January 21, 2015
Do you have dental benefits? If so, preventive care is likely covered in your plan. Most plans that offer preventive care will cover dental exams and cleanings every six months. During the exam and cleaning, you may also receive x-rays. Typically, a dental office will start with a full mouth x-ray, which is recommended once every 3 years, and follow-up with bitewing x-rays annually. Check your coverage for specifics on any of these services.
If you have children, ask your dentist about a kid-specific preventive procedure -- sealants. Sealants act as a barrier to prevent cavities, and are placed on the chewing surfaces of back molars. Another wonderful preventive treatment for kids is fluoride. Generally applied as a gel or varnish, fluoride is often called nature’s cavity fighter. Both procedures are great options for protecting your children’s teeth. Talk to your dentist about these possible preventive services for your kids.
In addition to regular dental visits, follow these preventive strategies for protecting your oral health:
- Brush your teeth twice each day and floss once a day.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Drink plenty of fluoridated water.
- Limit snacking on sugary or starchy foods (chewing sugarless gum after a snack may help prevent tooth decay).
Overall, it’s very important to take good care of your teeth. Keeping your teeth and gums healthy can help you avoid more serious oral health problems down the road.