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Agent Straight-Talk




Dean George is the Marketing Specialist and Content Creator for Dental Insurance
Store and its social media channels. He is a regular contributor to Agent Straight Talk, the
only consumer blog explaining the ins, outs and in-betweens of dental insurance and
discount dental plans. READ MORE

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Preventive dentistry can be priceless

Jun 06, 2012

What is preventive dentistry and why is it important?

Are you familiar with the adage, “Time is money?” When it comes to preventive dentistry, the time you don’t spend brushing, flossing and visiting the dentist every six months can potentially cost you money – sometimes lots of money.

Preventive dentistry emphasizes the importance of performing the little oral hygiene habits on a regular basis. Things like brushing your teeth two times daily or after every meal; flossing and using mouthwash regularly, and seeking regular chairside treatments and counseling by a licensed dental professional.  

And no, the beautician next door who studied organic acupuncture and holistic dental aromatherapy doesn’t count as a dental professional.

Some people feel that if they do oral self-treatment at home regularly, they don’t necessarily need to spend the time and money to visit a dentist twice a year, or even annually. Such thinking is short-sighted for two reasons:

First, most dental conditions are painless at first, so if you don’t have regularly scheduled dental exams and consultations, you are at higher risk for oral diseases; second, the longer you go between dental exams, the greater the possibility that you may suffer significant tooth damage or worse.

Uh, oh…suddenly the financial windfall you enjoyed by not going to the dentist could now cost considerably more than you saved skipping those visits – perhaps even as much as that sundeck you were hoping to build or replacing one of the family cars.

Speaking of cars, think of it this way: You don’t wait to take your car in for an oil change until the oil light comes on, do you? Hey, maybe that is why they call it an idiot light? But I digress.

Cars will perform adequately for thousands of miles, whether or not you change the oil at the manufacturer’s recommended times. But to ensure that your car runs at peak efficiency and that you extend the life of your car’s engine, you change the oil at regular intervals, whether that’s every 3,000 miles, 5,000 miles or one Saturday a month whether it needs it or not.

Put another way, rotating your tires regularly is a good thing but it won’t help preserve the life of your car’s engine. Likewise, conscientiously caring for your teeth at home but deferring dental visits won’t necessarily extend the life of your oral health. And speaking of oral health…

DID YOU KNOW? Only half of all patients diagnosed with oral cancer live more than five years.

Many dentists perform oral cancer screenings as part of a routine check-up. A dentist can check for abnormalities that may affect your lips, gum tissue, tongue, cheek lining and hard and soft palate.  

I’ve read of several cases recently where dentists conducting routine exams successfully detected early stages of oral cancer, and then assisted the patient in finding an oncologist to obtain cancer treatment that literally saved their lives. Fortunately it is now easier than ever to detect oral cancer early, when a cure is greatest.

So no matter how self-conscious you may be about sticking your tongue out at your dentist, in the words of that great Oregon corporate philosopher Nike, “Just do it!”  Your dentist won’t mind you blowing raspberries and doing so could literally save your life.

Thanks for reading Agent Straight-Talk. Remember, “People seldom notice what you are wearing if you’re wearing a big smile.” Email us about what you’d like to see in this blog at

Find me on Twitter at Twitter@ToothTeller

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Copyright 2012, Bloom Insurance Agency, LLC

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