Many people delay or ignore needed professional dental attention because of its cost. It is not uncommon for people to now live with tooth pain and other dental issues because they cannot afford professional care.
Just look at how expensive it can get; basic dental procedures such as cleaning can cost anywhere from $75 to $200. Now, the price gets astronomical and can run into thousands of dollars for advanced services such as dental implants, cavity feeling, deep cleaning, or extraction. In fact, it is now becoming a norm for people to spend tens of thousands on dental care.
While such services are essential, many people cannot afford them. And even if you can, you definitely want to take some initiative and save some of that hard-earned money.
Dental care involves taking good care of your teeth and finding better deals when it is time for professional services.
Are you looking to maintain healthy teeth without blowing your savings? Read on for some frugal dental tips to use.
1. Brush and Floss Regularly
As simple as it may sound, brushing and flossing your teeth daily makes a huge difference. Flossing daily and brushing at least twice a day helps remove plaque buildup, which is a leading cause of tooth decay and gum diseases.
The American Dental Association recommends spending at least two minutes on each brush. This simple and basic dental hygiene can save you so much money in the years to come.
2. Use Fluoride Toothpaste
Unless you have a fluoride allergy, ensure the toothpaste you use contains fluoride.
For starters, fluoride promotes strong enamel, lowering the risk of cavities and decay. Also, regular brushing with fluoride-based toothpaste helps create a protective barrier against bacteria and acid attacks.
It is a simple yet powerful way to prevent the development of dental problems that could cost you so much money.
3. Replace Your Toothbrush Regularly
Dentists recommend replacing your toothbrush for at least every 3-4 months. Over time, bristles wear down, reducing the cleaning efficiency of the toothbrush. Using a worn-out toothbrush will not remove food remains and plaque effectively.
A new toothbrush helps maintain optimal plaque removal, prevent dental issues, and promote oral health. This simple practice ensures that your dental care tools effectively support clean and healthy teeth.
4. Eat a Healthy Diet
Your body, including your oral health, is a product of what you eat.
To enhance your oral health, ensure your diet is full of fruits, vegetables, dairy, minerals, vitamins, and lean proteins, all essential for healthy gums and teeth.
While monitoring what you eat, you want to avoid highly acidic foods that accelerate the erosion of the enamel and promote cavities while at it. You also want to avoid soda and other sweetened beverages, table sugar and other foods with added sugar, and excessively sticky and hard foods.
Eating a healthy diet is not just good for your teeth. It will go a long way in enhancing your overall physical and mental health.
5. Regular Dental Check-ups
One of the worst mistakes people make in the name of frugality is skipping dental check-ups.
I mean, the check-ups will cost some good money; why would a frugal person intentionally do it when they can easily avoid it? If you care about saving your money and your dental health, don’t skip dental check-ups.
Dentists recommend that you do dental check-ups at least once every 12- 24 months. While it may cost you money upfront, catching issues before they develop into serious problems will help you save much more in the long run.
6. Community Dental Clinics
Take advantage of community dental clinics and get free or discounted dental services.
These services often provide affordable restorative dental care, preventive measures, and educational programs. They are typically organized by local health departments, hospitals, clinics, individual dentists, and non-profit organizations.
Community clinics and outreach initiatives aim to make dental services accessible to people. Be sure to sign up and get these free services whenever they are available.
7. Get Free or Discounted Services From Dental Schools
Many dental schools operate clinics that offer dental services at reduced costs. This helps make dental care more accessible to individuals with limited financial means.
Live near a dental school? Check out whether they run a discounted clinic and book their services. While these services may be offered and run by dental students, it is one great way to get the benefits at highly discounted prices.
Some dental schools also operate mobile clinics that aim to serve different populations. Watch out for such, and you could benefit from their services.
8. Consider Dental Tourism for Highly-priced Services
Dental tourism is now on the rise, thanks to the ridiculously high prices in America. With some procedures now going beyond $20,000, many people are now opting to fly out to other countries, get cheap and equally reliable services, tour the cities, fly back, and still save money while at it.
Procedures such as full mouth reconstruction, dental implants, orthodontic treatments, and cosmetic dental procedures are some of the dental services people fly out to get.
Some of the most sought-after destinations for dental tourism include Turkey, Mexico, Vietnam, Thailand, Hungary, Costa Rica, Colombia, and Croatia.
Consider dental tourism if you are seeking dental services that could run into tens of thousands. Do your research widely, consider the dangers involved, and book the trip and foreign dental appointment.
This way, you can combine your long-awaited vacation with your desired dental services. I mean, look at the potential destinations for dental tourism. Many of them are people’s dream destinations. You may get very affordable services and a vacation of your lifetime.
9. Quit Smoking and Alcohol
Quitting smoking and alcohol can significantly benefit dental care. Smoking contributes to gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss. Besides, it diminishes the success of dental procedures.
It also stains teeth and causes persistent bad breath. Solving all these dental issues will cost you a fortune. Quit smoking if you would like to take your dental health to the next level without spending thousands of dollars.
On the other hand, excessive consumption of alcohol dries the mouth, reducing saliva production. Reduced saliva production increases the risk of cavities and gum disease.
If you’re looking to have better oral and general health, you may want to think about quitting smoking and reducing alcohol consumption.
10. DIY Teeth Whitening
DIY teeth whitening is one of the few procedures you can do to save on dental care.
Instead of getting professional teeth whitening, consider using home remedies to whiten your teeth gradually.
DIY teeth whitening methods often include using household items like baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, or activated charcoal.
Remember to use products such as baking soda moderately because too much exposure can cause enamel erosion.
11. Buy Dental Products From Dollar Stores
Looking to save some money? Skip your expensive grocery store and buy dental care products from the dollar store. Some of the best items to buy from dollar stores include toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss, tongue scrapers, and mouthwash.
Be sure to check for fluoride content in toothpaste and mouthwash you buy from your dollar store.
12. Choose Generic Dental Products
As long as the generic toothpaste contains fluoride, it is just as good as that expensive brand name that also contains fluoride. The same applies to mouthwash.
Also, if that generic toothbrush has soft bristles that would be gentle on the enamel, it is just as good as an expensive brand name.
Unless you have problems such as tooth sensitivity, go for the affordable option of dental care products. And even if you have tooth sensitivity problems, ensure what you buy is recommended by your dentist and not just a product that claims to be suitable for tooth sensitivity.
13. Drink Enough Water
Water helps rinse away food particles, bacteria, and acids that can contribute to tooth decay. Therefore, you want to take enough water after every meal.
Water also stimulates saliva production, which is essential for neutralizing acids and maintaining a healthy balance in the mouth.
Ensure you drink enough water throughout the day to maintain optimal oral hygiene and prevent cavities and gum diseases.
14. Ask Your Dentist and Dental Clinic for a Discount
Dentists know that dental care is expensive. Therefore, the next time you get the services, do not be afraid to negotiate prices.
When seeking a discount from your dentist, approach the conversation respectfully and transparently. Express your financial concerns honestly, highlighting any constraints you may face; they understand how many people cannot afford dental care.
Besides asking for a discount, ask if any membership plans or in-house discount programs are available.
Additionally, be open to discussing alternatives or more cost-effective treatment options that align with your budget. Sometimes, all it takes is speaking up.
15. Use a Tongue Scraper
In your daily oral hygiene, do not just focus on your teeth. Ensure your tongue is well-cleaned, too. A tongue scraper is an excellent tool for your tongue cleaning.
For starters, using a tongue scraper offers you a fresher breath.
Additionally, this tool helps remove bacteria, debris, and dead cells from the tongue’s surface.
Prevent the development of oral infections by adding this tool to your daily oral cleaning routine.