Answering this question feels straightforward enough. Maybe you want to have straight white teeth, or you’re worried that your gums might not be healthy. Maybe it’s as simple as your dentist and hygienist remind you that it’s important to have your teeth checked and cleaned every six months.
But when you really think about dentistry, are those the reasons why you go to the dentist? Or is there a deeper and more emotionally engaging reason involved? As dental professionals, we believe dentistry can, does, and should fulfill a more profound need for each and every one of our patients.
While that emotional concern is the focus of this newsletter article, we’re not going to discount the key health benefits of dentistry, so we’ll cover them briefly now.
- Maintain your oral health. Simply put, if you want to keep your teeth for your lifetime, you need to take care of them.
- Address any dental concerns. Whether you have a cavity, a chipped tooth, or a more substantial concern, the only way to get it fixed is by going to the dentist. (As an aside, at-home dentistry is almost always a very bad idea. If you don’t believe us, just google it.)
- Improve your overall health. Good oral health (especially healthy gums) reduces your risk of many conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and pre-term delivery during pregnancy.
All of these benefits are real and substantial, but are they truly motivating? Or is what motivates us to act something harder to pin down? If you ask most people, they would say that our true motivations for anything we do are for emotional reasons—and that holds true with dentistry as well.
At a physical level, dentistry happens inside your mouth. But the impact your oral health has on your life reaches far beyond that. If your teeth hurt, you might not be able to enjoy the foods and drinks you love—or you might even be in significant pain a lot of the time. If your teeth don’t look good, you might not smile often. If you have bad breath (often caused by a dental condition you’re not aware of), then you might feel embarrassed or ashamed, and your personal relationships might suffer.
Whatever that impact is, affects your life in real ways. It limits what you do, what you believe, and how you feel about yourself.
Good dentistry fixes the problems in your mouth, but it also addresses those larger concerns. It removes embarrassment so you feel confident in your family, social, and professional life. It allows you to relax, smile, and enjoy social situations, the foods you love, and the time you share with friends and loved ones. Good oral health boosts your self-esteem, confidence, and emotional health.