3 Things Your Dentist Wishes You Would Hear

My family dentist

Dentists give a lot of advice, but for some reason not all of it has sunk in and become part of popular acceptance. Here’s what your dentist has probably told you before and really wishes you would understand:

  1. At-Home Care Includes More Than You Think

    Dentists can’t say this one enough, but for whatever reason people only tend to pick up certain parts of it. There are many aspects of a complete oral care routine, not just a quick brush before work and at bedtime.

    People tend to brush for shorter periods than they ought to (two minutes might feel like a long time at first, but that’s really what it takes), skip flossing (which is actually more important than brushing), and ignore the effects that diet and nutrition have on the teeth and gums. Good dental health requires making lifestyle decisions, just like overall health does.

  2. Sooner Is Better Than Later

    Counter-intuitively, people tend to delay dental appointments when they’re worried something is wrong — only to wake up in severe pain and frantically searching for a local emergency dentist. But coming to the dentist when symptoms first appear can often prevent further decay that can result in pain or even tooth loss (not to mention more bills).

    No matter how much you’re dreading a dental procedure, the consequence of leaving a problem untreated will unquestionably be worse. This is true even for the most (unfairly) feared procedure among the general population: a root canal. Barring rare root canal complications, the procedure doesn’t hurt at all, and getting one can relieve the pain of an infection and save a tooth that would otherwise need to be extracted.

  3. There’s No Such Thing as a Cheap Dentist

    Nearly all patients worry about medical bills, so it’s no surprise that people are searching for cheap dentists. While there are some dental clinics that offer discounted care for low-income patients, the cost of dentistry most often depends on how your insurance interacts with a particular dentist office. If you’re really looking for affordable dentistry, the best thing you can do is communicate with your dentist office staff in advance. They won’t be able to tell you the cost of a particular service unless they have your insurance information, but they’ll probably be happy to figure it out in advance of your appointment if you let them know that cost is a concern.

    You should also feel free to ask about cost during your appointment, if your family dentist suggests an additional procedure (such as X-rays or a special rinse). While your care will always be their first concern and they may try to persuade you of a test or treatment’s value, dentists understand that people need to follow a budget on their medical care just as in the other aspects of their lives.

Do you have any advice on finding a so-called cheap dentist? Join the discussion in the comments.

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