Oral Health Concerns for Older Adults

by MikeMeehan 8/21/2017 3:17 PM

As you age, your dental health is just as important as it was when you were a kid. So while the healthy routines are the same – brushing twice a day, flossing, visiting the dentist and eating smile-friendly foods – there are some specific concerns we can focus on to make sure your smile stays strong.  Maintain good oral health routines You already brush twice a day, for two to three minutes with fluoride toothpaste. Now as you get older, be aware that the areas by your old fillings and the parts of your teeth exposed by receding gums are more susceptible to decay. Your dentist can watch for any signs of tooth decay in these areas. MouthHealthy.org from the American Dental Association recommends, for adults over 60, using an electric toothbrush or a toothbrush with a wider handle, especially if you have limited movement or arthritis. Keep flossing Flossing is as important as ever since most adults show some signs of gum disease. Flossing can remove the plaque between your teeth and below your gum line to help prevent gum disease. Sometimes we forget about the health of our gums, but gum disease can lead to tooth loss in adults. Choose healthy Foods rich in calcium and vitamin D can help keep your teeth and bones healthy and reduce the risk of tooth loss. Apples, carrots, celery and other fruits and raw vegetables can help to remove plaque from your teeth, but if you’re experiencing tooth pain, it may deter you from eating healthy foods. Visit your dentist right away if you’re having pain and it’s affecting your ability to eat. Oral health is a part of your overall health, so eating foods rich in antioxidants and nutrients can improve your ability to fight bacteria and inflammation, which affects and protects your teeth and gums. Your dentist can notice potential problems Your dental visits twice a year are just as important to maintain as you age. Dental x-rays can detect the early signs of oral health problems like root decay. Additionally, chronic diseases like diabetes, osteoporosis and heart disease can show symptoms in your mouth, research suggests. Your dentist can be the first to notice problems. Your medications can affect your oral health Some of us may face health issues that require medication, and your medications can have negative effects on your oral health. One of the most common side effects for older adults is dry mouth. This condition deprives the mouth of saliva, which plays a critical role in preventing tooth decay. To help with this, drink plenty of water and limit caffeine and alcohol. Consult your doctor and dentist for guidance and more information. Also, it’s important to keep dentists up-to-date on medications so they can monitor your oral health for side effects. Keep them strong While some of these recommendations are universal and can apply to all ages, as you age, your oral health can have specialized concerns. Take care of your teeth and gums so they stay strong and healthy throughout your life. Here’s more information about continuing dental benefits after retirement.

Effective Discount: Measuring Overall Network Value

by MikeMeehan 8/2/2017 10:45 AM

From size of the network to utilization rates to money saved, there are multiple ways to measure the overall value of a provider network. The effective discount – which represents savings on all claims both in and out of the network – encompasses a number of individual measures. Accordingly, it is a good overall measure of the value of a provider network. According to a recent study, our Delta Dental PPOSM Plan delivers the industry’s best effective discount – averaging 25.3 percent nationally – resulting in more than $5.9 billion in annual savings compared to dentists’ average FAIR Health submitted charges. About the Study The independent study examined a full year’s worth of claims data from Delta Dental and 17 other companies offering dental coverage. FAIR Health data was utilized to establish a universal baseline for average dental industry charges – consistent across all companies, geographies and procedures. How Delta Dental Delivers the Best Effective Discount Large Network Size Delta Dental is able to offer savings even to those enrollees who choose to visit a non-PPO dentist – a key benefit of our exclusive Delta Dental Premier network, the largest nationwide with more than 148,000 unique dentists.1 High Network Utilization Delta Dental delivers a national network utilization rate of more than 94 percent for its combined PPO and Premier networks, compared to an average PPO utilization of 63 percent for competitor networks.2 More in-network visits equal more savings. Direct Network ApproachLocal staff members foster strong relationships directly with dentists – establishing fair reimbursement rates and maintaining network stability. Count On Delta Dental  As America’s leading dental coverage provider, we serve more than 75 million people and provide coverage to over 139,000 groups nationwide.  To learn how Delta Dental can help you and your organization, visit us at deltadental.com.     1 March 2017 Independent NetMinder Data; based on the Delta Dental Premier® network 2 Ruark Consulting LLC’s 2016 Dental PPO Network Study

3 Reasons to Add Vision Benefits

by MikeMeehan 7/12/2017 9:23 AM

Just like we emphasize oral health is strongly linked to your overall health, we also believe your vision should not be overlooked in this equation. The idea of preventive care applies to medical and dental, but also vision. And, as you grow older, and with the new hazards of our digital world, caring for your eyes becomes more significant. If you have children, vision coverage is important to carry them through their school years and because vision problems can go undetected. Here are three important reasons to consider adding vision coverage to your benefits package: The older we get… As we get older, the performance of our eyes starts to decline, and we’re more susceptible to complications, like cataracts and glaucoma. But if you have vision coverage and get regular eye exams, signs of any issues can be detected. Regular eye exams will allow your eye doctor to identify any vision correction needed and early stages of eye diseases like macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. For your kids, regular eye exams provide the opportunity to correct any vision problems early. New problems for your eyes Our extended use of digital devices, like our phones and tablets, has created new problems for our eyes, like digital eye strain. All the screen time we have can cause issues like eye dryness, eye fatigue, blurry vision and difficulty shifting focus to objects at a distance. If you have vision coverage, you can talk to your eye doctor about any of these symptoms, or better yet, prevent them from happening with options like blue light lenses. Kids can get digital eye strain (also called computer vision syndrome) too, and might be even more susceptible to it. Early detection Like in other areas of your health, early detection can make a big difference in your vision health. By talking with your eye doctor about your family’s eye health history, your risks can be discussed. Macular degeneration, cataracts and glaucoma are examples of common eye conditions that can be detected during routine comprehensive eye exams. With early detection, treatments and surgeries for conditions like these can save your vision. Concerning your overall health, your eye doctor can also identify health issues like hypertension and diabetes. We encourage you to consider vision coverage to protect your vision and keep your eyes, and your family’s eyes, healthy. Learn more about our vision plans and go to our website for a list of FAQs.

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