Have you been putting off going for your biannual (or at least annual) dental cleanings? Are you upset with the way your teeth look and never want to show your teeth in pictures? You may be cautioning your children to brush and floss their teeth but not following your own good advice! Your dental cleanings are just as important as your annual checkups with your doctor! In fact, your dental health can even have a larger impact on your overall health, so it’s important to be making sure your teeth are in the best condition possible and that you’re getting regular comprehensive dental exams. Not only is a healthy smile good for your body, but it also can make you feel more confident when you smile and may improve first snap judgments made by other people. If you need dental work done, there are ways to restore your smile to its former pearly white and straight appearance. Visiting a cosmetic dentist can be helpful here.
How Important Is a Good Smile?
The American Academy of Dentistry (AACD) released a survey that showed 99.7% of adults said a health smile was important to their social life. Almost 75% of adults also felt that a bad smile could get in the way of being successful in their career. Over half of adults who are older than 50 say that a smile is one of the physical features that stays the most attractive the older we get as well. Furthermore, over 95% of adults think that having a nice smile can make you more appealing to those of the opposite sex.
So clearly, in both the personal and professional sectors of our life, we feel that a good smile is key to getting ahead and even getting what (or who) we want.
What’s Current Dental Health Look Like?
Even with those beliefs, we don’t necessarily take steps to ensure that our smile stays attractive. Almost half of adults who are 30 years of age or older have some kind of periodontal disease and that number only goes up — over 70% of adults who are older than 65 have periodontal disease. This is more common among men than women, those below the federal poverty level or who have less than a high school education, and those who smoke.
At least 20% of Americans have one or more cavities that haven’t been treated and this rate increases as your household wealth declines. Almost 80% of people have a cavity by the time they’re 17. Even more concerning, over 30 million Americans have no teeth in one or both of their jaws.
Over 30% of people would say that they’re concerned about the way their teeth look. Almost 20% of people won’t show their teeth in pictures and people often go an average of three years between appointments for dental cleanings or exams. Only a little over 20% of people floss daily and three-quarters of people don’t replace their toothbrushes as often as they should for effective brushing.
How Can I Keep My Teeth In Good Shape?
Don’t skip your dental cleanings! Make sure you’re going in regularly (at least once a year, though you should go every six months). Brush and floss at least twice a day (you should be brushing after every meal). Try and avoid overly sweet foods and know which foods or beverages are especially staining (coffee, tea, wine, etc.,) and make a plan to brush after consuming these beverages if you can.
If you have a cavity, get it treated as soon as you can! See a cosmetic dentist or orthodontist to fix crooked teeth (these can have an adverse impact on your jaw), missing teeth, stains or other discoloration, and for crowns and implants. The longer you wait to treat these problems, the worse they’ll get.
It doesn’t take too much to keep your teeth healthy and looking beautiful. If you make good dental hygiene into a habit, it’ll become second nature after awhile and not brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentist regular will feel odd! Smile with pride and show off your beautiful smile.