We get it–dentist’s offices aren’t the coolest places to spend an afternoon. Some people get annoyed or frustrated sitting in waiting rooms, while others feel paranoia and fear settling in before they can even settle into that reclining chair. However, dental health is important in more ways than one, from physical health to psychological impressions. With that being said, here are 3 reasons why having a healthy smile is more important than you think:
Everyone Else Thinks so (Most Likely Yourself Included). No one should encourage doing something simply because everyone else is doing it, but in this case the facts are based in psychology rather than fads or scare tactics:
- As reported in an American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) survey, nearly everyone agrees that having a healthy smile is an important factor in social situations. In fact, only 3 out of 1000 people did not agree with this statement, which means you’re better off assuming that everyone around you cares about a healthy smile.
- In addition, a whopping 96 percent of those polled believe that having a great smile is a key to being noticed and attracted to by the opposite sex.
- If helping your chances of finding love (or at least having a good night) isn’t motivation enough, nearly 3 out of every 4 people believe that having an unhealthy or unattractive smile that impair their success career-wise.
- To top that off, the AACD also reports that 1 out of every 2 Americans over 50 years old believe that your smile is the only physical feature that remains attractive as you age.
Periodontal Disease is a Real Issue. Not only is it important to remember why a healthy smile is a social necessity, it’s just as important to realize how easy it is to lose it:
- Nearly 3 out of 4 Americans have some sort of periodontal disease, from minor cavities to major tooth decay and missing teeth.
- What’s worse, the chances of periodontal disease increase over time. Almost 50% of adults over the age of 30 have some sort of periodontal disease; that figure jumps to 70% in adults over the age of 65.
- 1 in every 5 Americans has at least one untreated cavity. Unfortunately, the lower your income the higher your chances of being a part of that group.
- Cavities may sound a lot more common, and some of you may be able to recall getting silver caps in your childhood from eating too much candy. No big deal, right? Wrong. Roughly 10% of Americans (that’s nearly 30 million people!) are missing all of their teeth in at least one jaw.
Children Are at Risk of Developing Unhealthy Dental Hygiene From the Start. Unfortunately, proper dental hygiene practices are not usually taught to children. As people are not usually told all of the benefits of proper oral hygiene (or the calamities that come improper oral hygiene), these skills are not sharpened or encouraged going into adulthood:
- 25% of children have never been to the dentist by the time they are ready for Kindergarten.
- As a result of improper hygiene, nearly 80% of children have at least one cavity before reaching adulthood.
- Unfortunately, these habits have clear effects in adulthood, as the average adult waits up to 3 years before scheduling their next dental appointment. In the meantime, 75% of those adults do not replace their toothbrushes as often as they are supposed to.
This sounds really scary, but luckily there are plenty of ways to restore your smile if you haven’t been as nice to your smile as it has been to you. In addition to routine dental cleaning, many dentists offer comprehensive dental exams, fillings, dental implants and replacements, and teeth whitening services among other treatment options. Still fearful of that bright light in your face or the whirring noises of the dental equipment in such a vulnerable spot? As advances in medicine and technology have improved oral surgery, most of these procedures have been improved and updated in the quest for pain free dentistry.