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How Can You Keep Your Teeth Healthy Without Dental Insurance

It’s no secret that dental insurance can help keep your smile sparkling and healthy, but what if you don’t have the coverage? Don’t worry – there are still plenty of ways to take care of your teeth without breaking the bank.

For starters, brushing and flossing every day is essential for maintaining oral health. Doing this twice a day with fluoride toothpaste helps fight off plaque and bacteria buildup which could lead to cavities or gum disease. Add in regular tongue-scraping sessions to get rid of extra bacteria hiding underneath the surface, and you’ll be well on your way to keeping those pearly whites shining bright!

Another thing you can do is cut down on sugary drinks. Sodas, sports drinks and energy drinks have high levels of sugar that can lead to tooth decay if consumed regularly. Instead, try opting for water or unsweetened teas and coffees. Not only is this better for your teeth, but it’s healthier overall as well!

Finally, visit your dentist twice a year for regular check-ups and professional cleanings. Even without dental insurance, most dentists will offer low-cost or even free exams so you can get the help you need to keep your chompers in tip top shape.

Getting the Care You Deserve Without Dental Insurance

Not everyone in this country has dental insurance. Most patients that they don’t have dental insurance don’t come in to see me on a regular basis, they wait till there’s a problem because they’re afraid: “What’s this going to cost? I don’t have insurance”. Don’t let that be the limiting factor.

And personally, I have seen many patients stay away for regular visits to the dentist’s preventative care because they don’t have insurance. I always tell them the same thing. And I call this the “pizza fund” and you can name it anything you want.

But dental insurance really is not insurance, it’s a benefit. Medical insurance if you get into a car accident, and you need, you know, hundreds of 1000s of dollars of hospital visits and health care to get better your insurance will cover that. And in dentistry, after 1500 of money of insurance benefits spent, or 2000, it depends some plans only give you 900 with lots of stipulations, 50% of this and only 80% of this and high deductibles. That’s not really insurance. If you get into a car accident, you and your teeth hit the steering wheel, you’re going to need $40,000 to $60,000 worth of dental work and it’s not covered.

What I tell my patients especially the patients that lose their dental insurance after they retire, they may get Medicare but they don’t have dental insurance. I tell them to put aside $100 or $150 aside per patient per family member in the family per month. And that gives you basically the same benefits that your dental insurance company had except that if you don’t use the money you get to keep it as the “pizza fund” you can go out and buy some pizza go out to dinner with loved one’s family.

You can spend that money so but it allows you to have this notion or this thought that: “Okay, I’ve got the money put aside”. Let me go in and get regular dental visits and catch these things when they’re small and inexpensive or not have any problems at all except that the tartar is removed I won’t get gum disease.

It allows you to think that you can go see the dentist and prevent the bigger problems from occurring, which in the end are more expensive, especially if you don’t have dental insurance. So put that money aside and work on not spending it so that you can spend it on pizza or a great dinner out with your loved ones.

Stay-at-home oral care

Amplify your dental hygiene.

I find this is the best way to keep my teeth and gums in check, especially since I don’t have access to a dental office.  Be sure that you brush your teeth with toothpaste at least once every day- even if it’s just for 5 minutes or so while you’re having breakfast or before bed.  If you can’t manage brushing 2x/day, then flossing as well – and try not to miss any days altogether!

Prioritize your immune system.

We all probably know that a healthy body leads to a healthier mouth.  If you’re sick, start taking care of yourself first and foremost so that your immune system can deal with the illness without spreading it to your oral cavity.

Snack smart.

If you snack on ice cream or candy, this will only promote the growth of bacteria leading to an even higher risk of cavities.  Instead, snack on something healthy and hydrating like fruit!

Drink water.

Once again, hydration leads to a healthier mouth.  Avoid soda and sugary drinks- they increase your risk for developing cavities as well as oral decay.

Don’t skip mouthwash.

Even if you can’t make it to a dentist on a regular basis, be sure to use mouthwash that contains fluoride.  You won’t eliminate the need for professional checkups, but you will help protect your gum and mouth health.

Learn how to defend against cavities.

This is a very simple thing to do: brush early and often, drink plenty of water and use mouthwash.  Make sure that you replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months with a new one and always look for an ADA seal of approval on whatever products you buy.

Clean your toothbrush.

As simple as it sounds, cleaning your toothbrush regularly can do a lot to protect you from infections like strep and staph.  After every use, be sure to rinse the bristles of your brush thoroughly with antibacterial soap and allow it to air-dry overnight.

Try not to stress!

It’s easy for me to say that, but sometimes I forget about it myself.  Once again, stress leads us into poor habits when we’re stressed out (like eating or drinking more).  I’ve found that practicing meditation helps keep my mouth healthy too – and I feel better throughout the day once I have a focused mind.

Stay away from tobacco products.

This is easier said than done for a lot of people, but if you’re serious about taking care of your teeth and gums then it’s important to avoid tobacco.  Even with the best oral hygiene in the world, tobacco can still cause cavities and other health issues like tumors or cancers.

Learn proper brushing techniques.

There’s a lot of debate over how often and for how long you should brush your teeth.  Some dentists recommend 2-3 minutes of brushing, but I think that it comes down to personal preference, what techniques feel most natural to you, and how comfortable you are.

Don’t wait until things get bad. In addition to all of these practices, if you can avoid going too long between dental visits then do it!