Posted October 14, 2019
When is the last time you saw the dentist? If it’s been more than a year, you’re in good company. Over 40% of American adults have not scheduled a dental exam in the past 12 months (or even longer), reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 10% of people don’t go to the dentist because of fears and anxiety. But 42% don’t schedule appointments because of cost. Since regular dental exams are important to maintain healthy teeth and gums, consider four ways to lower dental costs.
Lower dental costs with dental insurance benefits –
Over 90% of large and small employers offer dental insurance to employees who qualify for benefits, reports the Society for Human Resource Management. Employees can select individual or family benefits for a nominal monthly premium. Learn about the dental plans Ameritas offers.
About 23% of workers don’t meet employer benefit requirements because they are contract, part-time or semi-retired employees. Employers can help provide the dental benefits these talented workers want by providing access to individual dental insurance coverage. Usually, employees don’t have to wait for months to get coverage through individual dental insurance. They have immediate access to their dental benefits.
Take advantage of preventive exams –
Dental plans typically cover at least one preventive exam annually for a checkup, X-rays and professional cleaning. Many other plans allow for two or more preventive visits each year. During these appointments, the dentist will look for signs of tooth decay, gum disease or dry mouth (caused by medications or CPAP use). The dentist also will examine your mouth and tongue for signs of oral cancer, and see if the glands on your neck are swollen. If left untreated, dental problems can lead to serious medical conditions. Seeing the dentist at least once or twice a year can help lower dental costs.
Brush and floss your teeth daily –
Dentists recommend brushing teeth at least twice daily – after breakfast and before bedtime – for two minutes each time. Floss once each day to remove food particles trapped between and around teeth. It also helps to use an alcohol-free mouth rinse to flush out food particles and keep breath fresh. Daily brushing and flossing are important for maintaining good oral health so you can lower dental costs. Learn more tips for healthy teeth and gums.
Choose nutritious meals and snacks –
The foods you choose for meals and snacks can affect the health of your teeth. Nutritionists recommend eating foods that are rich in calcium, such as low-fat milk, yogurt and cheese, tofu, calcium, almonds and dark green leafy vegetables. It’s also important to eat foods high in phosphorus, including eggs, fish, lean meats, dairy, nuts and beans. Vitamin C helps, too. Read this blog for tips on healthy snacking.