Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Take care of your teeth… and smile more

It takes only 17 muscles to smile and 43 to frown ÔÇô which makes one wonder why people waste precious time being glum instead of giving themselves a good prep-up. All of us should embrace smiling, make ourselves happy and bring the positive into our lives. Smiling has benefits that boost one’s social and professional life. People who smile are more successful than those who don’t. Take a minute to think of successful people who smile more and you will realize that it’s true. It’s so natural for us to gravitate towards people who smile; they are trustworthy and likeable.

So if you smile more people tend to gravitate towards you. They will seek you out because you have a wide grin on your face. A smile increases comfort levels and puts you in a better light in the eyes of others. However, smiling can be a laborious act that increases self-doubt if one’s teeth aren’t in good condition or they have gum disease.

Lilian Wagamang grew up with what she calls, ‘ugly teeth” that stuck out and had brown spots. This lowered her self-esteem as she was always afraid to smile. Seeing all the beautiful women with lovely white teeth made her feel like she wasn’t good enough.

“When other women worried about their weight, I lost sleep because of my ugly teeth. I couldn’t smile or laugh freely because I was ashamed of my teeth. At a young age I told myself that I will get my teeth fixed with my first salary,” she said.

Dr. Topo Kewagamang offers a solution to people like Lilian at his newly opened dentist clinic which offers oral consultations, scaling (cleaning), teeth whitening, fillings, extractions, root canal treatments, crowns, replacement of missing teeth (dentures, bridges and implants), as well as referrals for specialized dentistry.

“Many Batswana don’t prioritize oral health and there is need for extensive public education. Everyone should see a dentist once or twice a year for check-ups. Some people only visit a dentist when they have a tooth-ache. In most cases, by that time a lot of damage would have been inflicted,” he says.

According to Reader’s Digest, tooth care should be encouraged at a young age through a healthy balanced diet during childhood.

“Adults should brush their children’s teeth until they are mature enough to do it themselves. Children should be supervised and encouraged to brush and floss their teeth twice a day. Sugar should also be limited as it contributes to teeth rotting.”

Sucrose, known to us as granulated sugar, is the leading cause of tooth decay. Sugary foods like cookies, candies and soft drinks also cause tooth decay. Other culprits include starchy foods like bread and cereals. When starches mix with amylase, an enzyme in saliva, the result is an acid bath that erodes the enamel and makes teeth more susceptible to decay. If starchy foods linger in the mouth, the acid bath is prolonged. On the other hand, more teeth are lost through gum disease than through tooth decay. Gum disease is likely to strike anyone who neglects oral hygiene or eats a poor diet. Regular brushing and flossing helps to prevent puffy, sore and inflamed gums.

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper