During a 1990 conference in Dharmashala, India, a group of philosophers, psychologists, scientists and translators attempted to explain to the Dalai Lama the idea of low self-esteem. In his homeland of Tibet, they don’t have a word or concept for it. This esteemed leader, revered for his profound understanding of the human mind, was dumbfounded.
In Western culture, however, most of us are familiar with feeling less than confident. A recent study by Cigna points to a remedy that’s literally right under our noses: preventative dental care.
Seventy-five percent of the 1,000 adults surveyed who visit their dentist twice a year or more report very good self-confidence. Among those who rated their oral health as excellent, 91% said their self-confidence was excellent or very good. Meanwhile, among those who said their oral health was fair or poor, only 37% indicated a high level of self-confidence.
“We are continually examining the intrinsic connection between body and mind,” says Fred Scardellette, Cigna’s vice president of dental and vision business. “This survey clearly confirms that oral health has an impact on self-esteem.”
All of this ultimately comes down to our inclination to smile; 93% of those satisfied with their smile reported a high level of self-confidence. Several previous studies have shown how our smile affects our employability, social life and close personal relationships.
According to Psychology Today, confidence is not something we’re born with; it must be acquired and developed over time. Visiting your dentist regularly is a great place to start. Dental coverage from your association and AMBA can help you save on everything from routine visits to expensive procedures, which is reason alone to smile. Learn more online or call 866-979-0497.
After all, as the Dalai Lama would tell you, there’s no good reason for feeling down in the mouth.