How often in life do we take that first – often hardest step – and then kind of…freeze? The diet we start, the gym we join, the resume we update. We’ve all been there. And we all know that a start without the follow up is not really what you had in mind.
So, let us help you by reminding you what’s next when it comes to your dental care. You signed up, you picked a plan, and you’re saving money, so now what?
- Pick up the phone. Call your dentist of choice and schedule a check-up and x-rays for yourself and your family members. At your appointment, you can expect to meet first with the dental hygienist, who will give you a first looking-over and take the necessary images (with a bib on your chest to protect you from the radiation), and then with the dentist, who will take another look and walk you through whatever next steps are necessary based on his/her observations and the x-ray results.
- If your first appointment does not include a cleaning, you will schedule one, along with any other necessary follow-up appointments, when you check out. A dental cleaning is a professional removal of harmful plaque (caused by the bacteria in every mouth), a thorough flossing, and a cleaning/polishing of your teeth. Whether you are an A plus student when it comes to your own teeth, or leave something to be desired, this step is critical to your oral and overall health. Even the most thorough and careful among us cannot remove all of our accumulated, harmful debris. We all NEED professional tools, know-how, and experience.
- Your dentist and hygienist will have given you tips for healthy self-maintenance: better, more thorough brushing and flossing; perhaps a change to more appropriate products; maybe a recommendation for further appointments either there or with a dental specialist. Please…make the time to follow up properly. Do not let the time you have already spent go to waste. Minutes a day and hours a year will do wonders for your family’s health, smiles, and esteem.
- Schedule your next professional cleaning. This isn’t a once-in-a-lifetime or once-a-year event. You’ll need a deep clean at least twice a year. You can schedule the next appointment when you leave and/or ask the office to send you or call you with a reminder when it’s time to head back.
- Change your toothbrush every three months. Your dentist will give you a new one, so, as soon as you’re home, toss the old one. Then, in your print or electronic calendar, write in the date to replace it again. It’s good practice to keep extra toothbrushes at home so you have them ready when the time comes. They are inexpensive and are often sold in bulk. Make sure you get the best brand with the most appropriate texture for you. We can’t overstate the importance of using effective, new tools.
Do not be intimidated by any of this. You’ve already done the hardest part. Just keep at it and remember, when it comes to your dental and overall health, prevention and maintenance are key. You know it. Now do it.
For more information on how to use your dental plan, please contact our Member C.A.R.E. department toll-free at 1-800-494-9294 to speak to a team member today!