Give The Gift Of Good Dental Health!

‘Tis the season when our thoughts turn to gift giving. Healthy teeth and a healthy mouth are gifts you’ll treasure for a lifetime. The gift of good dental health can be given in a number of ways.

Parents, start your children on the road to good dental health early. Get your child used to cleaning the mouth after eating, by wiping his or her gums with a washcloth.

Your baby’s first teeth will come in around 6 months of age. Have your dentist or hygienist show you how to brush your child’s teeth and ask at what age your child should start coming to the dentist.  As your child grows, you can let him or her brush for him or herself, but a parent should continue to brush the child’s teeth a second time until he or she is 8 or 9 years old and has the physical dexterity to brush properly. Around age 6 years, you should add flossing to the home care routine because the permanent teeth start coming in and the contacts between the teeth become tighter and harder for the toothbrush to clean.

Even after your child is old enough to brush his or her teeth alone, it’s a good idea to check how well he or she is doing from time to time.

As children move into the teen and college years and have more independence, diet and other lifestyle changes can make it more likely that cavities will form. Make sure he or she is seeing the dentist regularly.

Another way to give the gift of good dental health is to help someone who may not be able to afford a dental visit. Remember that many young adults lose insurance coverage after college. Retirees may or may not have dental insurance.  A family member who’s lost a job may not have the resources to afford even routine care.

How can you help? Here are some suggestions:

  • Pay for an annual dental check up for your family member or friend. Though twice a year is the best, having professional dental care even once a year can help keep gums healthy. My dental office can issue a gift certificate or can hold your check until the appointment is completed
  • Enroll your family member or friend in a discount dental plan. While this is not insurance and does not pay for the dental visit, it does entitle the holder to a discount at participating dental offices. Some sites offer an option to type in the name of a dentist to make sure that the plan you choose is one in which your dentist participates.
  • Some offices create their own plans, such as my VIP Plan (which covers the two check up and cleaning visits in the year and allows for discounts on other dental services performed during that year.)
  • Encourage your family member or friend to apply for a no interest payment plan, such as CareCredit. If it’s someone you trust, consider co-signing the application for them if it’s determined that a co-signer is needed. Plans like CareCredit allow the cost of treatment to be spread out over a number of months. As long as plan requirements are met, there is no additional charge for the payment plan.
  • If your family member or friend is eligible for Medicare, encourage them to enroll in a Medicare Dental plan. Some plans only pay for dental check ups while others also cover fillings.

As you can see, there are many ways you can get involved in giving the gift of good dental health to those you care about. If you have any questions or need a dentist, please visit us at or call my office at 440-960-1940.

NOTE: The information in this article is not meant to replace the clinical judgement of your healthcare providers or your own judgement in evaluating options.