Keeping track of appointments and responsibilities is a pain, and it’s easy to let things slip through the cracks. Maybe that’s why one third of all Americans didn’t bother to visit their dentist last year. But skipping your annual dental appointment is a big-time mistake. If you neglect your dental health, you’ll end up with much bigger, nastier, costlier, and more embarrassing problems down the line. So while you may not exactly enjoy going to the dentist now, you’ll enjoy it a whole lot more than the three things you’ll have to worry about if you don’t care for your teeth.
Caring for your teeth means caring for your gums, too. Brushing regularly and properly will be tough on plaque but easy on gums. Healthy gums are very important to your smile. After all, would you care how white someone’s teeth were if those teeth were jutting loosely out of receding gums?
Gum disease is a very common problem among folks who don’t spend enough time brushing, flossing, and going to the dentist. As your gums recede, you’ll get nasty bad breath, could experience pain and bleeding, and may even lose some of your teeth.
Caring for your teeth does not just mean going to the dentist when something is wrong and hoping that it can be fixed. Sure, your dentist may be able to bail you out of the occasional cavity, but make no mistake: if you don’t care for your teeth, you will eventually start losing them. Maybe they’ll fall out because of gum disease, or maybe a severe tooth issue will force your dentist to pull out your tooth instead of using a filling.
That means crowns and, eventually, dentures. So add the cost of dentures — and the social cost that comes with having them earlier in life than you ever thought you would — to the long list of consequences that come with failing to care for your teeth.
Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, and more
On top of everything that bad dental hygiene can do to your mouth, there are some serious things that it can do to your body. Studies have shown that it can even increase your risk of debilitating and deadly diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and heart disease.
This is just one more example of how interconnected different aspects of our health can be. While we might think of mental health, physical health, dental health, and physical fitness as different things, they’re all just different aspects of the same thing: the care we give our bodies.
So make no mistake. When you fail to take care of your dental health, you’re damaging your entire body and your overall health.
Make the right decision
Caring for your dental health isn’t all that tough to do. All you really need to do is brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss daily — and, of course, visit your dentist regularly (at least once a year) for a check-up and teeth cleaning. It would also help if you did not smoke and were moderate about your intake of alcohol and sugary snacks. If you do these simple things, you’ll avoid more serious dental needs down the line, saving you money and giving you a whole lot less to worry about.