If you are concerned about the high cost of dental care and the almost complete lack of cost coverage – even when you have insurance – you are definitely not alone. One thing we should not overestimate is the importance of our dental health.
You may scarcely notice your teeth when everything is fine. However, when something hurts, you have a cavity or perhaps need a root canal, you do notice. Most likely, at that point, you are willing to pay the price to get this dental work done. That price, as you undoubtedly know, can be very high, depleting your savings or causing you to ‘make payments’ to your dentist or credit card company.
What if there were some simple things that you could do to actually prevent expensive treatments in the first place? Here are some things to keep in mind.
1. The pH balance of your mouth is extremely important. Bacteria multiply more rapidly in an acidic environment and foods and beverages that are acidic can leach the calcium and phosphate right out of your teeth causing them to weaken and be more susceptible to – you guessed it – cavities!
Beverages like soda and coffee can drive the pH balance to the acidic side. You can sip on milk or water while eating or drinking such things. That will help, but you really should consider a pH balanced rinse or chewing xylitol gum after eating such meals.
2. Plaque build up – This is an amazing simple, yet complicated problem. It should be obvious to you that brushing and flossing are not a fool-proof method of avoiding dental problems. If there were, there would not be a need for so many dentists. The key here is that plaque is actually relatively easy to disrupt. No need to brush hard, just often! Consistency can help you win the fight against plaque.
3. The same acidic foods and drinks can increase plaquing as well. Even some ‘healthy’ foods can do this. Blueberries are one of the worst foods that contribute to plaquing.
Is the answer to avoid all ‘bad’ foods. That, in my opinion would be impossible.
As I write this, I am situated inside a coffee shop in Kansas City. There is literally zero healthy food here. When I get hungry, I end up eating a cookie or piece of cake or an unhealthy sandwich loaded with meats and cheese – it doesn’t even taste good. But, when you are hungry, you will eat anything!
Therefore, to counteract the effect of acidic foods and beverages, I try to keep some xylitol gum on hand. Xylitol has a powerful pH balancing effect. But not all xylitol gums are created equal. Some barely have enough put in by the manufacturer simply so that they can claim it on the label. It is virtually useless and because of the other ingredients in it, it could very well be harmful!
Xylitol, pH balanced mouthwash, milk and water can all help you avoid the long term damage that can come from exposing your teeth and gums to harmful, acidic foods. Do not be the person who sips on soda or coffee all day. You are constantly putting acid in and doing nothing to change your mouth pH, you are doing this all day long! What do you think will happen long term – after years of this behavior?
The same conditions that improve your chances for dental caries also can contribute to the development of gum disease. Both conditions can be expensive to treat.
Read more on the topic of prevention.
This article is for information purposes only and does not intend to render advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have or think you might have a health condition of any kind, visit your dentist or doctor for advice, diagnosis and treatment. The USFDA has not evaluated statements about products in this article.