5 ways your smile impacts your life

It’s at the centre of your face, so naturally, your smile is the first thing that most people will notice when meeting you.

To many, keeping their teeth and gums healthy is a big priority. Besides aesthetics, your mouth is the beginning of the digestive tract and therefore its health and upkeep are imperative. 

But maintaining a healthy set of teeth and gums can get pricey, especially if you need bi-annual cleanings, a root canal, or perhaps a set of braces. This is why having a dental insurance plan is important. Dental Insurance in South Africa is affordable and is a great safety net for when you need assistance but you are low on cash!

But, how important is your smile, and why should you keep it healthy and clean?

Personal relations

As noted above, your smile is the first port of call, especially to people who you meet for the first time. A clean, healthy mouth gives the impression that you are well-groomed. 

A good first impression can only benefit you in all aspects of life; whether it is in a professional environment, or in your personal life.

Let’s imagine that you are on your way to a first date; what is the one thing you check before meeting this new, exciting person? Your teeth. 

If you are going to spending a few hours talking, you definitely want to polish those chompers.

Health and hygiene

Health is a big reason to take good care of your teeth, says Uptown Dental. No one wants to have infections or rotten teeth, we all want to feel care-free from these kinds of worries. 

Having rotten teeth can affect your breath and cause infections and pain in the mouth. If teeth reach a stage where the only option is extraction, it could impact your digestive health.

Our teeth are there to chew our food properly before swallowing. Chewing food properly is important. While we chew, the food mixes with saliva and gets ground down into liquid before we swallow. This prepares it for quick digestion. If this process doesn’t happen, the food pieces entering the stomach could be too large, which could cause distress. This means that the stomach cannot break it down, leaving you feeling sick and gassy.

Smiling makes you feel happier

Yes, it is the ‘fake it till you make it’ ideology that smiling can trick your brain into feeling better, and there is good science behind it. 

Smiling elevates your mood and creates a sense of well-being. As behavioural psychologist, Sarah Stevenson writes in a post for Psychology Today: “Each time you smile, you throw a little feel-good party in your brain.” The notorious party animals’ dopamine, endorphins and serotonin start whooping it up when you smile. And a bonus: those endorphins serve as natural pain relievers and act as the body’s own opiates.

Smiling is contagious

Smiling when you meet someone can determine that person’s behaviour towards you. If your demeanour is friendly, people will let their guard down. So, what better reason to take care of those pearly whites? 

The part of the brain responsible for this mirroring behaviour is the inferior frontal gyrus. It is located above your temple. This “emotional mirroring” is one theory of emotional perception and the subject of much psychological research – particularly trends in cognitive sciences that examine people’s recognition and understanding of others’ facial expressions and how they are compromised by experimental (for example, mechanical blocking) and clinical (facial paralysis and long-term pacifier use) disruptions to sensorimotor processing in the face.

Contagious smiling or laughing is the basis of reading others’ emotions and registering how you should, in turn, feel explains Southland Sun. The research suggests that when you meet someone face-to-face, you don’t consciously process that person’s expression, register a happy smile, and then smile back. Instead, you unconsciously mimic the person’s expression, which then tells your brain what to feel. “All this happens in a few hundred milliseconds.”

Fascinating, to say the least.

This is why having dental insurance is so important. 

Like health insurance, dental insurance covers the cost of certain procedures, check-ups and emergencies either in their entirety or to an agreed-upon percentage, depending on the type of plan you choose. In turn, the insured pays a monthly premium. Dental insurance policies help many people to effectively budget for the cost of major dental procedures.

As for Affinity Dental, there are three tiers of dental insurance available at different price points. Each of these options covers certain specialist work to various degrees. 

The Silver Plan 

This plan starts from as little as R189 a month and covers basic dentistry needs. 

It includes Full Mouth Examination or Scale and Polish, Intraoral, Radiographs, Emergency Examination, Infection Control, Extractions, Fillings and Specialist Dentistry.

The Gold Plan

The Gold Plan offers the same as the silver plan, with a few extras.

Full Mouth Examination or Scale and Polish, Intraoral Radiographs, Emergency Examination, Infection Control, Extractions, Fillings, Root Canal, Impaction, Crowns, and once again, Specialist Dentistry.

The Platinum Plan

Most extensive cover can be expected from the Platinum plan, which costs members around R389 a month. 

Members can expect everything that the Gold Plan offers, with an added budget for an extended cover. 

Also, Platinum Plus

The Platinum Plus package is only available on the Platinum Plan and has a waiting period of 12 months. It offers members an increased Specialist Dentistry benefit; increased cover for Crowns, and a set of Partial Plastic Dentures every 48 months per member.

Contact Affinity Dental today and choose the plan that fits your oral care needs. 

Adults and children need to visit the dentist at least twice a year, and these dental maintenance appointments can really start to add up. Dental insurance will cover you for any additional treatments such as crowns, root canals or fillings, whether they are done at the dentist, or at a specialist practice.  

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