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Dental Health

Guide to lifelong dental health

We all know the rules for good health – eat right, exercise, reduce stress, etc. But many of us overlook a key part of our body when it comes to health care – our smiles.

Proper dental care is an important part of healthy living. Good oral hygiene (brushing twice a day, flossing once a day and avoiding sugary foods and drinks) plays a large part in maintaining dental health, but regular dental checkups are also important.

A dental checkup is a once- or twice-yearly procedure designed to prevent tooth decay and assess dental problems before they become emergencies. The checkup has two parts: a cleaning performed by a dental hygienist and an exam performed by a dentist.

If the exam reveals any problems, such as cavities, further dental treatment may be required. Usually, these treatments can be performed by the dentist doing the exam. Sometimes, however, you may be referred to a specialist. Common referrals are to orthodontists (for braces, retainers, etc.) and dental surgeons (for wisdom-tooth extraction or surgery for dental implants).

Dental Health Insurance

Professional dental care can be expensive. Even checkups, which are generally the least expensive dental procedure, can cost over $100. Often, this expense prohibits people from making regular dental care a part of their health and fitness routine. But ignoring your dental health can lead to even more expensive emergency dental care later.

The best option for affordable dental care is to look into dental health insurance. Many companies offer health and dental insurance in a single package, but you can also purchase a dental health plan on its own. Do some research into plans and services like CIGNA Dental Care or Delta Dental (and be sure to ask lots of questions).

The cost of dental insurance will vary depending on your needs (single or family), your location and your provider (the company you choose). There are many affordable health dental insurance plans out there; it's just a matter of doing some research to find the one that best suits your needs and your budget.

Before you choose a dental insurance plan, make sure it is accepted by your dental care professional and that the coverage is in line with the dental treatment plan your dentist has recommended.

No health and fitness regimen is complete without a dental care component. Poor oral health can result not only in tooth decay or tooth loss but also in problems of the tongue, jaw, mouth and throat. In extreme cases, it can even affect other body parts and systems.

Your dentist is your partner in maintaining oral health. With his or her help, you can ensure that your healthy lifestyle shows in your bright, beautiful smile.

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