It has been said that good oral health can lead to longer life expectancy and this holds some truth. A healthy set of teeth and gums can either mean that you do not present symptoms to certain illnesses or that you have a job with a steady income.
In the UK, a study found that people who still had 20 or more teeth by the age of 70 stood a higher chance of living longer than their peers who had less. As the chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation noted, the wellbeing of our mouth is a good barometer for our overall health. Pains that we may experience in our gums and teeth can indicate underlying grave medical conditions. This only makes a lot of sense because mouths are the main gateways to human bodies. It is the entrance of various bacteria and germs that eventually find their way into our guts and our systems.
Dental hygiene and income
No experiment is needed to tell us that a nice toothy smile can form a great first impression during that blind date. A flash of those pearly whites is sometimes all that’s needed for a decent introduction. But despite the significance of dental hygiene, 22% of people in the US still reported being actually afraid of visiting the dentist back in 2015.
According to the American Dental Association, 29% of low income adults they surveyed in the same study confessed that “The appearance of my mouth and teeth affects my ability to interview for a job.” This has translated to a fifth of low income adults attesting to poor oral health. Though the causality between dental hygiene and income can benefit from further research, the numbers show that they are inextricably linked.
Oral health in the time of COVID-19
Dental consultations have since significantly been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Dentists have had to reduce their clinic hours as well as prioritize those who are in need of emergency procedures. People who weren’t afraid to go to their dentists before the COVID-19 crisis are probably afraid now because of the possibility of infection. As a quarter of adults in the US report that they are still behind on their bills, these have all added to a general decline in all kinds of medical visits.
Since a lot of jobs involve representing companies to clients, people who need these jobs will still have to see their dentists despite their present worries. An employee’s actual physical appearance can have an impact on the client’s perception of the company’s brand. Bad teeth can lead to unsuccessful job interviews and a higher rate of unemployment. But to get people back to their jobs, they need to get back on their feet first, and this means going back to hospitals and clinics to get regular checkups once again.
Electronic medical consultation
The good news is today we have the technology to easily communicate with other people without having to go out of our houses. No one has to miss a much needed appointment if they can simply send a text message to their practitioners. Needless to say, everyone should see to it that they take excellent care of their teeth. This is important to us not just for the long-term but most especially in the short-term.
At this point in time, the world can really benefit from the assurance of a good smile. On top of everyone’s anxieties, however, concern for privacy can easily get neglected. As more people choose to communicate electronically while weathering the pandemic, everyone needs to be reminded about the importance of safe and secure communication.