"If it ain't broke, don't fix it." That homespun saying may be good advice for auto mufflers or washing machines, but it doesn't apply to dental care. Dentistry focuses on regular preventive care to offset more serious and expensive care later.
Most dental problems start out small and may be hard to detect in the early stages. If your teeth and gums feel fine, it could be tempting to put off regular visits to your dentist. However, delaying checkups and treatment can lead to serious problems later on. The plaque you didn't notice can lead to gum disease. The sensitivity to hot and cold you ignored can be a sign of an abscess, cavity, inflamed tooth pulp (nerve), cracked tooth or receding gums.
The MDA’s campaign Health Gums, Health You, discusses how oral health is vital to a person’s overall health and well-being and how gum disease is linked to other medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes and pregnancy issues.
The following steps help maintain a healthy mouth and are a vital part of preventive care: regular brushing and flossing, avoiding sugary foods, and having regular checkups, cleanings and X-rays. Check out some of the topics on this web site to learn more specifically about how you can keep your teeth and gums healthy for a lifetime!
If you're concerned about cost, don't hesitate to tell your dentist what's on your mind. In addition to treatment alternatives, most dentists have one or more payment options. And often treatment can be scheduled over a period of time, which also spreads out the cost.
In addition several clinics offer services on a sliding scale or reduced fee basis. Click to view a list of dental care facilities in Minnesota: Resources for on-going care
Here are the American Dental Association's seven commandments to keep your smile healthy: