Self care is a trendy buzzword these days. For good reason because so many people are now realizing that they have not taken enough time to truly care for themselves – mind, body and spirit. In the frantic world of busyness that we were used to, self care often fell by the wayside. As more and more people are talking about self care, it is moving from simply taking time for a long, hot bath or to get your nails done, to considering deeper physical and emotional needs such as quiet time, meditation, journalling or setting healthy boundaries. One thing that is not yet at the forefront of this conversation is taking great care of your oral health.
It is not uncommon for people to spend a lot of money on facials, nails, personal trainers and cosmetic products, but to overlook the critical importance of taking great care of their teeth and mouth. Your oral health is one of the most important foundational factors that determines your overall health, as well as how good you feel on the outside and inside. A healthy, dazzling smile can literally change your whole perception of yourself and how you feel you present yourself to the world. But more than that, taking good care of your teeth and gums means that the rest of your body is also healthier.
While it is easy to skip flossing or brushing your teeth when you’re tired at night, consider it one of the most beneficial forms of self care. Keeping your mouth healthy shows self respect and self care at the most simple and basic level. Good oral care will typically keep your teeth looking great and your gums strong and healthy. You will be much less likely to suffer the pain of oral issues or the embarrassment of yellowed teeth and unhealthy gums. Keeping your gums healthy will also keep harmful bacteria out of your bloodstream that can lead to heart disease, stroke and even Alzheimer’s disease.
If dental anxiety or fear is keeping you from getting proper oral care, there are solutions that can help you to access this necessary self care routine. Oral sedation, laughing gas and IV sedation are all options to make it possible for you to see a dentist to take care of regular cleanings and checkups, as well as any other issues you may need to address.
Another common dental issue that many people fail to recognize is TMJ disorder and alignment issues which can cause a host of physical symptoms such as headaches, jaw pain, popping in the joints, neck pain and poor posture. If you have struggled with these concerns, now is the time to exercise good self care and get your dentist to assess your bite alignment and TMJ function. By addressing these issues, you may be able to get yourself out of pain you have been dealing with everyday, as well as preventing further wear and tear on your mouth and jaw.
While dental care does not commonly come to mind when we talk about self care, it is a foundational piece of how you feel physically and emotionally, as well as in the prevention of many future issues. Your oral health should be considered with the utmost of your attention and care so be sure to include it in your regular self care list!