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How to Make Oral Health a Priority for 2019

The turn of the year is the perfect time to reflect on the past 12 months and make resolutions on how to make the coming new year even better!

But as we all know, New Year’s Resolutions don’t always stick, and many of us will likely lose the motivation a few weeks into the new year. Better health is a common resolution to make, and a common one to lose. There’s a reason why so many gyms offer great discounts at the beginning of year!

If better health is on the docket for you in 2019, oral health is a great place to start. Many scientific studies have shown the direct correlation between oral health and the health of the rest of your body.

Just recently, a study at the University of L’Aquila in Italy discovered that those with periodontal disease or at risk of getting it had a 20% higher chance of having high blood pressure. Additionally, people with high blood pressure but who have healthy gums received better results from medications made to lower blood pressure.

This is just one of the many studies conducted in the past decade that proves that having good oral health, or even having good habits for maintaining good oral hygiene, can positively affect your overall health – and ultimately your overall quality of life!

To start the new year off right, here’s what we recommend:

  • Check the insurance you have for dental coverage.
    First, look through your current insurance to see if you’re covered for dental. A quick call or email to your employer’s HR department can help. Most companies and insurance companies now offer access to your documents via an online portal that you can log into.

    Then, check to see if it’s possible to change your plan if you’re not happy with it. Around this time of the year, many companies offer open enrollment, where you can change or add or remove plans. Enrollment period may end soon for you, so check quickly!

    Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, getting coverage is easy if your employer does not offer dental insurance. Even the lowest tier of plans will cover preventative care like dental cleanings, exams and x-rays. Check this site for more information.

  • Schedule an appointment with your local dentist.
    If you don’t already have a dentist, now is the time to find one. A quick Google search will reveal great dental offices in your area. Give them a call to see if they have any openings that fit your schedule. If you’re located in or near Long Beach, we’d be happy to schedule an appointment.
  • Have a list of questions and concerns to bring up to your dentist.
    The dental team is there to help every patient feel valued and cared for. Don’t be afraid to ask about the services provided and what to expect from the different services! Talk to them about your oral care routine and ask about what to do to better care for your teeth.

    Have a discussion about your overall lifestyle, too. Dentists want to know if you play sports, what your eating habits are like, and what you do for work, because it will help them determine the best treatment and preventative plans fit for you.

  • Enlist friends, family, and technology to help.
    If you’re being held accountable to a goal, chances are that you’re more likely to reach it. Have a network of people who are there to motivate you to improve your oral health. Add a nightly routine where you and your roommate brush your teeth together for two minutes, or look for a dentist together with a sibling.

    There are also several mobile phone apps designed to help you stay on track. A popular one for children and adults is called Brush DJ, which has a variety of tools that make oral hygiene fun and easy. You can even have Alexa or Siri set up reminders to tell you when to brush your teeth.

  • Break up your goals into actionable steps.
    Studies have shown that when people have tangible, short-term goals rather than long-term and vague ones, they are more likely to not only achieve those smaller goals, but also keep them in the long-run. That’s because the motivation you get from achieving small goals snowballs into the next step, and so forth.

    Consider setting up goals like “floss every morning,” “use mouthwash immediately after dessert,” “buy portable floss to carry when eating out,” “schedule an appointment with my dentist,” or even “buy a mouthguard” if you tend to grind your teeth at night (referred to as bruxism) or for when you play sports.

Having healthy teeth and gums does not have to be hard. All it takes is having the right team of experts to help you along the way!

Our dental office led by Dr. Stephen Coates has been servicing the Long Beach, CA area for decades, helping families and individuals achieve optimum oral health and gorgeous smiles. Schedule your appointment now using our online system, or by calling 562-434-6414.

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