Most adults know that basic dental care and a couple visits to the dentist for cleanings are the foundations of dental health. But did you know that there’s a lot more that you can be doing to to increase the overall wellness of your teeth and gums that goes well beyond basic brushing and flossing?

As it turns out, a year round commitment to oral health isn’t just a nicety for making dental visits less awkward, it’s a necessity for staying ahead of costly dental procedures. The more effort you put into your teeth in the time between your twice-annual dental cleanings, the easier those cleanings will go.

We’d also add that this is especially true for people who experience sensitivity to the prodding and scraping that takes place during your cleaning. The more time you put into your oral health in the intermittent periods, the more comfortable you’ll be while the dentist is actually poking and prodding. Here are a few tips to keep in mind before you ever visit a dentist.

Prepping Your Body for the Dentist

Have you ever wondered why you go to a hospital for problems with every part of your body except your teeth and gums? It’s a quirk of history, but it doesn’t mean that your teeth and gums don’t interact with the other systems in your body.

In fact, how well you’re maintaining the overall health of your body has a big impact on the health and wellness of your teeth and gums. Think about it this way: your body only has a limited amount of resources to deal with health crises as they pop up. So when you’ve got a mild infection near a tooth that’s in need of a root canal, that takes immune system resources away from other parts of your body where they might also be needed.

So it stands to reason that if you keep your whole body, teeth and gums included, in as good a shape as possible, you’ll be setting the stage for long-term health in every part of your body.

Prepping Your Wallet for the Dentist

The sad reality of the healthcare business today is that dental insurance doesn’t even come close to covering the entire cost of basic procedures such as root canals and dental implants. That’s why it’s important to talk to your family dental practice about the cost of upcoming procedures and how much you can expect in out-of-pocket expenses.

While many of these procedures are pretty expensive, almost every dentist is willing to set up payment plans, especially for longtime patients.

Planning ahead can also help you decide whether or not you need to switch insurance plans. If you know you’ve got a lot of work to be done, it might actually be cheaper to switch to a more expensive plan that covers more costly procedures.

Finally

If you’re really not all that jazzed about thinking about dental care, there’s another route you can take; just take care of your teeth. Simply brushing and flossing twice a day is usually enough to keep serious dental problems at bay.