Smiling in business is as important as getting paid, maybe evenmore so. If you have bad oral health, you may end up not onlybroke, but even sick or dead. Many Americans don’t see the dentistunless something is wrong, and 56 percent of those without dentalinsurance skip preventive treatment altogether.

Their reasons for delaying or forgoing care: high costs and lackof price transparency, according to the "2013 U.S. Survey ofDental Care Affordability and Accessibility." But likeforgoing health care, neglecting oral health could be a costlyexercise in denial. Preventive care can be expensive (unless youhave a dental discount plan or go to a dental school fortreatment), but it comes at a far lesser price than treatment aftersomething goes wrong.

The Centers for Disease Control andPrevention estimate that more than 27 percent of U.S. adultsages 20 to 44 have untreated cavities. Minor cavities can turn into majorproblems, and what would have only required a filling caneventually require a root canal or extraction if leftuntreated. In addition to financial costs, pain andembarrassment often accompany dental problems, as well.

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