Best Dental Plans Tips

Read these 9 Best Dental Plans Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Dental Plans tips and hundreds of other topics.

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What are the real benefits of flossing?

Flossing Increases Lifespan

Flossing makes you live longer!

Regular flossing, long considered an essential part of daily dental cleansing, has been found to have a positive effect on your life expectancy, increasing it by up to 6 years.

The primary benefit of flossing is that plaque is removed from the sides of your teeth and gum line, resulting in fewer cavities and preventing you from developing gum disease.

If you have gum disease, you are 1.5-2 times more likely to die from a fatal heart attack and 3 times more likely to suffer from a stroke than someone with healthy gums.

Gum disease can be particularly dangerous to the elderly. Infected gums can contain pneumonia bacteria that can be transferred into the lungs. Furthermore, if bacteria from periodontal disease, a more serious form of gum disease, enters the blood stream, people with artificial joints or heart valves are more likely to suffer from a serious infection.

So floss regularly to live a longer, healthier life!

Looking for the best dental programs available?

The Best Dental Plan for You

Looking for the best dental programs available?

Just as with purchasing an extra carrot in a diamond, you generally pay for what you get. The best dental plans are also the most expensive dental plans and come with the greatest coverage, least exclusions, and largest number of dentists and specialists from which to choose.

Fortunately, most people don't need the dental plan equivalent of Paris Hilton's rock to keep their teeth healthy and their wallets relatively weighty. If you practice good dental care, including brushing after meals, flossing twice daily, not smoking, not eating sugary foods, and not drinking many acidic beverages (including soft drinks and some fruit juices), then the wear and tear on your teeth should be pretty minimal and you could save a lot of money with a really basic plan, such as a discount dental plan.

If, however, you're a soda-gulping smoker who thinks that brushing once before bed is sufficient and flossing is too much of a pain to bother with, then you're going to save a lot of money and hassle by shelling out for a more expensive plan with greater coverage.

The best dental plan for you may not necessarily be the most expensive option but, before making any decisions, be honest about how careful you are with your teeth. Scrimping on your dental plan in the short term to save a few dollars is likely to cost you a ton of money over time if your lifestyle puts your teeth continually in harm's way.

Can drinking milk really make my teeth stronger?

Milk Does Your Teeth Good

Your mother may have told you some white lies, including that breaking a mirror is seven years bad luck or that if you keep picking your nose it would get stuck that way, but one thing that she did get right is that drinking milk will probably help your teeth out.

Studies have found that drinking milk and eating cheeses, especially cheddars, with or after a meal can help increase the pH level of your mouth (for us non-scientists out there, this means that it will lower the acidity level) thereby limiting the damage that certain foods can do to your enamel.

To avoid having to purchase the best dental insurance available just so you can afford to fix your kid's teeth later in life, make sure to include a little milk and cheese with their meals, particularly with acidic meals such as pastas with red sauce, to help protect them from cavities.

Is brushing twice a day enough to keep cavities at bay?

Your Diet Can Promote Tooth Decay

The only health ailment more common than a cavity is the common cold, but there are plenty of things you can do right now to help prevent tooth decay.

Preventing tooth decay is not as easy as brushing and flossing the minimally recommended two times daily, as that leaves a great deal of time for sugars, plaque, and acid to work on your enamel between brushing. For this reason, your diet can also have a profound impact on the health of your teeth.

Switching away from sugary foods and drinks is just one thing that will help ensure fewer trips to the dentist, but acidic drinks, such as many wines, coffee, and even diet soda, can also take their toll.

Keeping your teeth healthy isn't just good for your smile but for your wallet as well, since treating cavities can be expensive even if you have the best dental insurance available.

Are you prepared for a dental emergency while traveling?

Dental Emergency Kit

You're got all your gear ready for a trip off the beaten path, including a small first aid kid. However, like most people, you are totally unprepared for any dental emergency you might experience on the road, such as a lost filling, dislodged cap, or knocked out (avulsed) tooth.

You could have the best dental insurance in the world but, without a dentist in the jungle or developing nation you're visiting, you might be out of luck for much longer than a 30 minute ride to the hospital.

Some obvious things to pack in your kit include tweezers, gauze, cotton balls, floss, and a mirror. If you or anyone you're traveling with has fillings, crowns, or braces, then you'll also want petroleum jelly, dental wax, and DenTemp (temporary dental cement). Finally, you'll definitely want to pack a small guide or booklet describing dental emergency procedures so that you have a definitive resource available if something happens.

When you're traveling off the beaten path, be prepared for dental emergencies in addition to situations that call for more standard first aid treatment.

Can diet soda cause cavities?

Diet Soda Rots Teeth

So, Mrs. Smarty Pants, think you're avoiding rapid tooth decay by switching away from sugary sodas to their diet versions? If that has been your strategy, you should take caution as diet soda will also cause your teeth to decay. It's not just the sugar that rots your teeth, but the acid content in soda as well.

Tooth enamel can be affected by beverages that have a pH level below 5.5 and some soda, such as Dr. Pepper, can drop as low as 2.92, which will eat away your teeth's protective coating with a fury.

To really avoid tooth decay and other potentially long term side effects associated with soda drinking, switch to drinking water, unsweetened tea, and other non-sugary, non-acidic beverages.

A little toothache isn’t that big a deal, right?

Simple Toothaches Can Turn Into A Larger Problem

Simple toothaches can turn into a larger problem if left untreated. Although it is very common to have tooth sensitivity to temperatures, if your teeth ache when you're simply chewing, bite down hard, or otherwise, then you most likely have a cavity.

If you have a toothache, you should consult a dentist as soon as possible, since letting a cavity linger can lead to increased pain and, eventually, tooth loss. Furthermore, waiting longer will lead to a larger cavity, which will be more expensive and painful to treat.

The largest cavities might even require a crown to be put on the limited remaining healthy part of your tooth. Even with the best dental insurance, a crown will cost you several hundred dollars out of your own pocket.

A simple toothache can turn into a large problem, so see your dentist as soon as you feel the symptoms.

Does the kind of tooth brush I use really matter?

Electric Tooth Brushes

In 2003 more people died of shark attacks than of accidentally choking on their own toothbrushes but, although toothbrushes may be less deadly than your average great white, choosing the wrong one can have adverse effects on your dental health.

A brush whose bristles are too soft may not adequately remove the daily plaque buildup on your teeth, while one with very hard bristles may erode your gumline, so unless you are willing to shell out for one of the best dental programs later on, you should choose your brush with care.

The state-of-the-art toothbrushes, and the ones most highly recommended by dentists, are electric brushes with rotating, oscillating heads (heads that only do one of these have been found to be just as effective as manual brushing).

Although a good electric tooth brush can be expensive, they can also save you a lot of money over time by keeping your teeth healthier and less decayed than ordinary tooth brushes can.

What is a direct reimbursement dental plan?

A New Trend In Direct Reimbursement Plans

Has your company's CEO purchased a shiny new Harley, gained a new spouse who is 20 years younger, and hired a yoga instructor? If so, then he's also probably thinking about overhauling his business's dental plan for the new millennium.

The new trend in employer-provided dental health plans are direct reimbursement dental plans. They can be one of the best dental plans for all involved.

The biggest advantages of a direct reimbursement dental plan are that neither employee nor employer is required to pay a monthly premium and the employee may visit any dentist they want.

Direct reimbursement dental plans work by requiring the employee pay the full amount of whatever treatment they have done at the time of treatment, they then receive a receipt and are reimbursed by their employer for a certain percentage of the procedure at a later time. The value of the reimbursement is defined by your particular plan and, as with more traditional employer-offered PPO plans, there is generally an annual benefit cap of around $500 to $2000. So, in the case of those who plan on getting a large amount of dental work done, they might consider paying for a discount dental plan in addition to their employer-provided dental insurance.

If you're an employer looking for a group dental plan, you should definitely consider whether a reimbursement dental plan works for your organization. It can add up to a large savings for your company, while still helping your employees pay for their dental costs.

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Heidi Splete