When half of American adults suffer from some varying degree of gum disease, it’s no secret that people struggle with caring for their oral health.

With a busy schedule, it’s hard for many to find the time to go to the dentist and floss in between hectic work lives and commuting to soccer fields for their children. But if you intend to talk, eat, and smile without any issues in the future, then you’ve got to make time now for taking better care of your teeth and gums.

Here are some of our suggestions that may help you find the time you need to care for your teeth properly and effectively…

Use mobile apps for education and setting a routine

Proper care at home usually just starts with getting the right information at your fingertips. But if you also struggle with reminding yourself to carve out time to brush your teeth, then the mobile app Brush DJ might be for you. The core function of the app is to help you make sure you’re brushing for at least two minutes, by not only providing a timer, but also by playing music to make the experience more fun. You can also set daily reminders to brush your teeth and to visit the dentist, and it also has a library of instructional videos for proper methods of cleaning.

Of course, you can always use your default calendar and alarm app on your phone too. If you use a calendar to manage your daily schedule, then find 15-minute openings in your evenings to make time for brushing, flossing and general oral care. You can also use a daily to-do list if you get satisfaction from crossing a task off your list.

Schedule your appointments in advance

Many dental offices allow you to schedule appointments months in advance. The benefit to doing this is to allow you to schedule around your appointment, rather than fitting your appointment into an already-crazy schedule. Select two days out of the coming year for your biannual appointments, talk to your dental team, and add them to your calendar.

Also, while many offices will already do this, you may ask to be reminded of your appointments a week or so in advance. That way, if you have missed it on your calendar, you’ll have a week to rearrange your schedule if you happened to have overbooked that day.

Schedule your appointments at the beginning of the day

If you book your time at the dental office earlier in the day, the likelier you are to make your appointment and then still get what you need done the remainder of the day. Our offices are conveniently open at 7:00am for those early birds!

Get affordable dental insurance

Another reason why people may not make the effort to see a dentist is because they don’t have dental insurance. At the end of 2016, an estimated 77% of the population had some kind of dental health coverage, which is better than in the previous years, but that still means that some 74 million Americans do not have dental insurance.

Even if your employer does not offer dental insurance, or you’re a senior who can’t get it through Medicare, there are still options available to you. There are various marketplaces online and brokers in your city that can help you find the plan to best fit your financial situation and needs. eHealth and Dental for Everyone are great places to start browsing through available plans in your area.

Another way to start your search is by reaching out to a local dental office and talking with them on the insurance plans they accept, and then researching online ways to apply.

Realize that your oral health is of utmost importance

Another factor for why people may not encourage themselves to make time for the dentist, is because they simply don’t prioritize it.