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How to Avoid Expensive Dental Costs

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Did you know that the average dental check-up can cost several hundred dollars? This visit includes a recall exam, several units of scaling, polishing, and bitewing x-rays. It sounds like a lot of money for a fairly short visit, but it’s a typical scenario in just about every province in Canada.

Now think about how you could pay that dental bill without dental insurance. Would you be able to afford it? When faced with this question, most people opt to skip the dental visit altogether and forget about it, but we should never neglect our health because of money.

Although dental fees are increasing every year, dental insurance plans are keeping up with the economy and becoming more and more accessible. It’s a very competitive market, so there are definitely plans out there that are both cost effective and “full-bodied.” Think about what you want to have in place before you see your dentist again, and see if you can find a plan that suits you.

You may need an individual plan that only covers your own dental fees, or you may have a family and need coverage for them as well. If you do have a family, think of those check-up costs we talked about earlier and multiply that by however many people live in your household!

Suddenly, dental insurance doesn’t seem so expensive, does it? In fact, it’s probably looking very appealing compared to the gigantic dental bills you would otherwise have to face. Purchasing a dental insurance plan is a big decision, but you don’t have to make it by yourself. We’re here to help you.

Tips and Tricks

Good dental care starts with you. All children are told by parents, other adults, dentists, and teachers: “Take good care of your teeth! Brush three times a day, and floss too!” We’ve heard it so many times that it’s become background noise.

But they were right; we should be doing just that. We should be brushing three times a day and flossing! But many of us still don’t. Are we lazy? Do we have busy lives and can’t make the time? Whatever the reason, you should think about it and make some changes before it’s too late.

First, think about what type of toothbrush is best for you. If you have sensitive gums, a soft-bristled brush would most likely suit you well. If you have difficult-to-reach areas in your mouth, choose a brush that has an angled reach. Most dentists recommend electric toothbrushes, as they are more effective and have a good reach.

Next, think about what type of toothpaste you should use. There are many to choose from, including ones that have whitening agents such as baking soda or mild bleach. There are some designed for sensitive gums and teeth. If you aren’t sure what kind to buy, you can always ask your dentist to recommend some.

Another aspect of your dental health is what you eat and drink. Dark-coloured drinks such as red wine, coffee, or cola can stain your teeth. After consuming these, you should brush your teeth to minimize staining. Alternatively, you may wish to avoid those drinks and stick to water and milk, which are both very good for your teeth. Try to avoid acidic foods and drinks as well, as they can break down the enamel of your teeth. In terms of food, pick healthy foods without a lot of sugar. Remember that while fruit is healthy, it’s chock full of natural sugar. Fresh vegetables are both nutritious and delicious! Even better, they’re good for your teeth. It also goes without saying that you should avoid candy, gums that contain sugar, and other junk food.

Gums Are Important Too

Flossing is easily the most skipped activity when it comes to dental care. Who can remember to floss after every single meal? Unless you work it into your schedule and make a point of doing it, flossing can often land on the back burner.

Think about this. It takes less than three minutes to fully floss your teeth. If you have to, leave a reminder on your bathroom mirror or put the floss somewhere that you can easily see it and remember to use it. Don’t leave it to the end of the day when you’re exhausted. You can always floss while you’re watching TV.

Without floss, your teeth can build up a lot of plaque and tartar. Old food can get caught between your teeth and if left there, can turn into something nasty over time. This leaves your gums vulnerable to bacteria and gum disease. This, in turn, can lead to receding gums and tooth loss. Flossing doesn’t sound so hard now, when you think of the repercussions of not doing it!

portrait of young woman flosses her teeth with dental floss looking at camera

Sometimes when we floss we notice some blood around the gums. This is not unusual if you haven’t flossed in a little while, but if it persists, it could be a sign of gum disease. Discuss this with your dentist and he or she can help you strengthen your gums again.

Your dental hygienist will perform what’s called “scaling” during your checkup visits. Scaling is the removal of plaque and tartar on your teeth, especially around your gums. Your hygienist will use a sharp instrument to scrape the plaque from the surface of your teeth.

When your gums are more damaged, the hygienist will delve deeper into your gums using the same technique as scaling, but it’s called “root planing.” This treatment is geared toward restoring the health of the gums as opposed to just the teeth.

The Canadian Dental Association offers some great tips on how to floss and brush on their website.

Annual Checkups

Last but not least, don’t skip your annual checkups. Most dentists like to schedule a visit every six to nine months. Some dental insurance plans reimburse recall visits every six months, however most reimburse every nine months, so be sure to find out this information before scheduling your next visit.

During your annual checkup, your dentist will take x-rays to monitor your teeth and check for new cavities. You can also expect some scaling, treating your gums, and then some polishing to properly clean your teeth.

The hygienist may floss your teeth for you, and they may offer fluoride, but find out if fluoride is covered for adults first. Many plans will only cover it for children. Finally, the dentist will examine your mouth, check your bite, and make recommendations for future treatment, if needed.

Time for Insurance

Keeping your smile bright, white, and healthy is an ongoing, but worthwhile process. If you eat and drink well, brush and floss often, and see your dentist regularly, your teeth will be around much longer than if you had neglected them!

With a dental insurance plan, you don’t need to worry about enormous bills. You show up, get treated, and pay the co-insurance, or the amount that’s left after your insurance has paid its portion. Most plans will pay the dentist directly, so you don’t have to worry about mailing your claim in.

Keep your dental bills down with a great insurance plan that is comprehensive and affordable. Contact our office today and we can help you choose a plan that’s right for you.

2 Responses

  1. I am 77 and still have my own teeth. I’ve looked after them always. Naturally being a senior it does get very expensive every 6 months. I hope to have my teeth until the end, that is why I look after them. I do not have any partials, and most of all my teeth. Please send me a quote kindly. Marion

    1. Hi Marion. Please call us toll-free at 1-800-667-0429 Monday to Friday between 8:45AM to 4:45PM EST, to discuss your needs. Thank you.

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