Four Things to Know About the Connection Between Oral and Mental Health

December 28, 2020 |read icon 4 min read

Several times a day, you probably look in the mirror to smile and check your teeth. Clean and sparkling teeth tend to make us feel good about ourselves. However, if the smile shows grey or missing teeth, you may not feel so good. Here are four things to know about the connection between oral and mental health.

1. Mental health

Nearly seven in 10 people admit feeling self-conscious about their teeth. Over 50% of Americans cover their mouths when they laugh. Research shows that the condition of your mouth affects mental health and self-confidence. People with good-looking teeth tend to smile more, making it easier for people to connect with them. However, people who are not comfortable with their smiles may be more depressed. They are less comfortable when talking and laughing with friends and co-workers.

2. Physical health

Nearly 15% of people say they have never been to the dentist. Many cannot remember their last scheduled appointment. However, it is important to see the dentist at least once a year to have your teeth checked and professionally cleaned. During an exam, the dentist will check the healthiness of your teeth and gums. Tooth decay can lead to gum disease that can increase the risk of certain medical conditions. These concerns include heart disease, stroke, diabetes, lung disease, dementia, and premature birth.

During the pandemic, many people are concerned about seeing the dentist. Learn what dental offices are doing to keep patients safe.

3. Oral health

Nearly 20% of people admit that they do not brush their teeth as often as they should. One in five people says they floss their teeth less than once a month.

A healthy smile impacts people’s self-confidence. But it does not take a lot of work to keep teeth sparkling and clean. Spend two minutes after breakfast and before bedtime, gently brushing your teeth. Floss once a day and swish clean water or mouth rinse without alcohol around the teeth and gums to remove food particles that can cause bad breath and decay.

4. Nutrition

People who eat healthy foods tend to have better physical, mental and oral health. Medical experts recommend eating high-fiber fruits and vegetables, dairy products, lean meats, and make sure to drink plenty of fresh water. Enjoy a cup or two of green and black tea to kill oral bacteria and acids that attack tooth enamel.

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