Saving Money At The Dentist - Part 3 - Six Month Checkups
In parts 1 and 2 of this series we discussed fluoride and sealant - 2 simple and affordable preventative tactics you can take to drastically reduce your risk for cavities.
The third way that you can prevent dental cavities is by keeping up with your six-month checkups.
I know it’s really easy, and I heard two people do it just this afternoon. We call to confirm an appointment, and they’re like, “Uh, how about not tomorrow, can you do Thursday?” It is so easy to postpone your dental appointment, because in the back of your mind nothing hurts, no big deal. But by keeping up with those appointments, we can help you identify things that may be wrong. Maybe your diet changed, maybe you started drinking your coffee with a new creamer in it, or maybe your doctor just put you on a new blood pressure medication, and you don’t know that the blood pressure medication causes dry mouth. And so... your tiny ignored cavity turns into a big cavity. If you don’t keep up with your appointments, you’ll never know if it’s something small.
We can help you by changing up your dental products, not every toothpaste is the same, not every mouth wash is the same. We can recommend products to you like a water pick, something that’s going to help you for those people who don’t like to floss. It’s going to help at least blast the food out of your teeth.
I tell you what, we got a water pick at my house—this is a funny story—I guess about four weeks ago, and believe it or not, I’d never had a water pick. I know it’s crazy. It comes with a lot of different tips, and so there’s three to four different tips, and all of a sudden my husband was like, “Hey, what are you doing?” I’m like, I just got a water pick, and it’s awesome. He’s like, “Well let me try it.” He is all about water picking now. You give that man a power tool, power flossing, put some RPMs behind it, and he is all on board for that. So we are avid water pickers now. So, you know, like I said, if there is something we can recommend to prevent issues from popping up in the future, I am all about that. But I’m not going to be able to make that recommendation for you if I don’t see you every six months.
There are so many little things that can accumulate into big problem that’s going to cost you money. And a lot of people’s insurance will cover a couple cleanings free a year. Why not take advantage of that and let a professional get in there and take a look and see?
I have this same conversation with my patients, some patients on a daily basis. I’m like, “Hey, you’re starting to get a cavity in between your teeth. Let’s start flossing more, let’s start doing a fluoride rinse, let’s do a fluoride treatment for you today, let’s see if we can’t maintain this where it is and prevent it from getting worse.” Or, “Hey, there’s a crack in your tooth. We need to take care of this now or you’re going to end up having surgery, or a root canal.” And I’m telling you what, those are four letter words in my office, because we don’t want you to have to have surgery or a root canal or any of those things.
Like I said, by identifying these problems early, we’re going to be able to prevent a whole host of problems. With the link between your oral health and the rest of your health; diabetes, blood pressure issues, heart disease, they’re now linking gum disease to different types of cancers. We’re all connected. If there’s something going on with your oral health, a lot of times we can say “Hey, what’s going on with diet, what’s going on? Have you had your blood sugars checked lately? When was the last time you saw your primary care doctor because I think there could be something going on?”
There are some types of cancers that manifest that have signs that are seen by a dentist, because there are things that go on in your mouth that indicate different types of cancers. Let us be on your team for your whole overall health so we can identify these small problems.
Like I said, prevention, prevention, prevention is my favorite thing.
I would much rather tell you to try this fluoride rinse than have to drill on your tooth, let’s be honest, because everybody wants a happy visit when you come to the dentist. There’s no happier feeling than having me say, “A+ on your check-up today! Awesome job on your dental exam, you get an A!” That is a great feeling.
You know we’re here all the time, so whenever you’re ready you just come on in.