A New Year means a new beginning. Every area of your life including your dental health should get a fresh start.

Why not ride-the-wave and prioritize a few essentials for keeping your teeth and gums healthy? Don't let your lack of maintenance this year lead to unexpected costs and impacts on your time next year. Make your oral health a priority with these dental solutions that have lasting value all year.

1. Establish consistent preventive dentistry habits

Your teeth and gums are durable and made to last for your lifetime. Care and maintenance is vital to keeping them healthy and functioning properly.

2017 Priorities:

  • Monitor your dietary choices. Enjoy your favorite foods and beverages with an understanding of how they can impact your oral health. Learn what to do to protect your teeth and gums from damage.
  • Stick with the dental care basics. Daily brushing and flossing are essential to the health of your teeth and gums.
  • Stay consistent with you and your family’s dental examinations and teeth cleanings. Schedule them at the first of the New Year to assure you’re on track.

2. Stay informed and remain aware of gum disease

Periodontal (gum) disease begins with gingivitis. Once it progresses you risk tooth loss and a variety of health related issues including high blood pressure and heart disease.

2017 Priorities:

  • Value your dental examinations and teeth cleanings. These routine appointments two times per year provide you advanced notice of any changes to your gum tissue.
  • Be aware of the signs of infection. Inflamed or bleeding gums are an early symptom.
  • Schedule an examination and deep cleaning when you notice symptoms. Scaling and root planing go a step beyond your routine teeth cleaning to eliminate oral bacteria that can produce gum disease.

3. Treat tooth loss or tooth damage as soon as possible

Damaged or missing teeth can impact your surrounding teeth and gum tissue. Alignment, bone loss, and cavities are issues that can result from neglecting care.

2017 Priorities:

  • Ask about tooth replacement options. Dental implants, dentures, and dental bridges are common solutions for missing teeth and restoring your tooth function.
  • Schedule a dental examination when you experience tooth loss or tooth damage.
  • Treat your tooth damage with restorative dental solutions. Dental crowns, dental fillings, dental bonding, and veneers are options for restoring your health and appearance.

4. Stay up-to-date with your dental insurance coverage and benefits remaining throughout the year.

Most dental insurance plans renew annually. You have a fresh supply of benefits to use for you and your family’s oral health care.

2017 Priorities:

  • Communicate with your insurance provider. Get informed about your benefits and what’s allowed in your coverage to reduce your out-of-pocket costs for treatment.
  • Schedule your treatment. Take advantage of the benefits as they’re available to avoid having to postpone necessary treatment.

Contact Dr. Watkins or Dr. Kaihara in Washington D.C. or McLean, VA to discuss your dental health priorities. Start by scheduling you and your family’s next dental examination and teeth cleaning today.