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Time to Take Your Own Dental Advice? No!

We know that you can probably come up with multiple reasons to avoid going to the dentist. We’ve all been there! Sometimes a big part of the problem is that we take our own “bad” dental advice in order to justify what we know are really just bad habits. You can kick this negative cycle once and for all, but it requires changing your mindset. Since that’s easier said than done, we want to help you get started. Let’s take a look at how you can turn that bad dental advice into good dental advice.

Bad Advice: Brushing and flossing is enough; you don’t need to see a dentist.

Good Advice: Dental care is a joint effort. Your job is to brush, floss and see your dentist regularly; your dentist’s job is to make sure your smile is healthy and looks great.

Brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day are essential for keeping tooth decay and gum disease at bay. But that’s not enough. Regular dental visits are critical for many reasons. First, it allows your dentist to monitor your dental health. Unless you’re a dentist yourself, you can’t properly diagnose what’s going on in your mouth. So while you might think there’s nothing wrong, you might actually have a cracked tooth, signs of gingivitis, a leaking filling or plaque and tartar buildup. Only your dentist can give you a definitive answer and advise you on the next best steps.

Regular dental exams/checkups are also crucial for the removal of plaque and tartar buildup. That’s the stuff with the yellowish tint that accumulates on your teeth, even if you brush and floss every day. It’s filled with harmful bacteria that can lead to cavities and gum disease. Without a professional dental cleaning, build up keeps building. And that can cause you dental problems that could have been prevented. You don’t need that headache!

Bad Advice: If you don’t feel pain, there’s no need to go to the dentist.

Good Advice: Waiting for pain is no way to live. Staying on top of your dental care puts the power in your hands. 

Again, unless you’re a dentist, you shouldn’t try to self diagnose. Dental health is complex, and problems may not be obvious. That’s why dentists use sophisticated dental technology like digital X-rays — tools like these enable your dentist to see things that the naked eye can’t.

Many patients call us because they’re in pain, and we’re glad to help. But you don’t have to let dental problems get to that point! The solution is simple: Practice good oral hygiene habits and see your dentist regularly.

Bad Advice: You’re busy, so it’s ok to skip a dental visit.

Good Advice: Setting aside a couple of hours twice a year is little to give up for what you get in return.

When you’re juggling work, relationships, kids, hobbies and a number of other things, it’s easy to feel like there’s just not enough time for dental visits. But when you think about it, a couple hours every six months is totally doable. And the benefits are worth it! Staying on top of your dental visits will silence that “voice of guilt.” Plus, regular dental exams/checkups are the only way to ensure that your dental health is in tip-top shape. More importantly, keeping your dental health in check is crucial for your overall health because gum disease and plaque buildup can be harmful to your heart.

Bad Advice: Dental insurance is a waste of money.

Good Advice: Safeguarding your health is always smart. Plus, spending money on insurance now can save you a whole lot later.

We realize that money is tight for many families, especially in this economy. While it may be a good idea to scale back on luxuries, it’s always a good idea to invest in dental insurance if you can. There are a variety of dental plans available to fit a range of budgets, and most plans cover preventive dentistry (X-rays, exams and teeth cleanings) with little or no out-of-pocket expense. Plus, if you need more extensive dental work like a dental crown, dental bridge or a gum disease treatment, your dental insurance may cover at least part of those costs, making it easier on your budget. In the long run, investing a nominal amount every month on dental insurance can help prevent a major squeeze on your wallet in the future.

Bad Advice: Any dentist will do.

Good Advice: Feeling comfortable with your dentist is a priority not a plus. A great dentist makes visits more enjoyable and increases the likelihood that you’ll stay on top of your dental care.

We’ve been matching patients with dentists for over 22 years, and we’ve learned that a great dentist can mean the difference between taking care of your dental health and neglecting it. The reason is simple: A great dentist is your dental health “cheerleader,” motivating you to brush, floss and get regular dental exams/checkups. And having a dentist who communicates well and makes you feel comfortable is priceless. Any other needs that are important to you — whether it’s a dentist who’s great with kids, who caters to patients with dental anxiety or one who speaks a certain language — should also be a priority when searching for the right dentist.

Now that we’ve got you started, it’s in your hands to follow through. If it’s been awhile since you’ve been to the dentist, it’s the perfect time to turn things around. 

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