How can I look after my teeth?

16:36 Mon 24th May 2010 |

You are born without teeth and chances are you will probably leave this world without them too – but in the intervening years, dental health can be very important.

It can be very easy to forget about dental appointments, especially in these busy times, but failing to get regular check-ups can only lead to major problems, and experts believe more and more people are avoiding their dentist and taking a gamble with their oral health.

However, gaining access to treatment in the UK is not always a simple process – some can struggle to find an NHS service in their area and many cannot afford the prices of private dental care.

Despite the price, some choose private insurance for their teggies, which involves paying a set amount to a firm each month. This can offer peace of mind and security when visiting the dentist, but many unwitting patients are whacked with huge bills for fillings, bridge work and whitening sessions - this means that a trip to the dentist could cost you in excess of £200. It seems that many people would rather take toothache then have to fork out money for a session with Isaac Yank'em.

Experts advise that you ensure check-ups and medical procedures are carried out quickly and efficiently and as often as possible; preferably once every 4-6 months. If you experience pain or discomfort anytime within that period then see your dentist immediately for advice. They may take you in on the day and perform whatever surgery you require depending on the scale of the pain or damage.

Some other umbrella healthcare policies can have this option built-in, or it could be taken out separately.

As can often be the case in the medical insurance arena, a policy may not cover a patient for a pre-existing condition – although this can vary from firm to firm.

Of course, regularly brushing teeth and not eating too many sugary foods and drinks could be one way of negating the need for a private dental plan – on the proviso you also have access to an NHS check-up every six months.

Some dentists advise that if you cannot resist snacking then opt for the best snacks for your teeth. Although it is regarded as a lesser "evil", salt and vinegar crisps have the most benefit for your gnashers and the bacteria has a cleansing effect.

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