How to keep your dental coverage after college

College diploma in hand, your next step after graduation may be getting your dream job — and moving out of your parents’ house. Congratulations on this new milestone! But don’t forget about your teeth. With dental coverage, you can access the regular dental care you need to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

1. Stay on your parents’ coverage.

If it’s an option, remaining on your parents’ plan is one of the easiest ways to stay insured. You’ll keep the same plan and dentist. Talk to your parents to see if they’re willing to keep you on their coverage. Eligibility requirements differ across plans, but many dental plans cover adult children up to age 26.

2. Get coverage through a new employer.

If you land a full-time position with benefits, see if your employer covers dental. Employer-sponsored dental benefits are among the most popular job benefits, according to a recent study by Fractl. Typically, your employer will pay some of the premium.

3. Buy an individual plan.

If you’re self-employed or between jobs, an individual plan is the perfect way to keep your teeth protected. These plans, which you can sign up for online, may vary depending on your needs. You can choose the best fit, whether that’s just preventive care or everything from crowns to braces.

Why get dental coverage?

Dental coverage can help safeguard your mouth and your wallet. Did you know that 28% of young adults between 20 and 34 have untreated tooth decay, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey? That’s higher than any other age group.

When you have coverage, you’re more likely to visit the dentist. Preventive care like cleanings can keep cavities away, and regular dental exams can spot problems early on.

With coverage, you’ll pay less, if anything, out of pocket for cleanings, exams and x-rays. And coverage can lower your costs on expensive treatments like root canals and crowns.

But even if you’re among the lucky few who’ve never had a cavity in their life, it’s worth considering dental insurance. Dental emergencies like a chipped or knocked-out tooth can happen to anyone, and you’ll relax knowing you’re covered.