Keeping teeth healthy while reducing dental bills

Insider Report: Reducing Dental Bills

contributed by Evie


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There are so many people worried about their healthcare bills these days, and dental bills seem to be a big worry. Here are some tips from a Registered Dental Hygienist, who has been in the profession for over 25 years:

  1. Do floss your teeth daily. And don't skimp on the type of floss you use; make sure it's one that works well with your teeth (tight contacts may need waxed floss, etc). If you have trouble reaching between all of them, ask your Dental Hygienist to teach you. Also, try using some of those dental picks (floss on a stick) that are available in many stores.

  2. Don't stop going for your dental cleanings if you've lost your dental insurance. Going for your cleanings every six months gives you six months to save up for the next one. You can skip the every 6-month exam by the dentist and change that to be a yearly one. Also, request that x-rays only be taken once a year.

  3. Do ask for a fluoride treatment after your cleaning if you are prone to cavities, have had a lot of dental work in the past, have dry mouth due to medications, or have a lot of gum recession. A typical fluoride treatment is usually about $25 and will save you a ton of money in the long run. Another option (though not as good) is to purchase (or ask for a prescription) of fluoride toothpaste that contains a higher dose of fluoride for home use. MI Paste is also highly recommended for home use (only for those not allergic to milk since it contains Recaldent, which is a milk-derived protein).

  4. Do ask your Dental Hygienist to probe your gums (check the pockets). Only about 70% of dental offices are doing this, although all of them should be. Being screened for periodontal disease could not only save you tons of money in the long run, but it also may help you have a longer, healthier life! Periodontal disease has been linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, pancreatic cancer, and much more.

  5. Do make sure you are getting your teeth cleaned by a Registered Dental Hygienist instead of a Dentist. Your Dentist is great for fillings, crowns, etc., but your Dental Hygienist is the one who specializes in the cleaning and maintenance of your teeth. And if you are one of those lucky ones that live near a college where they teach dental hygiene or dentistry, I certainly recommend paying them a visit if you don't have dental insurance. Although it may take a lot longer, the care you receive is usually much better and definitely extremely cheaper!

Insider Reports is a feature of The Dollar Stretcher. If you have information that can help others save time or money, please send it to gary@stretcher.com with "Insider Reports" as the subject.

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