Preparing Your Dental Health for the New Year Part 1

dental health

WOW. It’s hard to believe that another year is in the books! With a new one upon us, this is a good time to do an evaluation of your current dental health.

The first phase of your new year dental health review is taking stock of your current dental condition. You need to know where you stand in order to know what needs to be addressed now, or in the near future. This begins with a self-evaluation. Below we’ll go over some of the questions to consider in that process. Once that’s done, it should then should be followed-up with a thorough checkup by your dentist.

The good news is that for many people, the new year is also when dental savings plans, HSA, or FSA plans, renew. That is another reason this is an ideal time to do this review and address any dental care needs that might be found.

In Part 1 of this two-part series, we’ll go over a quick self-assessment of your dental health that you can do yourself—any time that is convenient for you. We’ll also cover a few items you should review with your dentist as well. In Part 2, we will go over some basics about the different healthcare savings – or flexible savings – plans and how they relate to dental care and treatment, including basic dental services, as well as orthodontia.

So, let’s dive straight into Part 1! Here are some things to consider regarding dental care and your dental health as you move into 2018:

Gum Health

How do your gums look?

  • What color are your gums? Pink and healthy?
  • Are there any obvious dark or white spots?
  • Any abrasions?

How do your gums feel?

  • Do you have any tender or sore spots?
  • If so, how often do you experience any tenderness or soreness?
  • How severe is it?

Do your gums ever bleed?

  • Does any bleeding occur just when you floss or brush?
  • How much bleeding occurs?

Teeth & Tooth Health

Take a look at your teeth.

  • Do you see any cracks – even if small or faint – in any of your teeth?
  • Do you see any teeth that are chipped?
  • Are there any discolorations? Lines, streaks, or spots?

“Feel” your teeth by running your tongue along the front and backside of the top and bottom.

  • Do you feel any sharp edges?
  • Any distinct rough spots?

Bite your teeth together gently.

  • Does your bite feel normal?
  • Does the biting cause any pain or discomfort?

Now, it’s time to visit your Milwaukee dentist and get a professional assessment.

If you noticed anything amiss when checking your gums and teeth, you should make the appointment as soon as possible. If not, then you should still make the appointment as quickly as one is available.

Your dentist and/or the dental assistant will likely check – and perform – all of the following:

  • A full-set of x-rays if it has been a year or more since they’ve been done previously.
  • A thorough dental cleaning
  • A complete, professional, physical examination of the teeth and gums (if you noticed anything in your personal exam, now is the time to mention that as well)

Aside from the above, the new year is also a prime opportunity to consider:

  • Professional tooth whitening
  • Cosmetic dentistry needed or desired
  • Orthodontic needs

To recap, this new year is the perfect time to make sure you’re starting it out with your dental health covered—not only for this year, but also for future years to come. Your gums and teeth might not be able to thank you, but will be thankful, for the special attention.

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