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Category:  Health
Related Links | Healthy Living | Stress | Emotional Well-being | Cutting Medical Costs |

You and Your Teeth

 

By Nikki Willhite

www.allthingsfrugal.com

There are few things that show as an immediate cause and effect as not caring for your teeth and decay. Dental care is VERY expensive. Don't brush and floss your teeth, and decay will set it. It's that simple. In most cases, it's an unnecessary expense.

Ever thought about what might happen if you neglected your teeth for a month? I'll tell you! My son Eric climbed Mt. McKinley a few years ago. He made it to the summit, which was great, but it also took him almost a month, during which time he neglected his teeth. (For those of you who aren't familiar with high altitude climbing, you have to do it very slowly- climbing up, then down, and waiting days at different elevations to help your body adjust to the altitude).

Brushing your teeth when you are in survival mode at sub zero temperatures is not at the top of your priorities. However he paid a stiff price. The next trip to the dentist he had over 12 cavities and 2 root canals done. To make matters worse, he had cracked several teeth from eating frozen candy bars.

In our case, we have great dental coverage, so it wasn't a financial setback. Otherwise it would have cost several thousand dollars. Money aside- the damage you do to your teeth is permanent and having dental work done is not pleasant.

As you get older, if you don't floss your teeth, you will become what is commonly referred to as "long in the tooth". You gums will recede, often leaving sensitive, exposed tissue. Your smile will suffer, as your teeth will look elongated. If it gets bad enough, you will have to have skin grafts to cover the area where the tissue is missing.

The good news- you can avoid all of these problems (and the expense) by just taking care of your teeth. BRUSH and FLOSS. Start your children at a young age. If you wait until they are 7 or 8 before taking them into the dentist, decay in their baby teeth may affect the permanent ones coming in. Plus, it won't be a good experience for them in the dental office.

Set their habits early. Let them see you taking care of your teeth, and make sure that they do the same thing. If they have a snack, have them brush afterwards, even if it is just with a wet brush to save money on toothpaste.

There are mixed opinions about fluoride, so I'm not going to get into that. If your children's teeth have crevices that are prone to cavities, it is worth the money to have a sealant put in them.

Dental work is extremely expensive. Prevention is cheap. Don't waste your money by neglecting your teeth.

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