6 Groups of People Who Need Dental Insurance
Many people buy dental insurance because it helps keep costs low in the event of a tooth-related emergency, while others buy it because they know they actually need dental insurance. Dental plans also make it easier to stay up-to-date on cleanings and exams. In fact, for as little as $30/month, most dental plans will pay 100 percent for preventive care (like cleanings and exams) and 80 percent for bigger procedures (like fillings, root canals, and extractions).
Not sure if you need dental insurance? There are six types of people who need extra dental care and should consider signing up for a plan.
1. Pregnant Women
During pregnancy, regular visits with your dentist are a must! Pregnancy hormones can make your gums swell, which leads to gingivitis. If this is the case, your dentist may suggest getting frequent teeth cleanings to prevent bacteria from gum infections from spreading throughout the body and to your baby. This goes for cavity fillings, as well; while non-emergency and cosmetic care should be delayed until after delivery, any dental work that reduces the chance of infection during pregnancy is important.
Morning sickness and acid reflux, which are both common to most pregnancies, can be hard on your pearly whites, as the acid from your stomach can cause tooth erosion. Proper oral health practices – like brushing and flossing regularly, as well as rinsing your mouth with baking soda after a run-in with morning sickness – alongside the guidance and help of your dentist makes sure your (and baby’s!) health is in tip-top shape.
2. Elderly People
Elderly teeth and gums need plenty of attention. Older adults are prone to dental problems, such as darkened teeth, gum disease, root decay, and inflamed tissue if dentures are involved. Properly managing these conditions is key, as bacteria from poor oral health can cause heart disease, pneumonia, and even dementia.
As we age, arthritis and other conditions can make brushing and flossing very difficult. Regularly visiting the dentist for check-ups and cleanings can help keep your teeth clean and your gums healthy. Your dentist will also be able to monitor for more serious conditions and catch them early while they’re still treatable.
The American Dental Association advises parents that all children should visit a dentist before they turn one. Once they’re two, they should start getting their twice-yearly checkups. Visits to the dentist early on help you to learn how to care for your children’s teeth; for example, the Center for Pediatric Dentistry warns that common practices like letting your baby fall asleep with a bottle of milk can lead to cavities.
40 percent of children have some tooth decay even before they attend kindergarten! Proper oral health at a young age is critical to healthy eating, speaking, and overall health. Regular dental cleanings and exams can keep little ones’ smiles healthy and strong. As your children’s adult molars grow in, your dentist can even apply a sealant; this is extra protection against erosion and cavities that lasts up to ten years!
4. People Who Take Prescription Medications
If you take prescriptions regularly, you may experience a side effect called dry mouth. This side effect is common to over 500 medications and can lead to the development of cavities. You should see a dentist and let them know if you’re on medications, so they can monitor your oral health and suggest ways to ease your symptoms, like using oral moisturizers and humidifiers. They may also provide fluoride treatments to give your teeth some extra protection.
Some medications, including ones commonly used for high blood pressure, cause swelling in your gums; others can cause sores in your mouth. Sweetened medications, like cough syrups, can lead to tooth decay if taken regularly. For these reasons, regular checkups with a dentist can help make sure you don’t contract any dangerous bacterial infections. Be sure to let your dentist know if you take any blood thinning medications (like aspirin) before dental procedures.
5. Tobacco Users
Tobacco use is very unkind to your oral health and leads to a range of dental problems like bad breath, tooth discoloration, bone loss, plaque buildup, gum disease, and an increased risk of oral cancer. If you smoke or chew tobacco, you might seriously need dental insurance. Unfortunately, the only way you can prevent these issues completely is to quit. However, according to the Universty of Wisconsin Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention, dentists are actually one of the best resources for quitting. With knowledge of your medical history, a steady support system, and the ability to treat dental complications, dentists are ready to help you on your journey back to good health!
6. People With Diabetes
If you have diabetes, you are prone to an often overlooked, related condition: serious gum disease. That’s because the health of you gums is linked to your blood glucose levels. In fact, if you let gum disease develop, you may have an even harder time controlling your diabetes. Diabetics are also at risk of thrush, a type of fungal infection that grows in sugary saliva, and dry mouth, which can lead to tooth decay. Basic, quality care of your teeth, along with regular trips to the dentist, can prevent these issues and keep your health in check.
On the List? Here’s What to Do Next
If you’ll be needing lots of regular checkups and possibly even extensive procedures to manage your oral health, you probably need dental insurance and it is time to consider enrolling. It makes frequent dental care much more affordable. If you’d like a plan that you can start using as soon as the next month, Stride offers simple, high quality options starting at under $30.