As the Greek philosopher, Plato said, “The part can never be well unless the whole is well.”
And it’s a pretty safe bet that he’d say the reverse is also true – the whole cannot be well unless each part is well.
A great example of this principle in action is dental health. Serious problems with your teeth and gums can have a significant impact on your overall health, appearance and happiness.
On the flipside, taking great care of your smile has several long-term benefits, and here are just a few…
1. You have Easier Dental Appointments
As a dentist, I know full well that dental appointments are not high on anyone’s list of favorite activities. And I get it. It’s not very fun to stare at the ceiling while someone pokes and prods your mouth.
But you probably know by now that some sessions with the dentist are better than others. Simple checkup and cleaning? Pretty tolerable. Having a cavity filled? Not enjoyable. Getting a root canal? Dreadful.
Ignoring your floss or putting off checkups for long periods are the sorts of things that lead to the checkups and treatments that you dread. By being vigilant about oral health on a regular basis, however, you can greatly increase the chances of having quick, easy and painless dental appointments.
2. You Look Better
If the booming beauty industry is any indication, it’s clear that most of us care a lot about looking our best. And why shouldn’t we? Feeling good about your appearance has been shown to increase confidence, improve your social life and even boost your career.
One of the first things that people notice about your appearance? Your smile of course. While it isn’t likely that anyone will comment on it, they may very well make unconscious negative assumptions about you if your teeth don’t appear to be healthy.
Having regular dental checkups and maintaining good oral hygiene habits can go a long way in avoiding issues like inflamed gums, bad breath and tooth loss so that you can always be confident about the face you show the world.
3. You Feel Better
Having excellent oral health can make you feel good in a couple of ways. First, you won’t experience the pain or discomfort of toothaches, bleeding gums or sensitive teeth.
That good feeling is not just physical though – you’ll also feel good psychologically because you’ll know that you’re doing everything you can to be healthy and keep your own teeth as you age. If you don’t take good care of your teeth and you know better, you will likely experience guilt and worry the longer you put off going to the dentist.
4. You Improve Your Overall Health
It’s a common mistake to believe that dental health is totally isolated from your overall health. In fact, the health of your teeth and gums is closely linked to other seemingly unrelated health issues.
- Increased bacteria in the mouth from poor oral hygiene habits can lead to oral infections like gum disease and tooth decay.
- Endocarditis, an infection in the inner lining of the heart, can be caused by bacteria from your mouth traveling through your bloodstream and entering this damaged part of the heart.
- Studies show that bacteria in your mouth can contribute to clogged arteries, heart disease and stroke.
- In pregnant women, periodontitis can be linked to low birth weight and premature birth.
- For those with diseases that weaken the immune system (diabetes and HIV/AIDS), gum disease is more common and more severe.
- Osteoporosis has been shown to be linked to tooth loss and periodontal bone lose.
So, it’s clear that if you care about maintaining your overall health, you should also prioritize your oral health.
5. You Get to Keep Your Own Teeth
Contrary to popular belief, not all senior citizens wear a full set of dentures. Thanks to modern dentistry and what we know about home dental hygiene, you have much a better chance than your parents or grandparents did of keep your own teeth into old age.
If you are diligent about brushing twice a day, flossing once a day and visiting your dentist every 6 months, you will be far less likely to lose your teeth and need to get some or all of them replaced by false ones that require much more maintenance.
Hopefully by now you agree that all of these great benefits are worth just a handful of minutes per day and a couple of short dental appointments a year. Because that’s really all it takes to reap the great rewards of dental health.
She is also an avid blogger who loves sharing her expertise and advice for preventative care with readers in a variety of online publications. For more, visit www.1MagSmile.com.
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