Some people seem to ignore their mouth and have no decay or periodontal disease. Others must use consistent and detailed oral hygiene practices to keep from losing their teeth. Most people lie somewhere in between these two extremes. Practices that help prevent and control dental problems include:
- Oral Irrigation. Use an oral irrigation device such as the Monoject 412 Syringe or an automatic irrigation device such as the Water Pik or HydroFloss. Irrigate with Listerine solution. If you do not have an irrigation device, vigorously rinse your mouth with Listerine mouthwash solution. A half Listerine and half 3% Hydrogen Peroxide mixture is recommended during active treatment or when you are experiencing bleeding of the gums. This concentration can be diluted with water if it appears to be too strong or it can be made into a paste by adding a little baking soda.
- Brush. Brush your teeth and along the gum line with an automatic toothbrush and toothpaste. There are many excellent brands of automatic toothbrushes which include the Teledyne Plaque Control 3000, SoniCare, SenSonic, Braun Oral B, Rota-Dent, Norelco Dentiflex, OralGiene, Interplax, Colgate Plus, and SuperSonic. If you do not have an automatic toothbrush, a soft toothbrush such as the Crest Complete, Colgate Precision, Butler Gum, or the Oral B Advantage toothbrush can be used.
- Interdental Tool. Use an interdental cleaning tool, if necessary, such as the Butler Gum Proxabrush or an interdental pick to clean the difficult areas between your teeth at the gum line.
- Floss. Floss your teeth with any floss or dental tape. A special floss, such as Glide, can be used if you have tight contacts. If you have bridges or areas that are difficult to get floss between your teeth, use a floss threader to floss under your bridges and in those tight areas.
- Treat Sensitive Teeth. If you are experiencing sensitivity on any surface of your teeth, the regular use of a desensitizing toothpaste such as Sensodyne can help reduce sensitivity if used over a period of weeks.
To reduce costs of dental care for those without dental insurance, many are going to other countries for the savings. Los Algodones, Mexico, has become "the latest boomtown for medical tourism," with about 350 dentists providing care for prices that are up to 70% less than what U.S. residents typically pay, the Chicago Tribune reports. In late 1990s, U.S. health care costs increased and Arizona began attracting more retirees. As a result, more people in the area began seeking affordable dental care. According to the Tribune, dental offices began to replace bars in Los Algodones, which is on the U.S. border. Experts say one reason costs in Mexico are lower is because the cost of U.S. malpractice insurance is passed on to the consumer.