Regular dental check-ups are a recommended part of everyone’s overall wellness care. But if they’re not in your budget or schedule, or you just don’t want to go, a visit to the dentist isn’t technically necessary as long as your oral hygiene is top-notch.
Routine check-ups are a great way to catch problems early and prevent serious oral health issues from worsening. However, there are several things that you may need done that can be taken care of without the help of a specialist.
Ready to minimize unnecessary trips to the dentist and save time and money? Follow these four simple tips.
Watch Your Diet
You know what they say: An apple a day keeps the dentist away.
It sounds like a cliche, but there’s a lot of truth behind this short little saying.
Eating healthy is the first step to ensuring your body stays in good shape. When you add fruits, veggies, and other nutritious meals to your diet, you’re fueling yourself with the premium-grade vitamins and minerals you need to stay well.
Your teeth and gums require certain nutrients you might not be getting in your diet unless you’re eating strategically. According to experts, to stay away from the dentist as often as possible, be sure to include these must-have vitamins and minerals in your daily routine:
- Vitamins A, C, D, and K
These essential components keep your bones and tissue strong and help your immune system function optimally.
Take Care of Your Grinding
Do you find yourself waking up with a headache and pain in your neck and facial muscles? Are your teeth a little extra sensitive when you brush or eat cold and hot things?
Maybe your brain is foggy, and you feel like you’re not sleeping, although you know you are.
All of these are symptoms of a condition called bruxism. Better known as teeth grinding, this problem often occurs when you’re asleep, so it can take a while before you realize it’s going on.
Bruxism is often caused by stress but can be associated with other factors. While you’re figuring out why you’re grinding, the important part is to stop the damage it’s causing before you end up at the dentist’s office for cavities or worse.
A dental night guard is an easy temporary fix to reduce the side effects, but make sure you get one custom-fit for you. You don’t need to pay the hefty dentist’s office price tag if you work with a professional lab.
Quit (or Avoid) Bad Habits
If your goal is to avoid a dentist trip at all costs, then you’ll want to make sure you’re not doing things that send you there faster.
You probably already know the common-sense bad habits that are unhealthy for your teeth (among other things). Smoking, chewing tobacco, and doing illicit drugs are some of the worst things you can do if you want healthy teeth and gums.
Other habits aren’t quite as bad for the rest of your body but are dangerous to your oral health. Try to quit or stay away from engaging in activities like:
- Chewing on hard objects, such as pen caps or ice cubes
- Drinking soda and other dark or sugary beverages
- Using your teeth to open things
- Eating sugary and sticky foods
- Chewing gum regularly
The key to avoiding the dentist is to keep your teeth healthy, which is not possible when you’re addicted to any of these bad habits.
Practice Proper Dental Hygiene Care
Finally, possibly the most important thing you can do is to have good dental hygiene. It sounds like common sense, but most of us don’t realize what that practice looks like, and if we do, we tend to skip parts of it.
According to the American Dental Association, the ideal at-home oral healthcare routine looks like this:
- Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes at a time using a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Use fluoride-based toothpaste.
- Clean between your teeth every day with floss.
Adding mouthwash to this routine is helpful but not ADA-suggested. They do recommend eating a healthy diet with limited sugar and going to the dentist for routine care.
Whether your avoidance of the dentist is because of logistics, fear, or something else, it will require work to make it happen. Use these four tips to keep your oral health in good condition, so you can stay away from the dental office until it’s absolutely necessary.