On March 6, we celebrate National Dentists’ Day, and March 30 brings us National Doctors’ Day, so it’s time for salutes and white lab coats all around.
In all seriousness, those of us in the healthcare business know just how key doctors and dentists are to our society’s health and well-being. First, we’ll look at the docs, and pick up a few pointers about regular checkups:
It keeps you accountable. If you’ve gained weight, for example, your doctor will talk to you about possible medical concerns.
As we age, our bodies change. What didn’t hurt at 40 may be a pain at 50. Everything from sore knees to insomnia is fair game at the annual physical.
Lab work. The doctor’s office is still the best and most efficient place to get a cholesterol check, as well as lots of other tests.
Flu shots and boosters. A checkup is a good time to make sure tetanus and other shots are up to date. If you’ve gotten a flu shot at work or elsewhere, let your doctor know so records can be updated.
We don’t know what we don’t know. You might feel fine, but your doctor may see or hear something that needs further study. A calcium score, for example, is a quick and painless chest scan that can show serious heart problems — which can then be dealt with before they become worse.
Just like the medical doctor, the dentist is there to help keep us healthy. And just like the doctor, the dentist can see problems coming early on, and head them off — if we are diligent about going twice a year for cleaning, and taking care to exercise good dental hygiene in the interim.
And thanks to the American Dental Association, a few reasons, tips and tricks about when we should hustle on into the dentist’s office:
- Teeth that are sensitive to hot and/or cold
- Puffy, bleeding gums
- Maintenance of fillings, crowns, dental implants and dentures
- Persistent bad breath or bad taste in the mouth
- Family history of gum disease or tooth decay
- Difficulty chewing or swallowing
- A medical condition such as diabetes, heart disease or an eating disorder
- Dry mouth
- Smoking or use of tobacco products
Alert from the broken-record department: Good health is a team effort, so don't’ go it alone. If you don't’ have a doctor, click here to find a provider near you. No dentist? Solve that right here. Build up your team’s bench with the players who will back you and make sure your health is as good as it can possibly be — and thank them on their special days!