Author Topic: Reducing future Dental bills  (Read 5743 times)

freedom123

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Reducing future Dental bills
« on: February 07, 2016, 09:48:59 AM »
Sorry if this topic has been covered before, I searched many ways but couldn't find it.  Even though I brush & floss religiously, I'm starting to have dental issues at age 42.  I recently had 2 crowns done because of cracked teeth (apparently I'm a grinder and a jaw clencher). I'm also starting to have gum recession problems, sensitivity, and plaque build up in parts of my mouth (quote from my dentist "you're a plaque factory!").  I hardly ever eat sweets and I never drink soda. I've always had a problem with cavities regardless. 

I'm realizing this could be a major expense for me in retirement if I can't turn this around now. I'm hoping some of the grinding/clenching goes away once I'm done with this very stressful job in 2017.

Have any of you successfully changed your dental health, and how did you do it?  I'm thinking of investing in a Sonicare toothbrush.   I'm not sure if products like Plax or other mouth rinses work, so I'd love suggestions.  Also, I had a mouth guard made by the dentist and it was awful, made me gag and I couldn't wear it.  Have any of you tried any over the counter mouth guards that work?


wwweb

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Re: Reducing future Dental bills
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2016, 10:38:09 AM »
Trying asking your dentist for advice - it's his job to help you maintain good dental health.

If you're looking for a personal story, I switched to a Sonicare toothbrush recently, and I love it. At my most recent checkup, the dentist complimented me on my oral hygiene which almost never happens.

lakemom

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Re: Reducing future Dental bills
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2016, 10:46:50 AM »
The xylitol gum or candy (I think its xylitol).  It somehow helps strengthen/restore enamel on teeth.  A friend of mine has a daughter (now 35) with very weak teeth and her dentist recommended this and its been a game changer for her.  She's had weak teeth since her youth and now suffers much less than she has in the past.

geekette

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Re: Reducing future Dental bills
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2016, 10:52:52 AM »
I don't know about the other stuff, but here's my take on the brushes.

My DH was given a fancy rechargeable Oral B for Christmas several years ago.  I got cheap and bought the battery powered one for myself.  They both run for 2 minutes before stuttering to tell you you're done, which, according to my dentist, is the most important thing (most people don't brush for that long).

Upside on the fancy one, it stutters every 30 seconds so you brush each quarter for equal times.  The downside is that it has to be recharged weekly (and getting more frequent as it ages) and the batteries aren't easy to replace.  My batteries last a month and then I just swap out the AAs with fresh rechargeables.

We don't find the brush heads need to be replaced nearly as often as the manufacturer suggests. 

Bucksandreds

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Re: Reducing future Dental bills
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2016, 11:12:14 AM »
Use a oral b (superior to sonic care in studies) electric toothbrush for plaque control and get a night guard made that should be worn at any time you are grinding.  I hope you had gold crowns made.  If they're porcelain then you may just chew through and crack those.

freedom123

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Re: Reducing future Dental bills
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2016, 01:45:56 PM »
Thank you for all of the feedback everyone!  Unfortunately my dentist hasn't been very helpful except recommending expensive procedures and cleanings 4x/year, but zero advice on prevention despite being asked.  And the expensive night guard they made me is horrible (big piece of hard plastic in back that sticks way back in my throat and makes me gag), and they refuse to adjust it.  Time for a new dentist too.  I was lucky to be born with perfectly straight white teeth, but I want them to be as healthy as they look. 

I'd love a natural approach, so I'll definitely try the Xylitol.  Also thanks for the recommendations for alternates to a Sonicare.  Off to research now!


BikeFanatic

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Re: Reducing future Dental bills
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2016, 03:08:39 PM »
I have similar problems and I have improved my condition with 2X a year cleanings, Flossing to help the gums, Sonicare electric toothbrush, and making sure I brush 3 x a day including at work.
I also am a grinder and I use the sleep right dental guard from walgreens.com, don't  wait or a sale,  but they do go on sale occasionally, cost about 30 dollars or maybe less, worth it, very comfortable.

warmastoast

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Re: Reducing future Dental bills
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2016, 04:00:39 PM »
If you are a "plaque factory" as your unhelpful dentist so eloquently puts it then the following should sort that out:
Understand that plaque is formed as a by-product of the bacteria in your mouth consuming the carbohydrate that you eat.  Sugar , honey, candy, chocolates, wheat, pasta, bread, cakes, cookies, cereals, sweetened yoghourts. desserts etc.   Also from the carbohydrates that you drink -  of course sodas (cocoa cola etc) but especially FRUIT JUICES, smoothies.   Every single time you put anything like this in your mouth you will produce plaque.

Weakened teeth can also be caused by the acid which is produced when you eat carbohydrate.  Every time you eat carbohydrate, your teeth get an acid bath.  They can cope with maybe 3 times a day (when you have a meal) but start eating/drinking carbohydrates between meals and you are heading for problems.

You can ease the "plaque" and "weak" teeth problem in 2 ways - firstly, by reducing the FREQUENCY of eating/drinking carbs along with the amount.  Secondly, reduce the bacteria level.  You can do this with frequent brushing,  mouth rinsing and by using XYLITOL.  6 grams of xylitol spread throughout the day either by chewing xylitol only gums or by putting the xylitol "sugar" in a bottle of water and drinking it throught the day.  Xylitol works because the bacteria will ingest it but they can't digest it so you don't get the acid attack or the plaque.  Your gums will also start to look healthier with the reduction in bacterial levels.

As a former dental hygienist I love xylitol - it's an easy thing to use.

As for your brushing technique,  buy some disclosing tablets (or red food coloring).  Brush your teeth as normal then disclose them.  Note where the pink/red areas are and brush it away.  Keep doing this and you'll begin to see that you probably miss in the same spots all the time and you can concentrate on NOT missing those areas.

Floss.  Goes without saying.

If you are grinding your teeth at night, then go and see a dentist who can sort this out for you.   It may mean a simple adjustment of the way your teeth come together or you may need a plastic night guard.  This treatment may save you thousands in future dental bills.

One other thing.... since you say that you don't eat candies/sodas...  does your mouth get dry overnight?  This is often overlooked but can be causing your problems. 

One more .....  do you have any kind of auto-immune disease like celiac disease?  that's a whole other kettle of fish.



« Last Edit: February 07, 2016, 04:02:54 PM by warmastoast »

Candace

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Re: Reducing future Dental bills
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2016, 04:06:49 PM »
I use a Sonicare for brushing and a Water Pik for flossing. I definitely notice a difference compared to regular brushing and flossing. Good luck, and good thinking.

pbkmaine

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Reducing future Dental bills
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2016, 06:28:05 PM »
I got a new dentist a year ago. She has me doing Waterpik, Sonicare, and Glide dental floss. It has made a huge difference in my gums.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Reducing future Dental bills
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2016, 09:00:55 AM »
I get "prescription" high flouride toothpaste from my dentist (Clinpro).  It costs $11 a tube.  My cavities have massively reduced since I started using it.

partgypsy

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Re: Reducing future Dental bills
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2016, 09:14:52 AM »
Flossing every day. Glide (green) floss. I don't do it every day but when I do it consistently makes a big difference. floss, Listerine, and then brush teeth. My hygienist said that if you had to choose between brushing and flossing, to floss.

warmastoast

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Re: Reducing future Dental bills
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2016, 12:55:04 PM »
I would disagree with your hygienist.

Flossing and brushing work on your gums mostly by disturbing the biofilm.  If you have the right technique,  you can do this just using your toothbrush without flossing.  It's very time-consuming to brush like this - probably requiring 2 brush sizes but at least you will clean the plaque off the rest of your teeth.  Flossing won't clean the rest of your teeth.

Eric

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Re: Reducing future Dental bills
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2016, 03:49:34 PM »
Also, I had a mouth guard made by the dentist and it was awful, made me gag and I couldn't wear it.  Have any of you tried any over the counter mouth guards that work?

I'm a grinder/clencher.  I use an over the counter product called Grind Guard.  They're like $20 for a pair on Amazon, and one will last me probably a year-ish, so they're durable.  It's essentially just your basic mouthguard that you dip in boiling water and then mold to your teeth (like in high school football).  It's a little clunkly, so it took a while to get used to, but like with anything, once you get used to it it feels weird without it.  It definitely didn't ever make me gag though.  If it did, you could just cut off part of the back with scissors and/or a file.  It's just a piece of moldable plastic after all.

Like you, I expect this to go away after I stop working, so hopefully it's only a temporary necessity.

warmastoast

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Re: Reducing future Dental bills
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2016, 04:22:43 PM »
Also, I had a mouth guard made by the dentist and it was awful, made me gag and I couldn't wear it.  Have any of you tried any over the counter mouth guards that work?

I'm a grinder/clencher.  I use an over the counter product called Grind Guard.  They're like $20 for a pair on Amazon, and one will last me probably a year-ish, so they're durable.  It's essentially just your basic mouthguard that you dip in boiling water and then mold to your teeth (like in high school football).  It's a little clunkly, so it took a while to get used to, but like with anything, once you get used to it it feels weird without it.  It definitely didn't ever make me gag though.  If it did, you could just cut off part of the back with scissors and/or a file.  It's just a piece of moldable plastic after all.

Like you, I expect this to go away after I stop working, so hopefully it's only a temporary necessity.

Please don't use these over the counter mouthguards for anything other than sports.

The mouthguard that your dentist makes is specially designed to ensure that your lower jaw remains in the correct alignment to your upper jaw, thereby preventing long term damage to the jaw joint and further damage to your teeth and head/neck muscles.  The sports ones are designed to be worn for an hour or so,no more.


Eric

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Re: Reducing future Dental bills
« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2016, 04:56:54 PM »
Also, I had a mouth guard made by the dentist and it was awful, made me gag and I couldn't wear it.  Have any of you tried any over the counter mouth guards that work?

I'm a grinder/clencher.  I use an over the counter product called Grind Guard.  They're like $20 for a pair on Amazon, and one will last me probably a year-ish, so they're durable.  It's essentially just your basic mouthguard that you dip in boiling water and then mold to your teeth (like in high school football).  It's a little clunkly, so it took a while to get used to, but like with anything, once you get used to it it feels weird without it.  It definitely didn't ever make me gag though.  If it did, you could just cut off part of the back with scissors and/or a file.  It's just a piece of moldable plastic after all.

Like you, I expect this to go away after I stop working, so hopefully it's only a temporary necessity.

Please don't use these over the counter mouthguards for anything other than sports.

The mouthguard that your dentist makes is specially designed to ensure that your lower jaw remains in the correct alignment to your upper jaw, thereby preventing long term damage to the jaw joint and further damage to your teeth and head/neck muscles.  The sports ones are designed to be worn for an hour or so,no more.

I'm not sure why jaw alignment has anything to do with it.  Unless someone is grinding/clenching because of a misalignment?  Otherwise, why would wearing a mouth guard cause your jaw to misalign?

warmastoast

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Re: Reducing future Dental bills
« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2016, 05:12:21 PM »
Your jaw joint and supporting muscles are put into a different position when you insert something between your teeth.  For short periods like when playing a game of soccer, it's ok because your jaw will go back to where it was.  But if you change this relationship over many hours and days, it won't go back to the original place.   Your bite will change and then you can start grinding on your teeth as your jaw attempts to realign itself.

If you have a grinding habit already,  your dentist will design the mouthguard to put the jaw joint back into it's correct position - it's not just protecting your teeth from grinding.   The proper mouthguards are made with a plastic that doesn't wear quickly and with a polished surface.  This allows the dentist to see exactly where you are grinding as you can see the marks on the polished biting surface.  The dentist can then make adjustments as necessary to help correct everything.

I used to work for the UK's most eminent dentist in this field, in case you are wondering...


Gevans17

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Re: Reducing future Dental bills
« Reply #17 on: March 09, 2016, 05:29:02 PM »
skip the Plax mouthwash and use the fluoridated Listerine (purple) instead. twice a day for 30 seconds

sweettea

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Re: Reducing future Dental bills
« Reply #18 on: March 09, 2016, 06:31:39 PM »
European toothpaste with Novamin (available on amazon) can help remineralize, which can help with very early cavities.

warmastoast

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Re: Reducing future Dental bills
« Reply #19 on: March 16, 2016, 02:47:55 PM »
European toothpaste with Novamin (available on amazon) can help remineralize, which can help with very early cavities.

Not if the underlying reason for the cavities hasn't been sorted out.

Remineralisation will take place anyway if the oral environment is conducive to it.  The dentist/hygienist can also apply very high levels of fluoride varnish on areas that they can see are affected but if the eating habits remain the same then all this treatment will do is delay the inevitable caries.

Frankies Girl

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Re: Reducing future Dental bills
« Reply #20 on: March 16, 2016, 04:15:29 PM »
I have bruxism (teeth clenching/grinding) and had a dentist make a night guard. I also hoped this would go away once I quit my very stressful job.

It didn't. I still clench/grind. Just not to the point of waking up with my jaw hurting any more. But I do still do it, so I'll wear a guard for the rest of my life.


I use a sonicare toothbrush 2X daily with a "total" toothpaste, waterpic with a capful of flouride mouthwash in the water at least 3-4 times a week, and floss about that same amount and now have perfect checkups and barely any plaque and very healthy teeth/gums.


catccc

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Re: Reducing future Dental bills
« Reply #21 on: March 17, 2016, 09:43:52 AM »
My husband wears this low profile, no boil "nightguard."  it's not the sport-type and doesn't go cover any teeth, if that makes any sense.  Our dentist gave us the "okay" on it.  It works well and is pretty low cost.  He's been using the same one for about 2 years without problems.

http://www.drugstore.com/dentek-comfort-fit-nightguard-one-size/qxp187616?catid=183795
« Last Edit: March 17, 2016, 12:52:37 PM by catccc »

bogart

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Re: Reducing future Dental bills
« Reply #22 on: March 17, 2016, 11:24:58 AM »
No further advice beyond that offered, but my sympathies, and a  quick note that xylitol is both horrifically poisonous to and tempting to many dogs -- if you have dogs, you should be aware of this and keep anything containing it away from them, and of course whether or not you have dogs this also extends to responsible trash disposal, etc.  My understanding is a tiny bit can do awful things to them.

MsPeacock

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Re: Reducing future Dental bills
« Reply #23 on: March 17, 2016, 03:39:35 PM »
European toothpaste with Novamin (available on amazon) can help remineralize, which can help with very early cavities.

Not if the underlying reason for the cavities hasn't been sorted out.

Remineralisation will take place anyway if the oral environment is conducive to it.  The dentist/hygienist can also apply very high levels of fluoride varnish on areas that they can see are affected but if the eating habits remain the same then all this treatment will do is delay the inevitable caries.

My teeth are very sensitive - I should say were very sensitive. My former dentist never made any particular recommendations. I saw a new one and he did the fluoride treatment and recommended toothpaste for sensitive teeth (which quite honestly I purchase at Dollar Tree) and both have helped tremendously. I am able to drink cold and warm drinks again and eat soup and such w/o pain, and breathe cold air w/o pain.

mozar

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Re: Reducing future Dental bills
« Reply #24 on: March 18, 2016, 12:38:10 PM »
There is something called oil pulling, since you like natural remedies.

pk_aeryn

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Re: Reducing future Dental bills
« Reply #25 on: March 18, 2016, 07:29:48 PM »
Nutrition deficiencies can cause dental issues.  Look into supplementing vitamin K2 (the 2 is important!), magnesium, omega 3 (better to just eat salmon and oily fish rather than pills) and vitamin A (retinol form, not carotenes).  Liver and/or cod liver oil or Gouda cheese will get you a lot of these nutrients.