Healthy teeth and a dazzling white smile are earmarks of youth and good health. Many people, however, focus on a white smile instead of their oral health. While a brilliant smile is important for looking and feeling good, it can mask a multitude of oral health problems, such as tooth decay, gum disease or even oral cancer.
Oral Health is Linked to General Well-Being
Many people focus almost exclusively on their general health, such as by working out, watching what they eat and visiting their doctor for regular checkups. However, when you neglect your oral health, you are inviting disaster. Your oral health is inextricably linked to your overall well-being. For example, gum disease has been linked with serious problems such as heart attack, stroke, and diabetes. In addition, even a simple infection under the gums can create an abscess, or a pocket of infection that can lead to a more serious infection if the abscess bursts.
Each year, medical researchers are finding more links between common oral health problems and far-reaching issues with your overall health. If you do not take care of your oral health, your general health will suffer as well.
Dental Implants are no Substitute for your Natural Teeth
Healthy teeth are necessary to continue to lead a healthy life. While modern cosmetic dentistry treatments can remedy missing or damaged teeth, dental implants and other dental devices are just substitutes for your natural teeth. Healthy teeth help you have a healthy diet because you can enjoy a full range of healthy foods such as apples and corn-on-the-cob. It is very difficult to eat these foods with some kinds of dentures or dental devices because they can be damaged by hard foods, or because some foods become caught in the dental devices.
In addition, although the risk is small, dental surgery such as dental implants do carry risks, such as the risk of a bone or gum infection. As a result, these remedies should be used as a last resort for restoring a smile rather than as a substitute for good oral health.
Healthy Teeth gives an Attractive, Confident Appearance
Finally, maintaining healthy teeth and good oral health is important because healthy teeth help you have a more attractive appearance. While a white, dazzling smile does not always equal health, they often do go hand in hand. A brilliant white smile is the norm in today's society, and everyone from Hollywood actors to everyday people invests their time and money in maintaining a white and healthy smile. When your smile looks and feels healthy, you will have more confidence and a better self-esteem.
The best way to have a healthy smile is to maintain good oral health habits. Visit your dentist at least twice a year for regular checkups and cleanings. Brush twice a day for two minutes each time, and floss at least once a day. Avoid sugary foods and staining liquids as well to preserve healthy tooth enamel.
Farshid Ariz DDS, Northridge dentist, practices at Northridge Dental Group and provides a variety of cosmetic and restorative dental treatments for patients.