Studies show good dental health leads to better overall health, higher self esteem, and a lower risk for stroke and heart disease.
Unfortunately, many people say going to the dentist is a luxury they can't afford in today's economy.
A state-of-the-art dental clinic in Miami is offering affordable care.
Ezequiel Sar-Shalom had an annoying, broken tooth.
He went to several clinics, but the cost to repair the damage was close to $1,000.
Then he went to the Jessie Trice Community Health Center, where he says the dentists had a unique approach.
"They wanted to know if they could help. It was interesting, completely different than anybody else," said Sar-Shalom, 57.
The center has been meeting the medical needs of the uninsured and under-insured in Miami for 45 years.
Annie Neasman, the President and CEO, is a strong believer in prevention.
"We can't have productive citizens unless they are healthy and so we are the gateway. We really are saving lives through prevention and wellness," said Neasman.
That prevention and wellness is the focus in the new dental clinic.
There are seven chairs for adults and three for children. Dentists there really stress how a healthy body and healthy esteem begins with a healthy smile.
Sar-Shalom couldn't agree more. He paid what he could, and didn't have to wait weeks for an appointment.
"She came in and she fixed my tooth, right then and there. By the afternoon I was eating.I was fine," said Sar-Shalom.
The center is also a teaching facility where young dental students will learn how to turn frowns upside down.
For more information go to: http://www.jtchc.org/