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Affordable Dental Insurance | What You Should Know

woman with silver and yellow hoop earringsImportance of Proper Oral Hygiene

Dental health involves the practice of keeping your gums, teeth, and mouth healthy. It is an essential part of our everyday lives and general health. Maintaining proper dental hygiene not only improves your way of life but also prevents yourself from getting any oral diseases or developing complications.

Keeping your teeth healthy may seem easy through regular brushing and flossing. But sometimes, complications still arise despite preventive measures. In this case, having affordable dental insurance can help you keep track of your oral health and save you money in case of emergencies. Read on to learn more about oral hygiene and dental insurance.

Causes of Poor Oral Health

Several factors contribute to poor oral hygiene. One of them is neglecting proper oral health practices. Forgetting everyday tasks like brushing properly, flossing, and even using mouthwash can greatly affect your teeth and mouth’s condition. In addition, failing to visit a dentist at least once a year might lead to more serious complications.

Other factors include consuming a diet that is high in sugary food and drinks, smoking, and alcohol consumption. But some oral health problems like gum disease can be caused by reasons that are out of our control. These include family history, health complications like diabetes or heartburn, and the use of certain medications that reduce saliva production.

Common Dental Health Problems

We use our mouths on a daily basis, mainly for speaking and eating. Anything that passes through it can significantly affect your body, which in turn affects your health. Without proper care, harmful bacteria can attack your gums and teeth and cause dental and oral complications. Here are some common dental problems:

  • Cavities – Also known as tooth decay, cavities are characterized by a damaged tooth or a hole in it.. This is caused by the formation of plaque, which creates an acid that eats away at your tooth’s enamel. It is one of the most common health problems and can affect people at any age. 
  • Gum Disease – This is the infection or inflammation of the gums, usually caused by poor brushing and flossing habits, as well as smoking. It results in plaque buildup on your teeth and gums that can cause swelling and bleeding. This is also one of the leading causes of tooth loss in adults.
  • Oral Cancer – Alcohol consumption, smoking, and chewing tobacco are some of the biggest risk factors for oral cancer. If you experience symptoms such as sores or lumps in areas of your mouth, it is best to see a dentist right away. It is also often curable when it’s still in its early stages.

About Dental Insurance

Besides practicing good oral habits, having dental insurance is another way to ensure that your teeth and mouth are taken care of. Dental services can be quite expensive, especially if you are someone who is already experiencing oral problems. Having dental insurance can help you pay off dental procedures such as cleanings, x-rays, and more.

There are different types of plans available that differ in costs and benefits. These range from group to individual and even family plans. They are divided into 3 categories:

  • Indemnity dental plans – These are also called “fee-for-service plans” and are usually the most expensive. Insurance companies pay for the amount of the procedures done, while the excess amount will be your out-of-pocket expenses.
  • Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) – This is one of the most common dental plans you can get. Here, you can only select from the dentists that are part of the network for their services. You can still get out-of-network services, but you have to pay more. 
  • Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) – With an HMO plan, you need to pay for monthly or annual premiums. This plan is restricted to the network and is the cheapest of the three categories.

Tips in Choosing Your Dental Insurance

Not all dental insurance plans are the same, and not everyone has the same dental care needs. Most plans cover basic preventative care, but you might need more coverage for your dental health. That’s why it’s better to weigh all your options and know what to consider when you’re planning on getting affordable dental insurance. Here are a few tips to help you:

  • Consider group plans – One of the easiest ways to get dental insurance is through your employer and group coverage or public programs. Some of these programs include the Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance policies and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). These are typically less expensive, but you should carefully look into the plan to know if the coverage is suitable for you.
  • Determine your needs and insurance coverage – Knowing what type of dental work you need helps you decide on a plan. Does anyone in your family need major dental care? Do you want to be ready for possible emergencies? Review the plans available if they have the services that you are looking for.
  • Learn about the dentists in your network – You can determine which type of plan you want by knowing who you’d like to work with. Some plans have specific dentists in their networks, while others are flexible with certain arrangements. If you have a preferred or a family dentist, you can ask them which insurance plans they have so you can feel more at ease.