(BPT) - For millions of individuals who are missing teeth, smiling is no easy task. The decision to get dental implants can prove to be life-changing.
Dr. Natalie Wong, president of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID), describes treating a shy 18-year-old man whose front teeth were knocked out in a bullying incident.
When the young man first came to her office, he wouldn’t even look up or speak to her. Working slowly over many months, she earned his trust and replaced his missing teeth with dental implants.
“The expression on his face when he smiled, looking at his final teeth, it was amazing,” says Wong, who practices in Toronto and is the founder and director of the Toronto Implant Institute. “We change people’s physical state all the time. But when you can change someone’s mental state, that’s something impactful.”
5 reasons dental implants will make you smile
If you’ve been hesitant or unwilling to smile as often as you would like because you’re missing teeth — either from birth, as a result of injury, infection or decay — dental implants could be just what you need to start working those smile muscles a lot more. Here are five reasons dental implants will bring a smile to your face:
1. You’ll look and feel great. Dental implants feel, look, fit and function like healthy, natural teeth. Whenever you smile, you’ll know you look your best. They’re comfortable so you don’t have to think about them or care for them any differently than you do your natural teeth. You brush and floss them — no need to remove them for cleaning.
2. They’re built to last. When properly cared for, dental implants can last decades. Many other tooth replacement options, including certain types of bridges and dentures, may need to be replaced as often as every five to 10 years, requiring a more significant investment of time and money.
3. You can live life with confidence. Dental implants don’t slip or click when you talk, eat, laugh or kiss. You can enjoy everyday activities without worrying about your teeth. You’ll also find your speech is more natural. You just won’t have any excuses not to smile.
4. They protect facial bone and healthy teeth. Leaving empty spaces in your mouth after losing one or more teeth can lead to jawbone deterioration and other health issues. When dental implants are placed in your jawbone, they bond with your natural bone. They’re the only tooth replacement option that stimulates bone growth and prevents bone loss, as well as keeps your facial structure intact. Another advantage is that they don’t require grinding down adjacent teeth as is required to anchor bridges or attach partial dentures.
5. They’re more affordable than you think. At first glance, dentures or removable bridges might seem like a better deal than dental implants, given their lower upfront costs. But the full financial and emotional cost of dentures or bridges can run much higher than dental implants when you factor in ongoing maintenance costs, the inconvenience and time-consuming hassle of removing dentures for cleaning, and the need for frequent replacement. Add in health costs if your jawbone starts to deteriorate, and the social costs of simply not being confident about chewing, laughing, talking or living your life, and compare the costs again.
Dental implant surgery is one of the safest, most predictable procedures in the dental field. But dental implants are complex, sophisticated devices that require deep knowledge and specialized expertise to fit and place properly, so it’s important to choose a dental implant dentist with experience and knowledge you can trust. Be sure to ask about your dentist’s training, specializations and credentials. You can also find plenty of additional helpful information on the consumer website at www.aaid-implant.org, including a Find an Implant Dentist tool to locate an AAID-credentialed dentist near you.
Don’t let missing teeth prevent you from getting all the physical and emotional benefits that come with exercising those smile muscles frequently and confidently.
Staying healthy can be a challenge, especially for those living with diabetes. Everyone can have conflicts finding the right balance of partaking in healthy habits, such as exercise, eating well and even keeping your teeth and gums clean. These seven tips can help you stay healthy and lead a balanced life while managing your diabetes.
7 Tips for Managing Diabetes
(Family Features) Staying healthy can be a challenge, especially for those living with diabetes. Everyone can have conflicts finding the right balance of partaking in healthy habits, such as exercise, eating well and even keeping your teeth and gums clean. From stress to self-care, life can be up and down when you’re living with diabetes.
These seven tips from Dr. Natalie Strand, the winner of season 17 of “The Amazing Race” who lives with diabetes herself, can help you stay healthy and lead a balanced life while managing your diabetes.
Communicate with your care team. Make sure you connect with your nurse educator, endocrinologist and dietician. Reach out to them with your questions as they can often help you implement subtle changes to avoid completely overhauling your lifestyle and routine because of diabetes.
Get involved. Get a local group together to fundraise, vent or just understand each other. Groups such as Diabetes Sisters, JDRF, TuDiabetes and BeyondType1 offer ways to connect with others living with diabetes in person or on social media. Connecting with the diabetes community can be a powerful way to help ease the burden of living with diabetes.
Keep doing what you love. Just because you have diabetes doesn’t mean you have to give up doing what you love. Make efforts to continue sports, travel and other hobbies, even if there is a learning curve to adapting with diabetes at first.
Maintain good oral health. People living with diabetes are two times more likely to develop gum disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Colgate Total toothpaste is FDA-approved to help reverse and prevent gingivitis, an early form of gum disease.
Get into a routine. Find a routine that works and stick with it. This way you don’t have to make new decisions each day. Anything that can ease the mental burden of diabetes can help. For example, pick a time each year for your annual visits: eye doctor, endocrinologist, renew prescriptions, etc. Picking the same time of year every year can help ensure you don’t forget to take care of yourself.
Make self-care a priority. It can be hard to keep diabetes care in the forefront. It can be boring, exhausting and also fade into the background. Remind yourself that one of the best things you can do for yourself, and for your loved ones, is stay healthy. Use your family as motivation to exercise daily, eat better-for-you foods and maintain a healthy weight.
Manage stress. Diabetes can be a big stressor. Add jobs, kids, relationships and it can become overwhelming. Find an easy and effective tool for stress relief and do it often. Even 5-10 minutes of guided meditation daily can have a big impact on stress management.
For more information and ways to lead a balanced life with diabetes, visit OralHealthandDiabetes.com.
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