Did you know that tooth decay is the second most common disease after the common cold? Or that job applicants with whiter smiles are more than 50% more likely to receive a higher salary? Your oral health and your smile are valuable assets to your life, satisfaction, and happiness.
This is important to remember because people often express concern about spending money on their smiles. The cost of dentistry can be prohibitive, certainly, depending on your oral health issues. But like anything else, dentistry is an investment in one’s health, just as eating healthy foods and working out are to maintaining a healthy body. Investing in your oral health provides both mental and physical benefits now and down the road. Let’s take a look.
A healthy, beautiful smile has the power to make you look and feel good. The rewards are both psychological and physical. It can boost your self-esteem when you feel confident enough to smile freely, without embarrassment due to perceived flaws.
Studies have shown that smiling helps you feel better about yourself, your abilities, and life choices, and science backs this up. When you smile, you produce hormones and chemicals that make you feel happier, calmer, and more satisfied. Smiling at someone else can also elevate their mood. In this way, smiling can be contagious (in a good way).
Conversely, if you are unhappy with your smile, and avoid smiling around other people, you are at greater risk for experiencing less self-confidence as well as suffering socially as people think you are antisocial and not enjoyable to be around.
Studies have also shown that people believe attractive people are more intelligent. However, there is no actual link between intelligence and appearance. Despite this, and since so many do believe it, U.S. citizens spent over $11 billion on whitening their teeth just in 2016 alone. Even in the film industry, movies portray heroes with perfect, straight teeth while the bad guys have crooked or ugly teeth.
Are you job hunting? Because folks believe looks are a sign of intelligence, employers subconsciously, if not consciously, believe that your aligned pearly whites are an indication of how smart you are and may make hiring decisions which reflect this. So if you are considering wearing braces, it may help to remember that this is a long-term investment. And if finances are a concern, you can often make monthly payments.
When it comes to protecting your teeth, losing your teeth is costly. Not just because of the cost of having a tooth pulled, but time lost from work due to recovery after the treatment along with missed work because of the oral infection making you sick beforehand. Oral bacteria and infections can affect other bodily organs and can weaken your immune system. Overall, according to the CDC, dental problems cost 164 million in lost working hours every year.
Taking good care of your oral health NOW means less costly problems later. Similar to maintaining your vehicle to keep it running smoothly, your smile requires regular checkups and cleanings. Routine dental maintenance with your dentist, along with daily oral hygiene care, work in tandem to prevent serious dental issues such as gum disease and tooth decay from taking over your smile.
Investing in dental filling now can save you a dental crown, root canal, or tooth extraction later. So don’t let the cost of dentistry sway you from investing in your mental, physical and financial health for the proper dental care you need. Just as your daily diet and exercise are worth your time, energy, and money, so is your smile.