Answers to Questions About How to Take Proper Care of Your Teeth
The healthcare industry is a confusing world full of jargon, complex processes, and hoops to jump through. So it’s no surprise that dental health services, by extension, would be complicated, too.
How often should you get your teeth cleaned, really? Do you actually need dental insurance? What if you don’t have any? How can you save money on expensive treatments?
They’re all valid questions – and we’ll answer your most pressing ones here today.
Is Preventative Dental Care Really That Important? What Happens During a Check-Up?
As the old adage says, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Of course, this isn’t meant to be taken literally. Instead, it means that doing your part to prevent illness keeps you out of the doctor’s office. The same holds true with dental health services.
Preventative care – check-ups and dental cleanings – staves off major dental issues or gives ample time for your dentist to address them before they become more serious. The American Dental Association recommends adults receive dental check-ups every six months.
During your check-up, your dental hygienist will examine your mouth and report to your dentist if they have any concerns. Then, after scaling your teeth and gum line to remove plaque build-up, your hygienist will polish your teeth with a specially formulated gritty toothpaste. Finally, your dentist will perform a brief exam and oral cancer screening. You may also require X-rays of your mouth if you haven’t had them taken in a few years, or if you are experiencing any dental concerns.
My Teeth Are a Small Part of My Body. Are They Really THAT Important?
Although your teeth are localized only in your mouth, their health can affect your body’s overall health. Oral hygiene is linked to cardiovascular health and can even lower your risk of developing diabetes.
If you experience gum inflammation, gingivitis, or tooth decay, you could be putting yourself at risk for other health issues. Visiting your dentist regularly for a check-up and cleaning can help you stay healthy, particularly if you’re predisposed to these illnesses through genetics.
I Don’t Have Dental Insurance. How Can I Get Some?
If your employer doesn’t offer a dental insurance plan, you can purchase one for yourself directly from the carrier of your choice. You’ll be responsible for paying the monthly premium in full, plus any deductibles or co-pays for treatment.
The best part of buying your own plan is that you can choose the one that suits your dental care needs and fits nicely into your budget. You never have the same flexibility with an employer-provided plan.
Why Do I Have to Pay Out-of-Pocket for Cosmetic Dental Services?
Even the best dental insurance plans don’t cover cosmetic dentistry services, like veneers or braces, especially for adults. If you were hoping your dental insurance would pay for a whole-mouth transformation, you’re likely to be disappointed.
In fact, cosmetic treatments are considered elective and unnecessary for the health of your teeth, which is why many insurance carriers do not offer such coverage.
If you want clear aligners to straighten your teeth, or you were hoping for a whitening treatment or two before a big event, create a savings plan to set aside the money you’ll need to pay for services.
This dentist who does quality Invisalign in Williamsburg recommends asking your dentist if they offer payment plans. Plenty of dental professionals nowadays provide flexible payment plans to lighten the financial burden on patients who are paying out of their pockets.
You also can shop around reputable dentists and orthodontists to find one who will offer you the best price on services; just be sure they don’t cut any corners.
How Can I Save Money on Dental Care, Even Without Insurance?
If you don’t have dental insurance, that’s OK. Many dental practices are now extending offers for special discount programs to patients who don’t have coverage. These discount programs cover comparable services as your insurance would, including cutting prices on teeth cleanings and composite resin fillings. Some discount programs through your dentist’s office will even cut a percentage from the cost of cosmetic services.
Search your dentist’s website for details, or ask your friends and colleagues about the discount programs they use. Keep in mind that these programs often cannot be combined with dental insurance coverage, so choose the one that will offer you the most financial benefits.
Final Note: Brushing and Flossing Is Vital!
Flossing every day is the best method of removing plaque buildup and food particles from between your teeth and gums. Paired with brushing, you can make great strides in keeping your teeth and gums healthy.
Proper brushing technique entails holding your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle toward your gum line. You should brush the fronts and backs of your teeth, plus the chewing surface area of your molars. You can brush in a circular motion and back and forth – whichever works best at keeping your teeth clean.
Practicing good oral hygiene at home reduces your risk of requiring invasive dental treatments – and that saves you time, money, and stress.