Every student is wiggling with anticipation at the upcoming winter break. Vacations, time with family and friends, and time to relax from the usual bustle of life are all benefits of this special part of the year. Along with all the great plans you have for this time off, consider using it for your bi-annual oral check-up. Not only will an exam and cleaning protect your teeth from the onslaught of sugary treats during the holidays and New Year, but you’ll also be able to take advantage of insurance benefits that will be expiring at the end of December.
#1 – End-of-Year Expiring Benefits
Healthcare has been in the news a lot over the last few years due to policies changing and premium increases. If you have insurance, and most people do in one form or another, you should take advantage of it. You and your employer if they offered it, have already paid for it, so don’t waste it. Most plans run per year and have January to December coverage time frames (but not always). You’ll need to check your contract to be sure of their expiration.
Also, while you’re checking out the dates, you can re-familiarize yourself with the terms, such as what is covered, how much of the annual dollar maximum (usually $1000 or $3000) you’ve used so far, and how to renew the plan for the following year.
Another important thing to consider is that if during this winter break dental check-up your dentist finds something that will need to be addressed in the future, they can provide a pre-treatment estimate that you can include or consider when renewing your dental insurance for the following year.
#2 – Taking Care of Your Teeth
Many associations and dental professionals encourage two dental appointments each year. In doing so, you give your dentist the opportunity to make sure your oral health is in top shape. According to the American Dental Association: “Dentists can spot early warning signs in the mouth that may indicate disease elsewhere in the body. Dentists’ training also enables them to recognize situations that warrant referring patients for care by dental specialists or physicians.”
Additionally, having your child get their appointment done helps re-establish the importance of dental hygiene and how to properly do it. Your dentist will also be able to compare your child’s last visit to this one and help you plan for any developing orthodontic needs.
#3 – Extra Sweets this Time of Year
This time of year can do a number on the health of your mouth due to how many more sweets we consume compared to the other nine months. Candy canes are a Christmas tradition, with around 1.76 billion made each year. They were included in our 6 Thanksgiving Desserts to Avoid post last week, and for good reason. They can fracture teeth as you chew them, and their stickiness as you suck on them plasters bacteria and plaque to your teeth structure and gums. Chocolate Santas are another holiday candy favorite. Americans stuff stockings with 19 million chocolate St. Nicks each year. A beloved drink, eggnog, with its rich, spicy flavor makes its way into a lot of holiday traditions, with each person averaging between 4 and 8 ounces each year, and some are spiked, adding to the turmoil of bacteria in your mouth. These are just a few of the sweets we all enjoy, and then there are pies, cakes, cookies, glasses of milk… you get the idea.
The bottom line is your teeth could suffer from a regularly increased sugar intake. If you choose to use some time during your holiday season to give them a full exam and cleaning, you’ll bust up the plaque that’s recently accumulated there, and have a white, wonderful smile for the rest of the holidays and the year to come.
We’re Here to Help
Checking for any problems, cleaning teeth, and using last minute benefits are all excellent reasons to make the most of your holiday break and get your teeth a check-up. Dr. Ku, Dr. Klein, and the rest of our staff are ready and willing to help you get your teeth merry and bright this holiday break, so give us a call to schedule your December appointment at 817-870-0556.