Shifting from a reactive to a proactive view of your family’s health.

Raising a family is one of the most rewarding experiences life has to offer, and it’s an experience that has a lot to give back to us in return. It fills our days with joy, love, and purpose—but it can also fill them with chaos and frustration. Raising a family and building a career at the same time can make for a hectic schedule, especially as your children start getting old enough to participate in extracurricular activities or club meetings. Despite doing your best to stay on top of everything, every parent experiences times where certain aspects of their family’s needs begin to fall by the wayside. Often, a family’s health is one of these areas; after all, we rarely think about health concerns until there’s a problem that needs to be addressed.

Over time, this can mean that your care for your family’s health becomes reactive rather than proactive. Instead of preventing health issues from occurring in the first place, you’re stuck putting out fires, trying to keep up with and address health issues only after they’ve appeared and set off alarm bells. As schools begin to reopen, caring for your family’s health and boosting their immune system is likely on your mind more than ever. It’s important to adopt a mindset focused on caring for your family’s health proactively. Here are 5 ways you can make caring for your family’s health more routine.

1. Make a list and schedule appointments in advance.

It can be hard to keep track of all of the appointments you need to make for each of your children—and for yourself—throughout the course of a year when you’re simply trying to remember as you go. Make a list of all of the specialists, doctors, dentists, and other appointments you know you’ll need to take your children to throughout the next school year. Schedule what you can now. Duval Dental Center makes this simple by allowing you to request an appointment with Dr. Tyler online. No phone calls or waiting on hold necessary!

Getting as many of your family’s appointments as possible scheduled in advance gets these appointments on your calendar early, which makes it easier to work your schedule around them. You won’t be scrambling to get several of these appointments done at the last minute or struggling to find room in your schedule for an appointment you nearly forgot to make. It’s less stressful and ensures that every member of your family gets the care they need to stay healthy.

2. Set reminders on a shared family calendar.

To make sure everyone’s on the same page, set up a family calendar that alerts each family member about important health appointments and reminders. You can do this quickly and easily using one of many available family calendar apps, like Google Calendar or TimeTree. The scheduled reminders will make it hard for you or your kids to forget about appointments and will help you keep the whole family’s schedules in mind when you’re making appointments. Your older children will even be able to take a more active role in keeping better track of their schedules. This will help them stay organized and build responsibility.

3. Pick your battles wisely.

When you’re trying to encourage healthy behaviors in your children, such as eating healthy foods, it’s wise to pick your battles. If you remind them too much, they’ll begin to tune you out and will likely fight you more often on what you’re trying to get them to do. Simply do your best to provide a healthy meal, ideally with at least one healthy food you know your children will eat willingly. This alone will have them eating healthier, so is it really important for them to eat every single last bite on their plate? Even getting your children to eat a single piece of broccoli willingly is better than unsuccessfully trying to cajole, bribe, or punish them into eating it without any success at all. When your children don’t feel pressured to eat the broccoli, they’re much more likely to choose to eat it on their own. Plus, most parents can probably agree that less conflict is always preferable!

4. Set an example for your family by taking care of yourself.

This might sound like simple advice, but kids need to see you practice what you preach. Children are great imitators—one of the major ways they learn is by watching your behavior, even when you don’t think they are. If you ask your child to do something that you don’t do yourself, the odds are that they’re going to notice. As a result, you should make sure that you follow all of the advice that you offer to your kids. It’s important for your own health and it teaches them how important the habits you’re trying to encourage really are. Make sure they see you eating your vegetables, exercising, and brushing your teeth regularly.

Finding a family dentist, which is a lot like a general dentist who sees patients of all ages, can also be helpful when it comes to caring for your family’s health. Family dentists allow you to schedule your entire family’s dental appointments on the same day, which saves time and provides the perfect opportunity for your children to see you at the dentist. They’ll see that you make your oral health a priority and they’ll learn from the way you act in the office; if you’re not nervous, they’ll feel a lot more comfortable about their own appointments, too.

5. Don’t let a lack of dental insurance keep your from taking care of your family’s health.

If you don’t have dental insurance, that’s okay—don’t stress about it or let it prevent you and your family from getting the dental care you need. At Duvall Dental Center, we offer in-house dental health membership plans, so you don’t need traditional dental insurance to get your family regular dental appointments. There are several different plans to choose from, including one designed for adults and one for children. The plans cover regular healthcare services like preventive cleanings, oral cancer screenings, and x-rays. They even provide a 20% discount for dental treatments like fillings or porcelain crowns. This will help you to afford your entire family’s dental care even without dental insurance.

If you’re still worried about affording a treatment for one of your family members, we’ll work with you to try and find a financing option that fits your needs and allows you to afford the treatment right away—when you need it. We don’t want your family to ever have to go without necessary dental treatments because of a tight budget.

We know from experience just how hectic life can be when you’re trying to succeed in your career and raise a healthy, happy family. Thankfully, handling your family’s health proactively can cut down on a little bit of the chaos by keeping everyone healthier. You’ll likely even be able to save time and lower your stress levels in the process! If you’d like to get started by scheduling your family’s next regular preventive dental appointment, feel free to call our office at any time.