Taking care of your teeth and gums is essential in preventing issues like cavities, gum disease, and tooth loss. Here are some best practices:
- Clean your mouth in this order before bed: floss, brush, tongue scrape, and then rinse with mouthwash
- Brush your teeth twice a day
- Use fluoride toothpaste to strengthen enamel and prevent cavities
- Floss and rinse with mouthwash once a day
- Don’t overuse whitening products (this can erode enamel)
- Opt for an electric toothbrush over a manual toothbrush for a deeper clean
- Choose soft-bristle toothbrush heads (medium to hard bristles can damage gum tissue and enamel)
- Get routine teeth cleanings and dental exams (twice a year)
- Limit sugary, processed, and acidic foods and drinks
- Prevent tooth discoloration by limiting coffee, tea, and other dark-colored drinks
- Wear a nightguard if you grind your teeth at night (bruxism)
- Don’t smoke or chew tobacco
How Does Oral Health Affect General Health?
A healthy mouth is essential for a healthy body. On the other hand, an unhealthy mouth can lead to health problems in other areas of the body.
Tobacco use, excessive alcohol consumption, and/or unhealthy diets cause the oral cavity and body to deteriorate over time. General health conditions can also worsen your oral health standing.
Common medical issues associated with poor oral health include:
- Heart disease
- Weakened immune system
- Alzheimer's disease
- Cancer (tobacco)
- Birthing complications
What Does Dental Insurance Cover?
Dentist visits and treatments can be expensive without insurance. This is why many people neglect professional dental care, which can lead to issues over time.
Fortunately, there are many plans available to fit any lifestyle and budget. Alternative options, like dental discount plans, are also available. These plans offer discounted rates on services provided by dentists within the customer’s network.
Many insurance companies follow the “100-80-50” plan, which covers:
- 100 percent of regular preventive care, such as teeth cleanings, dental exams, and fluoride treatment
- 80 percent of basic procedures, such as dental fillings, extractions, and root canals
- 50 percent of major procedures, such as bridges, implants, and crowns
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