Friday, 9 April 2010

You, Your Teeth, the Dentist - and Finding the Money

Unsurprisingly - and given the fact that nearly everybody is strapped for cash and finding an NHS dentist prepared to take anyone on is now is about as likely finding teeth on a hen - dental care doesn't top the list of priorities for a lot of people.

The problem is that you if you ignore your teeth, they do tend to go away.

You need your teeth to chew food and speak clearly. Your teeth also affect the appearance of your face and your smile - so it's important to look after them, and make sure that they don't go away.
 You can do a lot by yourself to keep your teeth in your head and your smile intact:
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day.
  • Make sure you brush every surface of every tooth. To do this properly can take longer than you think. Most dentists would recommend around two minutes. Takes me at least five minutes.
  • Use fluoride toothpaste to protect against decay.
  • Use a toothbrush with a small head and synthetic bristles.
  • Start at one side of your mouth and move round to the other side, brushing all the tooth surfaces thoroughly.
  • Pay particular attention to the gumline, angling the bristles into the crevice where the gums meet the teeth.
  • Use a good mouthwash - like Corsodyl or Alodont - and follow the instructions. No, they don't taste good, but you can't have everything.
  • Replace your toothbrush every month.
Some people prefer an electric toothbrush - I certainly do - and there is some evidence that electric toothbrushes are more efficient at removing plaque than brushing by hand. However, how throughly you clean your teeth is much more important than what type of brush you use -and you still need to replace the brush once a month.

And you still need to visit a dentist once in a while - as opposed to letting things go and heading for A&E or calling NHS Direct when things get unbearable.

For reasons I won't bore you with, I was reading through the Business Credit Management UK website earlier this week, and I found an article entitled 'Debt Ridden Britain Relies On Credit For Dental Bills'. The article was talking about a Company called Simplyhealth .

Simplyhealth seems to provide a lot of benefits (it isn't just about teeth!) for not very much money, so its worth checking it out. It's 'Simply Cash Plan' starts from £2.25 a week and provides for dental visits, opticians appointments and - interestingly - complementary therapy along with a lot of other stuff. Visit the site! It might be for you.

Emily -

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