According to the American Dental Association, over 180 million people in the U.S. don't visit their dentist each year, even if they have dental problems. Oral health problems can affect your overall health, so it's very important to see your dentist regularly. Here are five of the most common excuses people give for not getting regular dental care, and the reasons why those excuses just aren't valid.
It's too expensive
Although most Americans have medical insurance to help offset the cost of health care, many do not have dental insurance. If offered by an employer, dental insurance can be fairly inexpensive, but for individuals and the elderly, dental insurance policies may be too expensive. If your employer doesn't offer dental insurance, you can still get the dental treatment you need.
Here are some ways that you can make dental care more affordable.
- Seek out dentists who offer a sliding scale payment policy.
- Look for dentists who offer payment plans.
- Some dentists offer free services to those who can't afford them. Check the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services HRSA website to see if there are any free dental clinics in your area.
They are afraid of dental treatments/the dentist
It's not just children who are afraid of the dentist; many adults refuse to go for checkups because they fear that they might need a painful dental procedure. Fear of the dentist is very common, but unnecessary. Dental anxiety and fear often stems from a lack of understanding about what will take place when you're in the dentist's chair, so ask questions about your procedure before you ever arrive for your visit. Hearing the process explained can take much of the fear out of the equation, and make you feel more confident about visiting the dentist.
Be upfront with your dentist at a place like Valley Oak Dental Group Inc before your first visit. If you are scared or nervous because of a negative experience in your past, your dentist can take extra care to help you feel relaxed during your visit. Some dentists even specialize in "nervous" patients, proving that many people share the same fears of going to the dentist as you do.
They had a bad dental experience in the past
For some patients, dental visits feel traumatic because of a bad dental experience they had when they were younger. If you haven't been to the dentist since you were a child, and you have bad memories of going to the dentist then, understand that it doesn't mean you'll have a bad experience now. A new dentist and a friendly environment can help erase those bad memories, and replace them with good ones, and a healthy smile.
Don't let a negative past experience prevent you from getting the dental treatment you deserve. Find a dentist you feel comfortable with, and keep your smile healthy and bright.
You don't want to get lectured about poor dental hygiene
Your dentist doesn't want to embarrass or reprimand you, but they do want to help you learn to help yourself. Most dentists understand that shaming their patients isn't an effective way to get them to take better care of their teeth. Your dentist may suggest ways you can improve your dental hygiene, such as brushing and flossing twice a day and getting regular checkups with cleanings, but these are only meant to help you keep your mouth healthy, not make you feel bad about yourself.
You don't have the time, or are too lazy to schedule an appointment
Do you have the time to miss work or school because of a painful tooth? If you don't get regular checkups, you could develop a dental problem that could cost you more than your time, it could also cost you your health. Make time for dental care now, so you can stay healthy later on.
No matter what your reason is for not visiting the dentist, there is a solution. Don't make excuses for not taking care of your teeth, but do make an appointment with your dentist!