Can good dental care save money? The short answer is yes! According to some estimates, regular preventive dental care can reduce overall treatment costs by as much as 10 times! Good oral hygiene and dental care, which includes daily brushing and flossing, and regular checkups at the dentist, means less dental problems (and pain!), less chance of losing your natural teeth and over a lifetime can quite significantly reduce the money you spend on your teeth. Additionally, good oral hygiene is proven to help in the prevention of some systemic diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease thereby helping maintain good general health and potentially save you money on your general healthcare costs too.
Good Dental Care
Brushing your teeth is the single most important thing you can do to care for your teeth and the investment of a tube of toothpaste and a toothbrush for you and each family member is not a big one. You should brush at least twice a day, when you get up in the morning and the last thing before going to bed at night. Use a toothbrush with a small head as this makes it easier to get into hard-to-reach places in the mouth. Use a fluoride toothpaste as fluoride strengthens tooth enamel, can reverse early decay and help reduce sensitivity.
In the case of younger children, it is often better that the adult does at least some of the brushing. Do not discourage children from brushing their own teeth but assist them to ensure that the teeth are properly cleaned.
Flossing is also recommended for adults. Again floss is inexpensive and widely available. (It is estimated that up to 35% of plaque can be left behind if you only brush and do not floss.) It is recommended that adults floss once a day- I recommend flossing after you have brushed your teeth in the evening. My personal preference is PTFE dental tape rather than waxed or unwaxed floss as it is kinder on the gums and more effective.
Watching your sugar intake in the foods and drinks you consume. It is sugar left on the teeth that turns to acid and is the cause of dental decay.
Regular visits to the dentist– generally every six months- will ensure that any problems are detected early and corrective action can be taken. You can have cavities or gum disease without necessarily having pain; bad breath, bleeding gums, a white or light brown mark on the teeth can all be signs of potential problems or you may have no obvious symptoms at all. Early detection and correction of dental problems will mean less chance of dental pain, less chance of requiring emergency, complex and expensive treatment and less chance of losing teeth. At my practice an initial examination is only $35, probably less than the monthly cost of your cell phone!