In a bad economic situation, of which we are all now experiencing, people all over are not only cutting back on food and travel, but they are neglecting health issues, particularly in the area of dental health. We must however consider that by neglecting the dentist visit now, what will this mean in the long run for our dental health? It's really no big secret that when you neglect your teeth to save money, you will spend markedly more later down the road just repairing the damage that has happened through neglect.
A good example would be the person who attends a dentist for a filling. A simple filling may cost a few hundred dollars to complete. If that same person looks at their shrinking budget and decides to avoid getting the filling, a few months or maybe a year down the road that person will then require an extensive root canal procedure, which involves not only the root canal treatment, but also a crown, and possibly a post. In the end one neglected filling can end up costing thousands, as opposed to a few hundred, had it been dealt with immediately.
So the question becomes this: What can we do now at home, in these penny pinching times, to maintain a healthy mouth? Here's a few ways that we've all heard time and time again:
Brush your teeth :
Brush the teeth at least twice a day, spending 2 minutes on the process. You need to remember each quadrant of the mouth needs 30 seconds of quality brushing. You also must brush the "right way", which simply means to brush FROM the gum line towards the bottom of the tooth (for top teeth) and from the gum line up towards the top of the tooth (for bottom teeth). We do this to get the plaque as far away from the gum line as possible.
Flossing properly is also crucial to maintaining a healthy mouth. Proper flossing is just a simple matter of wrapping the floss around your fingers, inserting it between the teeth and then wrapping that floss around the tooth, flossing to attack the plaque that brushing is unable to remove.
Rinse Twice A Day:
The last thing to do, perhaps as one new addition to your dental health regimen (if you're not doing so already) is to rinse twice a day with an anti-cavity rinse. Fluoride rinses give you benefits above the obvious. For example, the fluoride gets in your tooth enamel, replacing the calcium with fluoride, which is a much harder ion than calcium. This means that the bacteria we all have living inside our mouth has a much harder time eating through your enamel, once it's been strengthened by the fluoride. What rinsing will achieve is to slow down any degradation on existing cavities, and also helping to prevent the start of new cavities. This can be golden in a penny pinching crunch.
In essence, all of the above will help to strengthen you teeth and restore your enamel. This, considering that other priorities may be keeping us from spending on dental work, is one way we can combat dental neglect. People can be the most conscientious and studious at seeing the dentist twice a year, but when a financial crunch hits us, that just may not be possible, so by stepping up the fight on the home front, we are doing our level best to keep a bright and healthy smile without suffering too badly by one missed dental exam.
If you are still having trouble understanding the proper techniques to clean your teeth, feel free to visit the American Dental Association website. They have some really outstanding tutorials on how to brush, floss, and rinse properly.
I can't stress this enough, the fluoride rinse is a must.
As an aside, there is a specific reason I mention the need for a healthy mouth during an economic crisis. Being involved personally with cosmetic dentistry veneers, I can say with authority that cosmetic dentists will not do any bonding, veneers, bleaching, or any other kind of work related to cosmetic dentistry – until the mouth is healthy and free of cavities, pulpitus, and other problems that can arise due to neglect, for whatever reason. So be sure to consider this before looking ahead at cosmetic work.
Another reason why it's important for me to mention a shrinking pocketbook is this: Some people whom have lost their jobs will certainly need to attend interviews, or network, or just generally get themselves out there to look for new and exciting work. These people will need to have their teeth and smiles look as bright and confident as possible to provide the best first impression they can. Cosmetic dentistry veneers can virtually assure your best foot forward in that area.
Having said that, if a veneer procedure or any whitening methods are too expensive to consider just yet, there are some fairly excellent over the counter products that will whiten teeth and can certainly help someone on a budget get some respite from a discoloured smile.
My closing advice is this. Try as hard as humanly possible to keep visiting the dentist on a regular basis, as dental health has a very important and symbiotic relationship to your overall health. More and more these days we are finding out how an unhealthy mouth has negative effects on all the other areas of our body and its' internal organs. If you can't see a dentist regularly, take extra good care, it is so worth it!