How to Avoid Expensive Dentist Bill

Dr. Parvin Carter

 

You plan meals, grab drinks, and play sports without giving much thought to your teeth. But you might not realize how food, beverages, and activities can wreck the health of your pearly whites. Twenty-five percent of U.S. adults over age 65 have lost all their teeth. In 2010, an estimated $108 billion was spent on dental services in the United States.Dental services can be very expensive.

Here is how you can protect your teeth and save a lot of Dental expenses:

Sugar and Teeth

Sugar is the No. 1 enemy of your teeth, and the longer it stays in your mouth, the worse it is. Sugar is consumed by acid-producing bacteria in your mouth. The acids eat away at tooth enamel. Avoid foods like jelly candies, which stick in your teeth longer than other foods and bathe them in sugar. Dried fruit such as raisins are no better. Reach for fresh fruit instead.

Beverages and Teeth

Soda is just plain bad for teeth, sugar-free or not. “You’re bathing teeth in an acid environment,” says Robert Sorin, DDS, clinical instructor in the department of dentistry and oral surgery at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. Club soda is harmful, too, because of its acidity, and so are juices with added sugar.

Other Risks to Teeth

If you use your teeth to snap off bottle caps, remove clothing tags, or open plastic bags, stop immediately.

snap off bottle cap

Smokers should also consider how the habit affects oral health. Nicotine yellows teeth and can also cause oral cancer. Chewing tobacco is even worse because the tobacco and associated carcinogens come into direct contact with the gums and soft tissues and stay there for a long time.

Also, ask your doctor or pharmacist if your medicines might cause dry mouth. According to the American Dental Association, more than 500 medications — from pain relievers to antihistamines — can do so. Dry mouth inhibits saliva production and increases your risk of cavities.

If you play contact sports, pick up a mouth guard at a sports store or have your dentist make you a custom one for maximum protection and comfort.

You don’t even have to be awake to damage your teeth. As many as 8–31% of Americans grind or clench (bruxism) their teeth, especially at night. Bruxism is a common problem: Even elevated levels of bruxism may cause minimal symptoms, and therefore a bruxer may not be aware of the condition. Several symptoms are commonly associated with bruxism, including hypersensitive teeth, aching jaw muscles, and headaches. Bruxism may cause tooth wear, and may even cause teeth to break and dental restorations (e.g. crowns and fillings) to be repeatedly lost or damaged.

In dentistry experience and Continuing Education are everything. Dr. Parvin Carter has over 30 years of experience in Practicing General Dentistry and 25 years in Orthodontics. She has thousands of hours of advanced training. In 2000, Academy of General Dentistry awarded Dr. Carter a Certificate of Mastership (MAGD) in General Dentistry. According to the Journal of the Academy of General Dentistry, only 1% of US dentists achieve this high level of advancement. Dr. Carter is a Certified and Preferred Provider of Invisalign. She has successfully treated over 320 patients with Invisalign

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