How to have a great dental checkup 

How to have a great dental checkup 

Discover the benefits and daily habits that can help keep your smile healthy and bright.

An older woman brushing her teeth

Getting a regular dental exam is key to keeping your teeth and gums healthy. In addition to seeing a dentist for regular cleanings and exams, it’s important to practice good oral hygiene habits. These tips can help you make the most of your next trip to the dentist.

Brush regularly 

It’s key to good oral health because it prevents plaque buildup. Aim to brush two times a day — once in the morning and once before bed. And try to clean your teeth and tongue for about two minutes each time.  

Be gentle 

Brushing your teeth too hard can wear down and damage your teeth and gums. To protect them, choose a soft toothbrush and angle it toward your gums in small circular motions. If you have arthritis, ask your dentist about electric toothbrush options that will make brushing easier.  

Don’t forget to floss  

Leaving food in between your teeth can lead to gum disease. Some signs of gum disease include red, tender or bleeding gums, a bad taste that won’t go away and painful chewing. Aim to floss once per day to clear out particles your toothbrush can’t reach.  

Stop grinding 

Stress can cause you to grind your teeth during the day or even while you’re sleeping. This can lead to tooth decay. Talk with your dentist about ways to stop grinding your teeth like mouth guards or stress-relief strategies.  

Quit smoking 

Chemicals from tobacco can damage your teeth in many ways. Smoking also raises your risk of oral cancer and gum disease. If you’re a smoker, make a plan to quit.  

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Looking for an in-network provider? We can help!

Know your benefits before you go 

Most Aetna® plans have dental coverage. To learn more about your dental coverage, go to your plan webpage. You can access this page at any time by using your smartphone or table camera to scan the QR code on your member ID card. 

Here’s what to do once you’re there:

  • Click on "Plan Overview.”
  • Select “What’s Covered” in the drop-down menu. This will take you to your coverage page.
  • Scroll down to the “Dental Coverage” section to read about your coverage for dental services like oral exams, cleanings and more.

Remember, your personal plan page is there whenever you need it to access your plan information and benefits.

Need to find an in-network dental provider? Visit or call Member Services at 1-833-570-6670 (TTY: 711) between 8 AM and 8 PM, seven days a week.  

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See Evidence of Coverage for a complete description of plan benefits, exclusions, limitations and conditions of coverage. Plan features and availability may vary by service area. The formulary, and/or pharmacy network may change at any time. You will receive notice when necessary. Participating physicians, hospitals and other health care providers are independent contractors and are neither agents nor employees of Aetna. The availability of any particular provider cannot be guaranteed, and provider network composition is subject to change.

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