Save Money by Combining Medical and Dental Insurance Plans

Medical insurance is often one of the biggest monthly expenses a family has. Health care costs have been steadily rising in the past few years, and the costs of comprehensive health insurance plans have been rising with them. Many health insurance providers have been attempting to ease the burden to consumers by offering new ways to save money on insurance, such as combining medical and dental insurance plans.

Combining medical and dental insurance into one plan, such as the plan offered by Blue Cross Blue Shield and Delta Dental of Minnesota, has the potential to save consumers up to 11% on dental insurance. A number of similar plans are available nationwide and can be found using free online health quote services.

Available either through your employer or privately, combined medical and dental insurance will generally result in more coverage for less. Dental plans typically cover basic prevention care and work, such as fillings or annual cleanings. Combining health insurance with dental coverage, bridges the gap in health care, so should you ever need some kind of surgery for dental work, it will most likely be covered. Dental insurance options can be discussed with your insurance provider to ensure that you have the personally tailored coverage you need.

Health insurance plans are typically customized to suit the needs of the family or the individual. If the insurance is being purchased through the employer, then there may also be different care options available. Many health insurance plans allow you to add additional coverage, such as maternity coverage for pregnant women or extra coverage if there are any recurring health problems.

If combining medical and dental insurance is something you might be interested in, compare rates using a free online health insurance quote service, and then consult with your current insurer. Combined plans can save you money, time and confusion while providing more comprehensive coverage for you and your family.

Three Steps to Good Oral Health

When it comes to oral hygiene, many people believe that brushing their teeth once a day, usually in the morning, is sufficient. This is far from the truth and research has shown that maintaining good oral hygiene can dramatically improve your way of life. Poor oral hygiene leads to bad breath, broken teeth, infections, missing teeth and more, which directly affects the way we lead our lives and function, not to mention what and how we eat. What makes matters worse is that new research indicates that poor oral hygiene is directly related to heart disease, diabetes, strokes and even low-weight babies at childbirth and pre-term labor, due to the bacteria in the mouth leaking into the bloodstream. Below are 3 simple steps that you can follow to ensure good oral health for you and your family.

Step 1 – Visit your Dentist Regularly – He/She Misses You

Only a trained professional can help you spot the wrong you are doing to your teeth and gums. Regular check-ups with your dentist will help you treat the current problems you have in your mouth, as well as prevent problems that may arise in the future. Your trained professional will look for signs of oral disease, dental cavities and more. It is also said that some cancerous lesions start in the mouth, so making the time for regular trips to your dentist may just save your life.

Step 2 – Follow a Strict Oral Hygiene Regime on a Daily Basis

If you are not using fluoride based toothpaste, you need to get some right away. Fluoride toothpaste is the only dental hygiene product that properly removes bacteria and plaque that causes gum disease (periodontal disease), dental cavities, and proximal caries. You need to make sure that you brush with a fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day – more if possible.

Flossing is also a major part of good oral health. Many people forget to floss, or just don’t bother doing it. Flossing at least once a day will dramatically increase your oral health. Without flossing you are only cleaning about 2 thirds of the surface of your teeth, leaving the bacteria and plaque to wreak havoc on the rest of your teeth and gums. Make flossing a ritual before you brush your teeth in the morning.

Step 3 – Eat Well for Good Strong Teeth and Gums

Eating healthily is not only good for your general well-being; it is also good for your oral health. Many nutrients that your body receives from healthy food are used to ward of cavities in your mouth and keep your gums healthy. Doctors also recommend that you stay away from too much candy and sticky sweets, and cut down on the amount of sugar in your diet if you want to maintain a healthy mouth. Another thing to remember is the 5-a-day rule for fruits and veggies, as these stimulate the salivary flow which aids in the re-mineralization of decaying teeth.

If you are looking to maintain your oral health, doctors also recommend that you do not touch tobacco products and cut down on your alcohol consumption. The use of these products individually may lead to some mouth cancers, and if used in combination will have an even greater effect on, not only your oral hygiene, but your general well-being as well.

Oral Health Problems and Dental Hygiene

You will surely agree with me that a healthy smile is a bonus at any given age. Oral health is the practice of keeping your teeth and mouth clean to avoid dental problems such as bad breath, gingivitis and dental cavities. You don’t have to own any degree or certificate in oral health to keep your mouth and teeth clean and healthy, you only need the basics such as knowing how to identify the common oral ailments and some common oral health practices.

Common oral diseases and ailments

– Bad breath: bad breath, also called halitosis, can be really embarrassing. Bad breath is usually associated with certain dental conditions. Gum disease, oral cancer, cavities, bacteria on the tongue and dry mouth are some of the problems that cause bad breath. Using mouthwash only covers the odor for a while but you do need to see a dental doctor for a comprehensive checkup.

– Tooth decay: also known as cavities, is the second most common oral problem. Tooth decay develops when plague combines with sugars or starches found in foods we eat. The combination forms acids that attack the tooth enamel. The best practice to prevent tooth decay is by flossing, brushing twice a day and attending regular dental checkups.

– Gum (periodontal) disease: studies reveal that gum disease is linked to strokes and heart attacks. Regular checkups, daily brushing and flossing play a major role on controlling the ailment.

– Oral cancer: this is a serious and quite deadly disease that ails millions of people. Oral cancer affects the mouth, throat or lips and can be effectively controlled if diagnosed in the early stage.

– Mouth sores: They do come in different shapes and sizes and can be quite bothersome. They are however not a serious medical disorder and you don’t need to worry about them unless they last for over two weeks. They usually disappear after a short while. The commonest mouth sores are fever blisters, canker sore, cold sores, thrush and ulcers.

– Tooth sensitivity is basically the experiencing of discomfort or pain on the teeth from contact with cold air, sweets, hot drinks, ice cream or cold drinks. In extreme cases, tooth sensitivity can be experienced even during brushing or flossing.

– Dry mouth, also known as Xerostomia, is a condition that causes drying in the mouth and results in difficulty to swallow, eat, speak or taste. This dryness results from the failure of the salivary glands to work properly. Luckily, there is treatment readily available if most of the local dental clinics.

Best oral health practices

Most dental diseases and general ailments result from bad dental practices and failure to observe routine medical and hygiene routines. Good oral health practices helps greatly in cutting down the occurrence of bacterial, fungal and other related disease.

These practices include:

– regular brushing using appropriate brushing techniques, twice a day is the most recommended.

– flossing daily

– eating balanced diet and limiting intake of sugary snacks and foods

– rinsing your mouth with a fluoride mouthwash as may be advised by the dentist.

– use of dental products with fluoride as one of the ingredients, including toothpaste

– provide plenty of milk in the diet to supplement calcium for strengthening the teeth.

– avoid smoking as it can cause oral cancer, bad breath, stained teeth and other dental complications

Observing the above oral health practices in addition to regular dental checkups highly reduces the cases of chronic dental disease attacks and general ailments. It is worth noting that poor oral health can adversely affect the health condition of other body parts and should therefore be closely monitored and remedied where necessary.