Moving Checklist for Your Dental Needs

Moving day is quickly approaching and you've got a lot to do. Between packing up your house and changing your address where needed, it can feel as if your moving checklist is miles long. One thing to add to that checklist is finding a new dental care professional once you arrive at your new home. Taking action before you leave and having a plan in place for any ongoing care can help reduce moving- and dental-related stress.

Schedule One Last Checkup

One thing to add to your moving to-do list: schedule a final dental exam and cleaning for you and your family members before moving day. You want to put a final check-up on your moving checklist to give yourself a cushion of time to find a new dentist once you get to your new home. If you schedule an exam and cleaning a week or so before you move, you'll have a full six months to find a new dentist.

During your last exam and cleaning at your current dentist, talk to him or her or the office staff about the process of transferring records to your new dentist. Your current dental practice might give you the records to take with you or ask you to have the new practice request them once you're all settled.

Making the Switch to a New Dentist

How do you even go about finding a reputable dentist in your new city or town? The American Dental Association has a dentist finder that provides a list of ADA member dentists based on your zip code and street address. You can also sort by specialty and the office's distance from your home.

If you have dental insurance, make sure the new dentist you choose accepts your plan or is in your insurance company's network. There are a few other things you want to look for in a dentist, too. For example, if you have children, a dentist who specializes in pediatrics can be particularly helpful. When you go in for your first visit, gauge how you feel based on your interactions with the dentist, the hygienist and the office staff. If you feel rushed or as if the dentist doesn't take your needs seriously or pushes a number of cosmetic treatments on you that you don't want, it's worth it to start back at square one and find another dentist in your area.

What to Do If You're in the Middle of Treatment

Things can be a bit more tricky if you're moving in the midst of treatment or if a family member is in the middle of treatment. For example, your child might be in the middle of braces treatment. You have a few options in that case. If your family is moving a considerable distance away, talk to your current orthodontist and see if he or she can recommend an orthodontist in your new neighborhood. Your current orthodontist will most likely want to speak with and coordinate care with the new practitioner so that your child won't end up needing the braces for longer than originally planned. Transferring orthodontists in the middle of treatment can add to the duration of treatment as well as to the cost of treatment.

Another option is to stick with your current practitioner and schedule appointments in a way that is convenient for you. Continuing treatment with the same dental professional only really makes sense if you're moving within an hour or so drive of your current home. Otherwise, the time you spend traveling to and from your old dentist could be better spent finding a practice that's much closer to your new home.

Once you move and are waiting to make arrangements with a new dentist, don't forget to keep up your oral care routine at home. Brushing witha gel toothpaste like Colgate Total® Fresh Mint Stripe Gel Toothpaste twice a day and flossing daily will keep your teeth clean and your risk for cavities and gum disease low.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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Common Conditions During ADULTHOOD

As we get older, dental care for adults is crucial. Here are a few of the conditions to be aware of:

Gum disease – if your home care routine of brushing and flossing has slipped and you have skipped your regular dental cleanings, bacterial plaque and tartar can build up on your teeth. The plaque and tartar, if left untreated, may eventually cause irreparable damage to your jawbone and support structures, and could lead to tooth loss.

Oral cancer – according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, men over the age of 40 have the greatest risk for oral cancer. About approximately 43,000 people will be diagnosed with cancer of the mouth, tongue or throat area, and the ACS estimates that about 7,000 people will die from these cancers. The use of tobacco products and alcohol increases the risk of oral cancer. Most oral cancers are first diagnosed by the dentist during a routine checkup.

Dental fillings break down – fillings have a life expectancy of eight to 10 years. However, they can last 20 years or longer. When the fillings in your mouth start to break down, food and bacteria can get underneath them and can cause decay deep in the tooth.