Let’s face it: we often overlook the importance of good oral health. Even though from a young age we’ve been taught the importance of good oral hygiene, it is easy to dismiss it as an adult. The American Dental Association reports that 95% of Americans recognize the importance of oral health for their overall well-being, while just 33% of Americans floss daily, as stated by the same association1.
Dentist visits can be bothersome, stressful, and tough to fit into a busy work schedule. June is National Oral Health Month, and its initiative is imperative. Taking care of your teeth and gums is crucial not just for a bright, confident smile, but for overall health and well-being.
Here are just a few reasons why oral health matters and why you should make it a priority:
Prevention of tooth decay and gum disease.
Good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing and flossing regularly, can help prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Tooth decay is caused by the buildup of bacteria on the teeth, which produce acids that erode the enamel.
Gum disease is caused by bacteria that build up in the gums, leading to inflammation and infection. Both conditions can cause pain, discomfort, and tooth loss if left untreated. Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a serious condition that can affect overall health. By taking care of your teeth and gums, you can prevent these issues from developing and maintain a healthy smile.
Routine care is key for overall health.
The mouth is an entry point to the body, and bacteria that accumulate in the mouth can enter the bloodstream and cause infections in other parts of the body.
Regular preventive visits to the dentist allow for early detection of oral health problems such as tooth decay, gum disease, and oral cancer. Detecting these issues at an early stage increases the chances of successful treatment and prevents them from progressing into more severe and costly conditions. These regular dental cleanings and examinations help remove plaque buildup and tartar, which are major contributors to tooth decay and cavities.
Preventive services also offer an opportunity for dental professionals to educate patients on proper oral hygiene practices. Dentists can provide guidance on effective brushing and flossing techniques, the importance of tongue cleaning, and the use of mouthwash. These practices help remove plaque, reduce the risk of gum disease, and maintain overall oral hygiene.
Poor oral hygiene and untreated oral conditions can contribute to various systemic health issues, including heart disease, diabetes, respiratory infections, and pregnancy complications. By prioritizing preventive care, you can maintain good oral health and reduce the risk of associated systemic health problems.
Your dental insurance plan can help more than you think.
While each dental plan varies, dental insurance can do wonders for maintaining good oral health. Most dental insurance plans emphasize preventive care, including regular check-ups, cleanings, and X-rays. These routine visits are essential for maintaining good oral health, as they can help detect and address any issues before they become more severe. Dental insurance often covers these preventive services at little to no cost to you.
Additionally, dental insurance plans typically have a network of participating dentists. By enrolling in dental insurance, you gain access to a wide range of dental professionals within the network. This allows you to choose from qualified and approved dentists who accept your insurance, ensuring quality care and potentially lower costs.
Pregnant women are given one additional free preventative visit, as pregnancy can make you more susceptible to gum disease and cavities. It’s important to maintain good oral health conditions while pregnant to protect your baby’s health.
A confident and healthy smile can boost self-esteem.
A genuine and confident smile creates a positive first impression. It can convey friendliness, approachability, and warmth, making it easier for others to connect with you. When you have a healthy smile and exude confidence, people are more likely to respond positively to you, which can contribute to building better relationships, personally and professionally.
Taking care of your teeth and having a bright, confident smile can do wonders for your overall well-being. Your oral health can enhance your self-confidence, improve your social interactions, and boost your overall quality of life.
Long-term cost savings.
Dental insurance helps protect you from significant out-of-pocket expenses by covering a portion of the costs. With insurance, you can better manage your dental expenses and potentially save money in the long run.
Investing in preventive oral care, such as regular dental check-ups and cleanings, can save you money in the long run. By detecting and addressing dental issues early on, you can prevent them from progressing into more complex and costly problems. Dental treatments like fillings, root canals, and tooth replacements are typically more expensive than preventive care measures. Prioritizing oral health can help you avoid these higher costs.
This National Oral Health Month, we encourage you to take the time to prioritize your oral health. Schedule a dental check-up, make sure you’re brushing and flossing regularly, and take steps to maintain good oral hygiene. By doing so, you’ll enjoy the benefits of a bright, confident smile and take an important step towards good overall health and well-being.
By making oral health a priority, you can set a positive example for your family, especially children. Oftentimes, children may be afraid of going to the dentist. Teaching them proper oral hygiene habits from an early age and ensuring regular dental check-ups establishes a foundation for lifelong oral health. You can contribute to the oral health and well-being of your loved ones by leading through example.