To keep your teeth and gums healthy and avoid tooth loss, you need to prevent dental issues from happening. What’s the best way to do this? Preventive dental care!

Here’s some information to help you maintain a healthy smile for a lifetime.

What does preventive dental care do?

The purpose of preventive dental care is to:

  • Lower your risk of developing gum disease, tooth decay and other serious dental issues
  • Promote good oral hygiene habits for you and your family
  • Allow your dentist to examine your mouth, jaw and neck to identify any related problems
  • Find and fix small problems before they become big (and possibly expensive) problems
  • Help reduce dental issues related to chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes, certain cancers and osteoporosis

Who can benefit from preventive dental care?

Everyone. In fact, preventive dental care starts with caring for a newborn’s gums and the very first tooth. The American Dental Association (ADA) even recommends that you book a child’s first dental visit no later than their first birthday.

As baby teeth start to appear, routine checkups are very important. Baby teeth hold space in the jaws for permanent teeth and a clean mouth will help them come in strong and healthy. Dental sealants and topical fluoride treatments, which are available during preventive dental visits, can also help prevent tooth decay.

Once all permanent teeth are in, teens and adults both benefit from the same preventive dental care. The goal is to keep all of your teeth for your entire life, and if you keep up good dental habits to prevent tooth loss, you have a great chance!

What’s my role in preventive dental care?

Most preventive dental care starts with you. Your dentist will provide professional cleanings and exams, but it’s up to you to:

  • Brush your teeth for 2 minutes, 2 times a day, every day
  • Floss daily to remove food that’s stuck between teeth
  • Use mouthwash to rinse food particles out of your mouth
  • Eat foods that are good for your teeth
  • Use a mouth guard when playing sports or riding a bike
  • Wear a night guard if you grind your teeth while you sleep
  • Don’t smoke or use tobacco products

Does dental insurance cover preventive dental services?

Many dental insurance plans cover preventive dental care, and some cover it 100%. This means services like routine exams, cleanings and X-rays won’t cost you anything out-of-pocket. You may have to pay a deductible or copay, but never the full price of the work performed. Note: Some dental plans come with limits, so be sure you understand the details of your coverage before booking a dentist appointment.

Humana can help with preventive dental care

If you’re looking for dental insurance for preventive dental care, Humana can help. We offer a broad range of dental plans with varying levels of coverage, many with low monthly premiums. Some of our plans also feature no waiting periods, which means you could get covered in about 5 days. To see plans and prices in your area, check out our Humana Insurance Company dental insurance page.