Regular oral health checkups are just as important as annual physicals — they not only keep your mouth healthy, but are important for keeping your whole body in tip top shape.

The best part is that getting a checkup is easy – just follow the simple steps below.

Find Out Where to Go
The best way to find a dentist you trust is to ask a friend for a referral. If that’s not an option, try the Internet. Check out these three websites to get help finding the dental care you need:

  • Delta Dental of Washington: If you have dental coverage, visit the company’s website to find a dentist in your area. If you are enrolled in Delta Dental of Washington, you can find a dentist in your network at www.deltadentalwa.com
  • University of Washington School of Dentistry: If you don’t have dental coverage, visit the University of Washington School of Dentistry website. This dental school is accredited by the American Dental Association and offers well-supervised care at a much lower cost.
  • Washington Dental Clinics: Another affordable option is to visit a dental clinic. Once you find one near you, be sure to call and check if you qualify for services and coverage before scheduling an appointment. If you are insured by Medicaid (also known as Apple Health), you have dental coverage.

Fit it in Your Schedule
We’re all busy, but you can make your oral health checkup work for your schedule. Ask for an early morning or weekend appointment. When possible, schedule your family’s visits together to get them done in one pop.

Prep Your Pocketbook

The single best way to save money on dental care is to go get dental care—now! Each cavity you prevent through regular oral health checkups, brushing, flossing, and reducing time food spends on your teeth, can save you nearly $2,000 in later treatment!

Another way to control costs is to find out if your dental office offers payment plans or alternative treatments at lower costs. Discuss this with the receptionist before you make your appointment.

Last but not least, you can save a little each month to prep for dental care. Don’t worry, your “These Shoes are Too Cute to Pass Up” Emergency Fund doesn’t have to suffer.

Chat in the Chair
If you’re worried about the treatment itself, tell your dentist what makes you nervous and make a plan upfront:

  • If the sounds bother you, ask to wear your headphones and listen to your favorite song.
  • If it’s needles, ask about oral sedatives or topical anesthetics.
  • If it’s communication, set up a hand signal or ask to be told exactly what you’ll feel and how long it will last.

Follow Up

After your visit, ask the receptionist to send you a reminder when it’s time for the next checkup.

For more tips, visit our “Get a Checkup” page here.