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Save Money and Skip These Dental Care Products

A smile filled with healthy looking teeth is considered to be an important attribute by many and the only way to protect a grin is by practicing the daily oral hygiene behaviors of brushing and flossing and going to see the dentist regularly. According to the dental industry, there are even more dental care steps to follow. Despite the bells and whistles associated with each, individuals should know what dental care products are worthy of a cash investment and others that should be skipped entirely.

Skip: Toothbrush Sanitizer

Dentists recommended brushing teeth twice a day for a minimum of two minutes per session as the process can greatly reduce levels of dental plaque and prevent problems like tooth decay and gum disease from over-powering a mouth. Since no one wants to place a dirty toothbrush directly in their mouths the marketplace is filled with toothbrush sanitizers that are supposed to reduce the levels of germs and contaminants on a brush in between uses. The only time a expensive sanitizer may be necessary is if a toothbrush is considered shared property, however by making sure each family member has their own oral hygiene device and following simple and low cost steps, brushes can be kept germ free completely eliminating the need to buy a pricey toothbrush sanitizer. Instead experts advise keeping a toothbrush clean and sanitary by:

  • Replacing toothbrushes ever three to four months.
  • Using a fresh toothbrush after starting a course of antibiotics to prevent reinfection.
  • Storing toothbrushes separately as toothbrush-to-toothbrush contact can result in the spreading of cold and illness causing germs.
  • Keeping toothbrushes away from toilets as flushing may result in a spray water containing trace elements of fecal matter.
  • Washing hands before handling a toothbrush.
  • Washing and rinsing toothbrushes before and after every use.
  • Letting toothbrushes thoroughly air dry to prevent organism growth.

Skip: Mouthwashes Containing Alcohol

For thousands of years mouth rinsing has been used as a way to treat gingivitis. Archeologists have unearthed proof of primitive mouth rinsing aids dating back to 2700 BC and variations of mouthwash including ingredients such as betel leaves, dill and myrrh dissolved in white wine.

According to Wikipedia.com, advancements in the 17th century helped lay the foundation for today’s products. Scientist Anton van Leeuwenhoek discovered that dental plaque was comprised of living organisms and brandy and vinegar immediately killed the critters. Then, 100 years later Royal Dental College (Aarhus, Denmark) professor Harald Loe proved that chlorhexidine could be used to reduce plaque (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mouthwash). After that discovery, Germans created the first commercially produced antiseptic mouthwash. Contemporary recipes started to evolve courtesy of the creation of Listerine in the late 19th century.

Eventually, Listerine evolved from being a surgical antiseptic and to a cure for bad breath. Now, there is a complete range of over-the-counter mouthwashes touted as being a must have halitosis killer, but the reality is the devices with alcohol can actually make the matters worse and cause other dental problems.

Some dental experts suggest that the alcohol in a mouthwash will provide fresh and minty breath for about an hour, but after that, the ingredient will prompt dry mouth and make bad breath come back even stronger. Additionally, because of the strong alcohol content in the products, individuals can fail breathalyzer tests, alcoholics can abuse the substance and some studies have found their may be a connection between the product and some oral cancers (McCullough, Michael; C. S. Farah (December 2008). “The role of alcohol in oral carcinogenesis with particular reference to alcohol-containing mouthwashes”. Australian Dental Journal 53 (4): 302–305. doi:10.1111/j.1834-7819.2008.00070.x. PMID 19133944).

Individuals looking for a way to freshen their breath, minimize any risks associated with alcohol mouth rinses and to save money are advised to practice daily oral hygiene behaviors while paying special attention to brushing the tongue to remove odor-causing germs and bacteria. Other fresh breath tips include smoking cessation, drinking clean fresh water to keep the mouth hydrated and finding natural halitosis cures from the kitchen cabinet.

Skip: Dental Insurance

Estimates suggest that 45 million Americans have no type of dental insurance and other studies have indicated that a lack of that dental coverage is a major factor preventing consumers from seeking dental care. New research has indicated that individual dental insurance should not be such an important factor as the cost benefits of the type of dental coverage may not be worth the money.

For individuals lucky enough to receive complimentary dental coverage as a work benefit from an employer, dental insurance may have perks. But, patients who have the responsibility of paying for the dental coverage themselves may be better off applying those funds directly to out-of-pocket dental care as the premiums can cost hundreds of dollars per month and that expense may simply balance out the amount of coverage paid by a provider.

Until recently, the typical dental insurance plan would provide around $1,000 or $1,500 of annual coverage reimbursement. However, now some dental treatments such as dental implants and crowns cost about the same amount. Unfortunately insurance coverage limits have not been adjusted to reflect industry inflation.

Instead, individuals who follow a strict oral hygiene schedule should save the premium payments and all the money from skipping sanitizers and mouthwash and invest that money into professionally provided preventative dentistry. Estimates suggest that for every $1 spent on preventative dental care can result in savings of $8 to $50 on restorative dental care. Individuals looking to find a dentist to embark on a smarter way to spend money on dental care can contact 0900-DENTIST.

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