My dental hygienist looked puzzled during a recent routine visit. After cleaning my teeth, she reviewed my file. Finally she said, “Your tissue is of someone younger; your teeth are so healthy – no cavities in the 4 years I’ve been seeing you. You must have great genes.” I told her, “It’s not genes. I do take care of my teeth, but I’m also a spiritually minded person. Each day I endeavor to live my faith, and sincerely believe it has a good effect on my life and health.”
I became curious to see if there were any studies to back up my convictions. What a surprise to find something so specific:
In June of this year, the Department of Community Dentistry, Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Dental Medicine, Jerusalem, Israel, published a study to “explain the association between religiosity and dental caries [cavities].” Those who identified themselves as religious had significantly fewer cavities.
While this is only one study, it is in line with numerous studies over the last few decades that indicate a regular practice of prayer and/or church attendance consistently improves health.
Perhaps Shakespeare, that great chronicler of human ways and means, also guessed at the connection between our thought and our experience. He wrote for Hamlet, “There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.”