It’s wonderful to look in the mirror and love the smile you see. But there are more benefits of a healthy smile than simply liking how it looks.
Oral Health Benefits
Toothache and gum disease are painful and can lead to infection, tooth loss, and other complications if unchecked. But a healthy, straight smile makes for a healthy mouth. Straight teeth are easier to clean, which means less tooth decay, which means fewer (or no) fillings, crowns, root canals, and other dental treatments in the future. Same with the gums; less tartar build-up on the teeth and an easier time flossing means that gums are less likely to develop inflammation and disease.
General Health Benefits
The benefits of a straight, healthy smile go far beyond the mouth. Gum disease has been linked with a number of serious conditions, including heart disease and stroke, which researchers believe is due to inflammation. Sleep apnea is another severe condition that can sometimes be treated through orthodontics, as is temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), or dysfunction of the jaw, which can lead to chronic headaches and neuromuscular pain. Having a healthy smile with straight teeth and a good bite can prevent or treat a range of health conditions beyond the mouth.
I’ve seen it time and again in my practice: at the start of treatment, my patient is unhappy with their teeth, reserved and uncertain; at the end of treatment, they’re not only happy with their teeth but have gained the confidence to shine and be their true selves. This happens fairly often with my adult female patients. It’s not the fact that their teeth are straight, but the fact that they feel empowered to smile openly that gives them this incredible confidence.
People who feel confident to laugh and smile without hiding their teeth, people who seem happy and comfortable in their own skin, are attractive. Conversely, we may unconsciously judge someone who doesn’t smile as being unhappy and uninteresting and avoid them. We can’t know that they don’t smile because they dislike their teeth. As shallow as it may seem, the truth is that a beautiful, healthy smile can open up social opportunities for people in the form of romantic relationships or good friendships, all because the confidence to smile is an attractive thing.
What’s your smile got to do with money? More than you may think. A smile is one of the first things that people notice when meeting someone new, and that’s true when it comes to hiring managers, too. A bright, attractive smile may hold more importance in jobs like server or salesperson, but they’re also important in jobs that aren’t customer-facing. Fair or not, an employer looking to hire may pass over someone whose smile doesn’t make a good first impression.
Are you happy with your smile? No matter where you are in life, you can get the smile you’ve always wanted. It will change your life in more ways than one.