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Why you should love your dentist

We all know it’s important to visit the dentist every six months for a routine dental exam.

Getting dental check-ups isn’t just about making the most of your Extras cover, it’s key to maintaining good dental health, for now and in the future.

Regular dental visits help you prevent tooth decay, cavities, periodontal (gum) disease, halitosis (bad breath) and many other oral health concerns.

When you avoid the dentist, you’re ignoring your oral health. And that can often lead to other health problems in the future.

During a routine dental visit, your dentist may also be able to identify many early warning signs of serious health problems like heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease and dementia. Avoiding the dentist means that these health problems could go undetected until they’ve become serious. No one wants that!

So, why are people avoiding the dentist?

We get it, no one loves the dentist. Most people shy away from the dentist for a few reasons:

- Dental anxiety. It affects approximately one in six Australian adults and about one in ten children, however it can be overcome. Talk openly with your dentist about your concerns or fears, so they can tailor your visit to your needs as much as possible and help you feel more comfortable at the appointment.

- Trauma from a previous bad experience during a dental check-up. Don’t be afraid to ask your dentist questions. Understanding the dental procedure and talking to your dentist will help ease your fears and get you back in the dental chair.

- Fear of needing dental work. Keep in mind, by not visiting the dentist for an extended period of time, or missing dental check-ups, you may end up needing an emergency visit.

- Inconvenience or too busy. If you can make time to go shopping, play video games or watch your favourite Netflix show, are you really too busy to see your dentist for that important check-up?

- Fear of judgement from the dentist, even when in pain. Dentists deal with damaged teeth and gums every day. Find a dentist you’re comfortable with and understands your needs.

- A lack of importance and maintenance to oral health. We all only get one set of adult teeth and they need to last a lifetime. In this blog, we delve into the importance of oral health, how to care for your teeth and how we at RT Health help our members with access to great dental providers.

What to expect from a routine dental visit

A routine check-up at the dentist (a thorough examination of your teeth, gums and mouth), can help prevent minor problems turning into big ones.

It’s recommended that you visit your dentist every six months.

As you settle into the dental chair, a check-up and clean takes place:

- Check-up: The dentist will ask you how you’re feeling, how your teeth have been, and about your dental history. Then they conduct a thorough examination to check for potential cavities, plaque, issues with your gum line (possible gum disease), tooth decay and more.

- Clean: The dentist will use a special instrument known as a dental scaler to scrape and remove plaque and calculus from your teeth. Polishing is next, using a brush to get rid of any stains and make the teeth look shiny and clean.

Preventative care goes a long way towards saving yourself some pain (and money) down the track.

How to care for your teeth

Good dental health starts at home. Follow these tips to keep your pearly whites clean and healthy:

- Brush thoroughly twice a day, using a fluoridated toothpaste.

- Floss daily.

- Eat a healthy, balanced diet and limit added sugar intake.

- Drink plenty of water.

- Visit the dentist regularly.

- Replace your toothbrush every three months or earlier if bristles start to become shaggy.

- Enjoy treats in moderation.

- If you smoke, try to quit.

RT Health. Helping you enjoy a lifetime of smiles

We all know dental services can be expensive. That’s why we help our members with access to great dental providers, to help curb the cost of keeping your smile at its best.

RT Health members with any of our Extras covers can get back up to $500 in general dental claims each year (depending on their level of cover). If you’ve got Top Extras, you can claim unlimited general dental benefits, including check-ups and cleans.

Learn more about our range of great value Extras covers.

Healthy teeth, mouth and gums

Having healthy teeth, mouth and gums is important for your general health and wellbeing. It means you can eat, drink, speak, smile, socialise and feel good about yourself without pain or discomfort.

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, in 2020-21, around 1 in 2 (48%) Australians aged 15 years and over saw a dental professional.

Take care of your health and schedule your next dentist visit today!

We're here to help

If you have any questions about dental providers or your Extras cover, our Member Care team is here to help. 

Call the team on 1300 886 123 or email us at help@rthealthfund.com.au 

The information presented in this article was gathered from Healthy habits for a healthy mouth and Teeth.org.au 
For additional information, please visit health.gov.au
DISCLAIMER: This wellbeing message is brought to you by the health and wellbeing team at rt health – a division of The Hospitals Contribution Fund (HCF). The health information provided here is intended to be informative only and should be carefully evaluated for its source, accuracy, completeness and relevance for your purposes. It is not a replacement for professional medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional. Always obtain appropriate professional advice relevant to your particular circumstances.