If you absolutely hate going to the dentist, there are a few things you can do to keep your teeth healthier, thus reducing your need for more extensive dental work later on. While dental work can’t always be avoided, there are a lot of tried and true methods that can help you avoid that unwanted root canal!
While we don’t recommend putting your dental care off for as long as possible, there are situations that you can have more control over than you think.
1. The Best Dental Treatment is Prevention!
There’s nothing better than making sure you brush twice a day and floss your teeth daily. Once you do get a cavity, it can’t be reversed on its own. The key is to prevent it from developing in the first place. Plus, regular checkups and dental cleanings are easy to keep up with and give your dentist the chance of diagnosing (or avoiding) problems in their earliest stages.
Ask your dentist about getting a prescription fluoride paste to use at home. If you’ve had a history of a lot of cavities, the added mineral can help you keep your teeth more resistant to decay. Continue brushing and flossing like you usually do, but add the fluoride into your nighttime routine just before you go to bed (be sure not to drink anything after!)
2. Schedule Treatment as Soon as Possible
When your dentist finds a cavity, get it treated ASAP. Not only will this save you money, it will also help you preserve the maximum amount of healthy enamel possible. A filling today could be a crown a few months from now. Don’t put it off. Your wallet and your smile will thank you! Plus, if you’re using your dental insurance or a dental discount plan, your savings will be even greater if you tackle the issue while it’s still a small one.
For kids, early treatment is a must. Primary (baby) teeth can decay alarmingly fast when compared to adults. Most parents feel like baby teeth will fall out eventually anyway, but leaving an active infection inside of your child’s mouth can be dangerous.
3. Grab a Water Flosser
It’s common knowledge that most people don’t like to floss. Yes, it’s a hard habit to pick up and stick with. Instead, consider getting a water flosser. There are varieties that you can set on your counter as well as hook up to your shower. Plus, the gentle stream of water can clean areas under your gums that even floss doesn’t reach.
Depending on the type of water flosser that you buy, you’ll be able to adjust the temperature and pressure. Some even give you the option of adding a few drops of essential oil or mouth rinse for a boost in your breath!
4. Drink Lots of Water
Water is a natural cleanser and there’s nothing better for your smile. Between meals, reach for a refillable bottle that you top off with tap water (it’s fluoridated and cheaper than a bottle you buy off the shelf.) Upping your water intake can help you reduce your risk of cavities and won’t predispose you to sugars the way a sports drink or artificial sweetener in your coffee would.
Athletes especially, should consider hydrating with water when they work out. The only time you truly need the extra electrolytes of a sports drink (and the sugar that comes with it) would be during rigorous summer sports or if your workouts are comparable to a professional athlete’s. Even then, you need to be rinsing with water regularly and limiting your exposure to other liquids.
5. Chew Gum With Xylitol
Xylitol is an alternative sweetener that physically prevents plaque from being able to accumulate on your teeth. It’s all due to the chemistry! When you’re at the grocery store, check the labels on the gums to see which ones contain xylitol. Simply being “sugar free” isn’t good enough. Studies have shown that getting as many as five exposures to xylitol a day can dramatically cut back on buildup across your teeth.
If dentistry, in general makes you feel nervous, ask your dentist about options like nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or oral sedation. Both options are a safe and convenient way to help you tackle all your dental work in fewer appointments. Plus, it’s more affordable than you might think!
Are you looking for an affordable dental savings plan that covers all your oral health needs? Speak to one of our dental savings experts today!