I just finished the second part of my root canal and am feeling intense pain in my wallet. Just to jog your memory in case you missed my last rant, I had a root canal on one of my molars and a temporary seal was applied.
After a few weeks I had a post put in to stabilize that area and now I am good to go until next year when my dental benefits start again. I usually need another root canal, or have an old decayed crown yanked out and a new one put in its place.
One thing that changed this year was that my dentist started me on prescription toothpaste with fluoride. I thought it would be a lot better than swishing around the liquid fluoride that you get at the end of every cleaning that you feel like you want to spit out from the moment it hits your mouth.
You produce less saliva in menopause and the resulting dry mouth can lead to more cavities. Bone loss also increases your risk for cavities. In some cases, your roots can be showing and your teeth look a lot longer. All of these things make prescription toothpaste a no-brainer.
Prescription fluoride toothpaste is absorbed into the roots and enamel and makes your teeth stronger. When your brush your teeth, use your regular toothpaste, but switch to the prescription toothpaste when you brush before bedtime.
You’ve probably heard that most dentists say to brush for at least two minutes and preferably three if you can stand it. You only need a thin line of toothpaste and it’s better if you use an electric toothbrush. I stand in front of the clock and hum the happy birthday song. It seems like an eternity waiting for two minutes to go by, but when the time is up, I make a mad dash for the bathroom to rinse it all out.
According to the American Dental Association, you should change the head of your toothbrush every three to four months, and sooner if the bristles are frayed. Don’t forget to floss because toothpaste doesn’t always clean those hard-to-get-to places.
Check with your insurance plan to see if this is a covered benefit. Mine would not pay, and I ended up spending $25 for a four-ounce tube. It sucks that you have to pay that much, and you would rather spend the money on yourself, but think of it as an investment in your dental future.