When you smile during interactions with others, it gives the other person a record of a “mental snapshot” within the first few minutes of meeting. Healthy smiles reflect openness, trust, and confidence. Researchers have found that a smiling face is likely to subconsciously prompt stranger’s cooperation even at the first interaction. This implies that a healthy smile in professional settings, such as job interview, can be an advantage. The display of healthy teeth through a steady, slightly open-mouthed smile is the ultimate advantage.
We all know that maintaining a healthy smile has many social and professional benefits, but what about the connection of your dental health to the overall health of your body? Taking care of your teeth can have a huge impact on your general health.
Here are some of the health benefits of a healthy smile:
- Boosts self-esteem and confidence
If you have gum disease or decayed teeth, bad breath is sure to accompany them. You may also feel uncomfortable speaking to people because they will see how terrible your teeth are, and may even have trouble eating, so you avoid situations where you will need to be face-to-face with others. Having a healthy smile takes away the fear associated with interacting with others, and helps you feel confident that you don’t have bad breath or unsightly teeth. Visiting a general dentist for regular checkups can help keep decay and gum disease at bay.
- May lower the risk of heart disease
Gum disease can cause chronic inflammation, which is associated with cardiovascular problems such as heart disease, strokes, and blockage of arteries. Although the link of gum disease to cardiovascular problems has come up in several studies, researchers are hesitant to say that there is a definite link between dental health and heart problems. However, there is strong evidence to suggest that good dental health can help your general health.
- Preserves memory
According to a report in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, adults who had gingivitis performed worse on tests of memory and other cognitive abilities than adults with healthy teeth. Using an antibacterial toothpaste or mouthwash can reduce gingivitis-causing bacteria in the mouth.
- Reduces risk of infection and inflammation in the body
Poor oral health has been linked to infections in other parts of the body and other problems like rheumatoid arthritis. Experts say that in both rheumatoid arthritis and gum disease, the mechanism of the destruction of connective tissues is similar.
- Helps keep blood sugar low if you have diabetes
Those with uncontrolled diabetes have a greater incidence of gum disease. Having diabetes also makes you more susceptible to infections. These two things may make controlling blood sugar harder. If you have diabetes, make sure you are following your doctor’s orders in regards to diet, exercise, and medication. You also need to be regularly maintaining your teeth by brushing and flossing daily.
- Helps pregnant women carry a baby to term
There is a link between pregnancy and gingivitis, in that some pregnant women develop gingivitis during pregnancy even though they maintain their teeth in the same manner as before becoming pregnant. Gingivitis can cause preterm, low-birth-weight babies. Seeking proper dental care should be part of every woman’s prenatal-care routine.