Recently, one of our staff member’s spouses retired from General Motors. In fact, earlier this year GMC offered retirement incentives to eligible employees at it’s Oshawa Plant, so we will see hundreds of General Motor employees retire soon.
While financial advisors suggest that we “practice retirement” for at least a year before our actual retirement date, many GM employees, who were not thinking about retiring for another few years, had only a month to reconsider and decide on a retirement package.
We had a front row seat to the great deal of preparation that goes into an unexpected retirement as many of our own patients were among those that chose early retirement. When there is suddenly a significant reduction in health and dental benefits, or worse, a loss of benefits, your present and future dental health becomes an essential consideration as you transition into retirement.
Our Oshawa patients are fortunate to retire with benefits, but they are significantly reduced and must be used with discretion. So, if you have the luxury of time before you retire, updating your vision ware, hearing aids, orthotics etc is a great idea while you still have the level of benefits that you are accustomed to.
Having a thorough dental check-up and cleaning then attending to any treatment recommendations will allow you to get your dental health in order before your level of benefits change. This is especially important for more complex, time-consuming treatments that may need to be scheduled in such a manner that allows you to maximize your full benefits now.
Some retirees transitioning to retirement benefits are often surprised to learn that their new level of coverage does not cover routine dental care or more complex procedures. And for patients hoping to purchase an individual commercial plan, they soon realize that it can be very expensive to buy a plan with the same level of coverage that they once had or that many procedures are not covered.
The lack of suitable dental benefits and a lower, limited income are the primary reasons why seniors do not maintain regular dental visits or neglect dental problems until they can no longer manage the discomfort. This is unfortunate since it is at a time in their lives when they may see their oral and overall health beginning to deteriorate.
Many of our patients are also entering their retirement years with all, if not most, of their own natural teeth. And, although how your teeth age depends largely on how well you have cared for them over the years, advancing age and associated health issues does put many retirees at risk for a number of oral health problems.
Ideally, we’d like to see you begin your retirement with a clean bill of oral health and help you avoid future complications and unnecessary costs. Unfortunately, we see our share of patients with issues that should have been dealt with years ago, let alone weeks before they retire.
Here’s to the best job you’ll ever have!
Our recommendation is that you care for your teeth meticulously throughout your life. Your future self will thank you for brushing three times a day, flossing before bedtime, and reducing your meal frequencies and sugar/acid laden beverages. This requires virtually no cost at all and takes little effort. Visiting your dentist at least once per year as you do your vision, hearing and primary physician will allow you to get your teeth scaled and stay on top of problems before they grow into bigger, more complicated issues.
Consider including your dental health in your retirement arrangements and schedule a full dental examination well before beginning your new life. With careful planning, your teeth can stay healthy for the rest of your life.
We’ll give you an honest assessment of the present condition of your teeth so that you can make an informed decision moving forward. And here’s to a happy, well-deserved retirement. We hope it will be the best job you’ve ever had!
The Your Smile Dental Care Team