How many times do you think the average person smiles in their lifetime? The average person smiles about seven time in their day. So let’s say someone lives until the age of 80 and smiles seven times a day — that means they smile over 200,000 times in their lifespan! That’s a lot of showing those pearly whites! Perhaps this explains why so many people are self-conscious or worried about their teeth. It’s often the first impression someone gets of you. Toothpaste and dental care ads advertise whiter, straighter teeth and a more natural smile. Indeed, in the last five years, the number of teeth whitening procedures has gone up 300%!
The Tooth Industry
Americans will spend over $100 billion every year on taking care of their teeth. “Is it really so important?” you might ask. Clearly it is for a majority of Americans, whether for cosmetic reasons or for health reasons, or a combination of both. Most kids get braces on in their preteens or early teens to straighten out their teeth and as they mature into adults, the dental ratrace continues. Individuals may get whitening procedures done for whiter teeth and to keep their smiles from yellowing. A little over 30% of people over the age of 75 report to not have any natural teeth remaining at all. This means they’ve had to invest in dentures — another trip to the dentist’s office.
Why Is Keeping Your Teeth Healthy Important?
On an interpersonal level, keeping your teeth well cared for usually means you have odorless or good smelling breath — bad breath can be a huge turn off for some people. Additionally, if you don’t take care of your teeth, you may get cavities and have to have teeth pulled, leaving a gap that you may think is unsightly. If you need dental implants or a new set of teeth, those can cost a hefty bundle.
Even more worrying, recent studies have shown a link between your tooth health and your heart. By keeping your teeth healthy, you may also be lowering your risk for heart disease or a stroke! Looking to sleep better? Your cleanly brushed teeth may be contributing to that, as they lower your risk for gum disease. Only a little over half of Americans say that they floss regularly — an important step in your oral hygiene process! It keeps plaque from building up around your teeth and gums.
How Do I Even Start Paying For All Of This?
If you’re looking at your own or your kids’ pearly whites with despair, don’t worry. Many oral hygiene offices and orthodontists offer financial plans to help cover the expenses. In some cases (and depending heavily on what the procedure is), your insurance may even cover part of the expense. (It’s always a good idea to opt in to dental insurance — you never know when you may need it!)
Your teeth are investment you want to take care of. Stay up to date on brushing and flossing for the best smile you can possibly have!