Maybe I had one too many bad dental experiences as a kid.
Even if it’s just cleaning and checkup (as an adult, mind you) I lay back in that dental chair and tense right up. Before I know it my hands are in fists and the poor dental hygienist soothingly asking me to relax.
Yes, when I was a kid I had cavities. I even knocked out a few teeth and had to have crowns… Whatever the reasons for my fear factor…. I totally dread that drill!
But that’s not the only reason I don’t like the dentist.
$$$$$ Because even if you have dental insurance, a trip to the dentist can mean big bucks out the door.
It begs the question, “What can I do, in the comfort of my own home, to minimize the FEAR factor of a dental visit?”
I asked my kid’s dentist Dr. Jensen to share a few of his best tips: He hit the regulars…
- Brush twice a day at a minimum.
- Brush for two minutes each time you brush.
- Floss (You’ve heard the old saying, you don’t have to floss all your teeth, just the ones you want to keep.)
He also said:
- When I asked what type of toothbrush was best, he said “Use the toothbrush that you are most comfortable with.” That makes it easier to be motivated to brush. I personally love an electric toothbrush and as it turns out, so do my kids. It feels so good to brush with, it makes it easier to brush for a full two minutes. My dentist did suggest a soft bristled brush was best.
- Visit your dentist at least once a year, preferably twice. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Even though it’s hard to schedule an appointment when times are tough financially, it’s much cheaper to fill a small cavity than to wait until you need a root canal.
- Good nutrition is very helpful in maintaining a healthy mouth.
- He said to be sure to ask your dentist if he offer’s a cash or a referral discount.
There are a few more money saving tips I would add to his list.
- Have a clock with a second hand in the bathroom so you and the kids can know how long they are brushing.
- IF you have an accident that breaks your natural teeth, check with your medical insurance first. Ours covered my husband’s two shattered teeth from a ski injury last winter. It saved us a bundle to use medical insurance.
- Watch for coupons for your dental cleanings. There are some amazing dental Groupons if you are watching for them.
- If you have a cafeteria plan, it can be a great pretax way to save money for dental expenses.
I’m not sure I’ll ever be totally relaxed when it comes to the dentist. But I hope that by taking good care of our teeth, my visits to the dentist will be anticlimactic.
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