lead to long-term jaw problems. Pain, swelling, and impaired motion in the jaw joint (TMJ) are common problems and can be exacerbated by stress, bruxism, and poor oral hygiene.
These symptoms tend to grow worse with time. A dental professional can help by:
- Assessing the strength of your jaw joint
- Examining your teeth for evidence of teeth grinding (which may happen while you’re asleep)
- Creating a custom-fit mouth guard to help keep your jaw aligned properly and relieve tension in the joint.
4. Prevention Is Easier than Correction.
One of the biggest reasons people cite for staying away from their dentist? Financial concerns. There is a misconception out there that getting good dental care is unaffordable, or that it is a discretionary expense best avoided when budgets are under stress.
The truth, however, is that the most expensive dental services are those that are required to fix years of poor oral hygiene and dental neglect. Preventative care is generally affordable and is widely covered by insurance provider s. Most Insurance companies cover preventative treatment for a reason: they recognize that it’s the most cost-effective form of dental care, saving everyone a great deal of money and frustration in the long run.
At the end of the day, dental health can’t be ignored. Those who don’t take care of their teeth and health today will be forced to take more drastic measures tomorrow – and at a much steeper price.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Dentist In Your Area
The importance of dental health really does extend to every facet of your life, from the physical and psychological to your social well-being, your quality of life, and even your job prospects.
Ideal Dental was founded in 2008 and has over 80 locations across the state of Texas. Ideal Dental offices provide patients with a wide range of dental services including general dentistry, teeth whitening, orthodontics, oral surgery and emergency dental. Ideal Dental’s mission is to put smiles on the faces of hundreds of patients that visit its offices daily.