A Smile Tells a Deeper Story

Mischievous smile of a pre-schoolerThere’s nothing more heartwarming than to see a child beam with a smile. Whether it’s an infant displaying adorable gums or a preschooler teasing you with a mischievous grin, their expression tells a story—they’re happy and confident. We want our children and grandchildren to have every advantage for a happy and healthy life. That includes oral health.

The Story Behind a Reluctant Smile

Although no one called me an ugly duckling, I was unwilling to smile. My early and young adult years were painful—primarily because of my teeth. My crowded top and bottom teeth created pressure that pushed them forward and back; others were superimposed. Unfortunately, tooth decay followed. I remember the amalgam fillings—silver patches easily noticed.

Poor oral health affected my physical health, but it also had long-lasting emotional effects. I was self-conscious, timid, and lacked confidence. I wore my hair long to cover my face. I hated to look in the mirror. If I smiled, my reflex was to place my hand over my mouth. My shoulders were hunched over, and I loathed picture day at school.

In my teens, I had orthodontic care but during my early adult years, I developed gum disease. When the disease threatened the loss of my teeth, I sought intervention.

 A Path to Better Health

Why did I wait so long? Why do we struggle to eat right and exercise? Why do we live with stress and deprive ourselves adequate sleep? We need to believe that a better way is possible. It starts with education, intervention, and prevention. My early  trajectory may have been different had I received oral health education and preventive interventions in school.

After undergoing gum surgery, I turned my embarrassment into a regiment of improved oral hygiene. The combined efforts saved my teeth, and the results were transformational. Twenty years later, my dentist and periodontist still applaud my oral home care.

Portrait of cute girl embracing her twin sister and both looking at camera with a smile

A child’s physical and emotional health are important as they become adults. Together they produce a smile that becomes a window into their personality and confidence. In today’s culture, they’ll need that advantage. Here are three reasons that are often overlooked.

A Healthy Smile Makes You Approachable

Relationships are part of life. A smile is a focal point, and you’re perceived friendly. It sets the mood for a conversation and evokes trust. It’s the doorway to engagement.

Today, with the rise of social media, relationships have extended beyond traditional face-to-face conversations.
Many online content creators need to appear approachable when producing videos for YouTube or Vimeo. Virtual platforms include live broadcasts on Google Hangouts, Facebook Live, Blab, Periscope, and more. A smile helps you stand out and engage with your audience.

A Healthy Smile Evokes Confidence

What we believe about ourselves is important because thoughts stir emotions. Lack of self-confidence is often fueled by negative emotions. Our emotions form our attitudes. But it doesn’t stop there. Our attitudes influence our decisions.

Good oral hygiene promotes long-term health that encourages positive beliefs, emotions, attitudes, and decisions. Your energy is free to focus on what matters most— customers, colleagues, and personal relationships.

A Healthy Smile Gives You the Competitive Edge

A smile is no longer a celebrities crest for a thriving career. Whether you’re a salesperson, manager, public speaker, consultant, or a barista at the neighborhood coffee shop, your smile is a billboard that communicates a positive message.

A healthy smile gives you the competitive edge to remain marketable. From interviews to job promotions, your smile, and active engagement can make you memorable.

A Smile Tells a Deeper Story

As a writer and public speaker I can honestly say, I wouldn’t have pursued a public career without oral health.

Early oral hygiene isn’t about childhood health; it’s about long-term health—physical and emotional.

What story will your children and grandchildren tell? A smile tells a deeper story, so let’s help them pursue a healthier path for a fulfilling life.


Marisa Shadrick Bio

Marisa ShadrickMarisa is a blogger, author, and award-winning speaker. Through her writing and public speaking, she helps women transform their fears to faith to find hope in the midst of brokenness. Her mission is to help women embrace their unique value and realize they are made for more. You can download a helpful “fear to faith” resource at http://marisashadrick.com/courage

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