Our teeth support many functions we use every single day. Our teeth work tirelessly all day with our tongue, lips, cheeks and tissues, to accomplish numerous tasks. The value of the tasks can be overlooked, even taken for granted, because many of us only know life WITH all of our teeth. Our teeth are a lifetime of important. It’s okay to treat them as such!
Honoring Your Teeth for Life in 5 Minutes a Day
Embrace caring for your teeth.
Maintaining all the different functions of your teeth starts the same way- a 5-minute daily routine. Brush twice, floss once. That’s it! That leaves you with 1435 minutes still remaining in your day.
Change your brush regularly, use your antiseptic rinses, embrace fluoride treatments (as prescribed) at any age! Listen to recommendations made by your dental hygienist. The goal is to need minimal to no dental treatment because there isn’t any decay to fix, or gum disease to treat! Ahhh, health. “Great job, see you in 6 months” is music to my ears.
So, what exactly are we protecting when we commit to our teeth? The best way to explain is to imagine what you could lose.
Oral Functions Compromised By Tooth Loss
1. Speech Participation – how you feel about your teeth can affect how much or how little you participate or avoid in your day such as conversations, meetings, basic interactions both personal and professional. These communication withdrawals add up and can be very lonely.
2. Pronunciation – the sounds which make up our speech are a group effort by our teeth, tongue, lips, and cheeks.
3. Expression – feeling free to smile and express the emotions of joy, excitement, etc., vs hiding, not expressing, talking behind your hand.
4. Interpersonal/Intimacy – kissing, hugging, speaking in close proximity, being vulnerable with the ones you love.
5. Chewing– enjoying and chewing the foods you want without limitation, without avoiding social meals. The act of chewing maintains the thickness of our lower jaw (mandible) bone. Otherwise, the bone thins out, leading to a shorter face profile, and aging.
6. Nutrition– the effectiveness of the chewing and grinding by our teeth increases nutritional absorption by our bodies.
Underestimating the psychological impact of tooth loss is common. Self-confidence, self-esteem, how little or how much we speak, intimacy, eating as a social activity, eating for health, how much we put ourselves out there, whether we play small or big in our life, can all be impacted by our teeth and how we feel about them.
Have supplies on hand you like, buy a new toothpaste, or try mint floss! Sometimes the little changes can keep the mundane fresh.
Have questions? We’d love to answer them, and remember, we’ll always make you smile!