Having your teeth cleaned is an important aspect of overall health. You should have your teeth cleaned several times a year by a professional. Although this is common knowledge among the general public, the reality is most grown adults postpone their teeth cleaning appointments for as long as possible.

The reasons why adults postpone their dental checkups vary. For some, it’s the association of pain and discomfort that are closely tied to a dental visit. For others, it’s the cost. Regardless of your reasoning, it’s actually cost prohibitive to visit your dentist several times per year to get your teeth cleaned. The more attention and care you get from a dentist and his or her professional staff, the less likely you will incur more expensive dental problems later in life.

Unlike food and water and toiletries, dental care is one of the first things people cut from their budget during an economic downturn. The worse the economy gets, the more likely the family is going to go without visiting their local dentist. You shouldn’t use lack of money as an excuse for not visiting your dentist for routine teeth cleaning. Most dentists are accommodating and will allow you to make payments. This is particularly true during bad economic times.

If you actually do forego your dental visits and routine cleaning, there will come a day when you wake up with a tooth ache. That tooth may be extremely sensitive to hot and cold temperatures. At that point, your dentist will need to fix the cavity. If the cavity remains unchecked for too long, there’s a strong chance you may need a root canal. In addition to needing major dental surgery, your gums may have developed periodontal disease, which is another effect of neglecting your teeth and gum.

Getting your teeth fixed after long periods of neglect can be quite expensive. I know first hand how expensive it can be. For about eight years straight I avoided the dentist altogether. Although I didn’t have any cavities, I needed to get what they refer to as “deep cleaning” which cost me several thousand dollars.

When a dentist performs deep cleaning, he will work on one quarter of your teeth at a time. The phrase “deep cleaning” refers to cleaning well below the gum line. Because this procedure requires your dentist to scrape your teeth below the gum, you’ll more than likely be numbed. Your mouth will be sore after the procedure. And because you’ll be numbed, it usually requires at least two visits to the dentist because if you had all four quadrants performed during one procedure, you’d be walking out of his office with a completely numb mouth and tongue! You wouldn’t be able to talk.

Deep teeth cleaning may sound expensive, but the procedure is still much cheaper (and quicker) than getting a root canal or a dental implant, both of which are very expensive.

If you think routine dental checkups and teeth cleaning are too expensive, the truth is eventually you’ll need to spend at least the same amount of money on some form of tooth repair if you choose to avoid routine dental checkups. Tooth decay and other potentially serious problems cost significant amounts of money to fix. If money is tight, talk to your dentist. He or she may be able to work out a payment plan so that you can get proper dental care.

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