With the new year approaching, you may have some lofty goals and resolutions to improve yourself. Whether or not you make it an official resolution, be sure to include your oral health on the list. A simple step you can take to start the year off on the right foot is to schedule a dental cleaning and checkup, especially if your dental insurance covers two visits a year.
Start the Year with Good Habits
Perhaps the best reason to start the year with a dental cleaning and checkup is that it will let you start the year with good habits. Yes, starting or continuing good habits is always good, regardless of the time of the year. That being said, many people do best when they “turn over a new leaf” or commit to maintaining a habit with a set time frame. New days, weeks, months, and years are all tempting times to renew your commitment to dental health or make the shift to good habits if you don’t already have them.
If you start the new year on the right foot with dental hygiene at the forefront of your mind, you may find it easier to commit to continuing to care for your oral health.
Of course, don’t feel like if you don’t get the checkup in right away, that it is too late. It’s always better late than never when it comes to dental health.
The other major reason to get a dental checkup early in the year is that your insurance will cover it. Even better, if your insurance covers two cleanings and checkups per year, it will still cover the next checkup you need.
This works out perfectly as most patients only need cleanings every six months. This translates into two times a year, the exact number that your insurance covers. So, if you get a dental checkup in January, you will be due for your next one in July. After that, your next one will be in the following January. By that point, your insurance will have reset, and the cleaning will be covered as well.
In other words, if your insurance covers two dental cleanings a year, there is no financial reason not to have your teeth cleaned at the beginning of the year.
Take Care of Any Necessary Procedures Before You Hit Your Maximum Coverage
There’s yet another insurance-related reason to start 2022 with a dental cleaning and checkup. It comes down to the fact that the cleaning is a chance for Dr. Sharma to spot any issues with your teeth, gums, or mouth.
Assuming that the treatment in question is something that insurance covers part or all of, having it done early is smart. That’s because you are highly unlikely to have already met your maximum coverage for the year when it’s barely begun. In other words, you are more likely to have your insurance cover the maximum amount of the treatment they would cover at any time.
Compare this with what could happen if you put off the procedure. By that point, you may have already used some of your dental insurance coverage. Maybe your remaining coverage limit is not enough to cover as much of the treatment. This can lead to higher out-of-pocket costs.
A Note on Deductibles
Just keep in mind that because the year is new, you also likely haven’t met your deductible yet. That does mean that you will find yourself paying the deductible before the insurance covers the rest. But this doesn’t have to be a negative aspect.
First of all, visiting the dentist early in the year lets you know whether you need a particular treatment. You can then plan accordingly to have it done at a time when you can easily pay the deductible. That’s especially true if Dr. Sharma catches the problem early, which is more likely to happen when you stay up to date with your cleanings and checkups.
Additionally, you would have to pay the deductible at some point anyway. So, it comes out to the same net amount if you look at your long-term finances.
Perhaps most importantly, think about the benefits of meeting your deductible early in the year. If you’ve already met it, you minimize your out-of-pocket costs for the rest of the year. There will be no deductible left to pay, so you’ll just be responsible for your co-pay and whatever, if any, your insurance doesn’t cover of future treatments.
Problems Are Easier and More Affordable to Treat Early On
As mentioned, starting the year with a dental cleaning gives your dentist the chance to spot issues. We mentioned how this is good from the perspective of your insurance, but catching issues early is also good for your treatment and even the overall cost.
Simply put, if you catch an issue early, it is more likely to have an easy, affordable fix. If you don’t notice it until it gets worse, the treatment is more likely to be expensive and time-consuming. You may also have to put up with pain until treatment.
In other words, early dental checkups let you treat issues while they are still minor, making them affordable and easy to fix.
Your Teeth May Need Some TLC After the Holidays
Don’t forget to consider what happens during a dental visit and what you likely ate and drank during the last month or so. During a dental cleaning, your dental hygienist removes caked-on plaque and tartar, giving your teeth a more thorough cleaning than you could do at home.
This type of thorough, professional cleaning is important at any time of the year, but it is particularly helpful after holiday indulgences. You likely had a lot of sweets filled with sugar, something which is bad for your teeth. You may have also had tooth-staining items, like wine, during the holiday celebrations. Think of a dental cleaning as a way to make sure that none of your holiday indulgences damaged your teeth – and to get them back to their pre-holiday state.