Good dental insurance is very expensive and many students and families have to make do with very limited dental insurance or none at all.
If you don’t have dental coverage you must become FANATICAL about caring for your teeth.
If you did not have medical insurance, would let a cut on your hand get infected and ignore it for month after month? Of course not. We don’t let ourselves get dirty and grimy because its bad for our health. Well its a similar deal with your teeth.
Here is what those without dental insurance should be doing:
Brush AND Floss at least Twice a Day! Ideally after every meal, but at least twice a day. Keep those chompers clean – flossing is essential. Once a week, brush with some baking soda – it helps to break up plaque that causes gum disease and other problems.
See a Dentist Every Six Months. “But that costs money!” Yes, it does. But it is probably the most important thing on the list. Many dentists offer a “new patient” special. For example $39 x-rays and exams or $79 cleaning and exam. Go to a different dentist every time and look for the lowest “new patient offer” you can find.
This is hugely important. Go every six months.
The reason this is so important is that if you have a little cavity forming it is very cheap to get a small filling. However in another 6 months that cavity could be huge and cost five times as much. And six months after that you could have lost the tooth and be looking at a root canal, a crown or even an extraction costing over a thousand dollars. Just go every six months.
Take a Calcium Supplement. You can afford it and extra calcium can help strengthen your teeth. It’s worth a shot and if you happen to one of the millions of Americans who are calcium deficient it could make a difference.
Don’t Snack. Eat Your meals and avoid candy bars and snacks. Eat all the dessert you want at dinner time, but then brush right after. Keep the sugar off your teeth.
No Soft Drinks. You know you shouldn’t- so just don’t. Drink water instead. Did I mention keeping the acidy sugar off your teeth?
Chew Sugarless Gum: Which deprives bad bacteria in your mouth of any food.
Lastly, realize you need to take better care of your teeth when you are on a tight budget. Living on a lean budget is a challenge. You have to be stricter, more disciplined. And in the end – its well worth it. You can save yourself thousands in dental work that could have been avoided in the first place.