I went to the dentist this week. My daughter and I both had a cleaning and they had a good look around in our mouths. My daughter’s teeth are great, right on track and no cavities or anything. My teeth on the other hand aren’t great. I have three cavities, and therefore need three fillings. The total out of pocket expense for these three fillings is going to be $109. Not terrible, but pretty frustrating when you consider I could have avoided this cost by just going and getting my free cleanings. Most dental insurances will pay for two cleanings per year.

But it’s not just teeth that need routine care. When it comes to your health it’s so important to stay on top of things. I know it’s hard. No one likes going to the dr. I know most of you out there don’t visit your doctor regularly. Only 10% of people actually use the preventative health care benefits their insurance offers. And only 5% of the $1.4 trillion spent on direct health care in the United States goes to preventive health measures and the promotion of general health. So stop procrastinating and make the appointment. Think of it as part of your retirement plan.

Here is a list of recommended preventative health care: (keep in mind, I’m a blogger not a doctor)

Bathe and groom
Exercise for 30 minutes
Eat healthy
Avoid smoking, drugs, and alcohol

Monthly: (pick something you do once a month as a reminder, such as paying the mortgage)
Self breast exam for women
Testicular self-exam for men

Bi-annually: (use the time change as a reminder)
Dental exam every 6 months.

Annually: (Use your birthday as a reminder, hey you’re thinking about getting older anyways)
Pap smear once a year over the age of 20. After three consecutive negative tests you can have a pap smear once every two years if you are celibate or monogamous until age 40, then it’s back to once a year again.
Mammogram at age 40 and then every two years until age 50. After age 50 you should get one annually.
Prostrate cancer screening once a year after age 40.
Cholesterol Screening at age 18 and then every 5 years.
Colon cancer screening every year after age 50.
Blood pressure check every year.
Eye exam once every three years after age 50.

See… it’s really not that much. It’s really just a doctor’s appointment (and the ob/gyn for the ladies) every year around your birthday and a dentist appointment when you change your clocks. That doesn’t seem that hard does it. Totally doable. So start doing it!

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