Are dental insurance and orthodontist insurance the same thing?
No. In fact, many dental insurance plans do not offer coverage for procedures done by orthodontists at all! Furthermore, there is no such thing as a policy that covers only orthodontist procedures. So, if your current dental plan doesn't cover them, you effectively have no orthodontist insurance.
Fortunately, for a modest increase in your monthly premiums, many group and individual dental plans can include coverage for orthodontist work. If, for whatever reason, your company's benefits manager doesn't offer you the flexibility to get extra coverage in the company plan for your own needs, then you may have to purchase a supplemental plan to get the coverage you want. Furthermore, many companies will allow you to opt-out of the group plan completely and get partial reimbursement for whatever plan you choose for yourself and your family.
Either way, if you think that any beneficiary of your dental plan will require orthodontist work in the near- to mid-term, then you should make sure that your current plan offers that coverage or else start thinking about other coverage options.
Bits of apple, caramel, corn, carrot, steak, potato chips, or bubble gum are just a few of the foods likely to get stuck in your new braces. Some people have reported having small bits of food stuck in their braces for days, only to notice their presence when they finally come lose!
Over time, and with hints from orthodontists, most people with dental braces figure out which foods are more likely to get uncomfortably lodged in one's braces. However, the fact remains that, regardless of what you eat, braces tend to cause more plaque and bits of food than usual to gather on your teeth.
When you have braces, it is therefore even more important than usual to brush shortly after every meal and not just first thing in the morning and right before bed. The slight inconvenience can save you a lot of time, money, and discomfort as it will help prevent unnecessary cavities or gum disease.
Suck suck suck suck suck suck…although the image of an infant sitting down with his thumb for a nice suck can be pretty endearing, as your child ages it can become less cute. So how old is too old for thumb sucking?
According to the American Dental Association, thumb sucking starts to become a permanent problem if continued beyond four or five years of age. Fortunately, most children spontaneously stop the habit by this point, but if your child is still sucking away at that age and you want to avoid paying the potentially high costs associated with orthodontists later on, there are a number of things you can do to help you child kick the habit.
Above all, it is important that you not put too much overt pressure on your child as that can have the reverse effect, turning what is a natural development phase into an ingrained habit. Instead, use more subtle methods, such as trying to distract your child when you notice their thumb enter their mouth. You can also consult your child's pediatrician regarding the number of thumb painting treatments out there, which, when applied, make the thumb much less tasty and therefore much less appealing for sucking.
Don't think your crooked teeth look that bad? Even if you don't mind the look of your Frankenstein smile, it can affect more than your physical appearance.
Crooked teeth can cause unneeded wear and tear on your teeth and unnecessary strain on your gums, which can lead to gum disease. They can even affect your jaw, potentially causing jaw pain and even headaches! As a final kicker, misaligned teeth can affect your ability to properly chew food, which can have a bad effect on your digestion.
So even if you don't mind the way your crooked teeth look and don't want to seek expensive corrective treatments offered by orthodontists, you should at least consult your dentist about having them corrected to avoid other negative effects of crooked teeth in the long term.
The tooth fairy hasn't even visited your kid yet but your family dentist is already advising you to see an orthodontist about getting dental braces. What gives?
Actually, according to the American Association of Orthodontists, you should have your kid visit an orthodontist for the first time around age 7, just around when their incisors — the first teeth to be replaced by adult teeth — start to fall out. Seeing an orthodontist this early is called early intervention, and can require less time and expense than waiting even a few more years.
So as soon as your child's baby teeth start wiggling, make sure you have them seen by an orthodontist to save yourself money and your child an extended treatment time.
Looking for alternatives to dental braces and other treatments offered by orthodontists? In recent years, a number of designer treatments for teeth straitening, whitening, and overall smile makeovers have come into the market, but most will probably not be covered by your dental health plan.
Some popular treatments, such as Invisalign, will be covered by any plan that includes orthodontist insurance. Others that are considered to be more cosmetic, such as teeth whitening, will not be covered by just about any insurance plan. You should consult your dentist and your dental plan provider to see if the dental correction you want or need done is covered by your plan.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|