Did you visit your dentist this year?

by MikeMeehan 11/29/2017 1:54 PM

Even though this time of year might be busy with holiday plans, make some time to see your dentist. Most dental plans have the benefit deadline of December 31, so be sure to fit in your regular exams and cleanings before the end of the year. Benefit plans differ, so read your plan documents first. As you look over your benefit plan offerings, check to see if you’ve reached your deductible and find out what your annual maximum is. This will help determine which benefits you want to use before the end of the year. As a reminder, your deductible is the amount you have to pay before your benefit plan begins to pay the cost of your treatment. Your annual maximum is the maximum dollar amount a dental plan will pay for care within a benefit period. You can read more about deductibles, maximums and other dental coverage basics, here. It’s about preventive care Oral health and dental benefits are all about preventive care. That’s why we want you to get to the dentist! Dental benefits work to stop problems before they begin. If you put in the time for preventive care, like visiting your dentist routinely and brushing twice a day for two minutes, it can help avoid bigger and more costly problems in the future, like cavities or gum disease. Other appointments to make Vision benefits are similar to dental benefits because they focus on preventive care too. These are benefits you want to use. And just like we emphasize oral health is an important part of your overall health, your vision health is also connected to your overall health. While you’re making your last dental appointment of the year, fit in your regular comprehensive eye exam with your vision care provider. And learn more about our vision coverage, DeltaVision®. If you have any questions about your benefits plan, you can sign in to your account or contact us. 

Thanksgiving Foods for Healthy Smiles

by MikeMeehan 11/22/2017 10:42 AM

As you gather around the table this Thanksgiving and you look at all the delicious food, some of those dishes might be good for your oral health. Here are some traditional Thanksgiving sides that have the added bonus of being good for your teeth and gums. And if these vegetables aren’t usually included with your holiday meal, consider adding them for the benefit of all those smiles gathered around your table. Sweet potatoes Sweet potatoes are high in vitamin A, and this vitamin helps maintain your teeth and bones. Sweet potatoes have vitamin C and vitamin E too. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that fights inflammation. Vitamin C also reduces inflammation, and it strengthens gums, protects against gingivitis, and fights infection. Two helpings of sweet potatoes, please! Brussels sprouts, broccoli, spinach Look around for the greens on the table because you know those are great choices. Brussels sprouts are in season – a good reason for them to show up on the Thanksgiving table! Like other leafy green vegetables, brussels sprouts are full of calcium. Calcium is famous for strengthening your bones and teeth, while it also strengthens your enamel. Vitamin C, good for your gums, is also in brussels sprouts, broccoli and spinach. Broccoli and spinach are an excellent source of vitamin A too. I mean, you really can’t go wrong with the green veggies – so good for your oral health and overall health. Carrots and celery While you’re all waiting for the turkey to cook, put out some snacks like raw carrots and celery. Because they’re so crunchy, they increase saliva production and reduce the risk of cavities. Also, carrots have vitamin A. This vitamin keeps the mucous membranes in your mouth healthy. Celery is a good source of vitamins A and C. Added bonus of celery – it works as a natural toothbrush! When you bite down on celery, its texture scrubs the surface of your teeth, brushing away food particles and plaque. So keep these snacks around for after dinner too. Choose wisely While some of these vegetables and healthy choices might get covered up in some unhealthy choices like gravy and butter, consider having different versions available. Baked sweet potatoes instead of mashed with butter. Steamed spinach and broccoli instead of in a casserole. And if you’re still into the pumpkin craze, and a pumpkin pie might be included in your traditional fare, pumpkin also has some mouth-friendly nutrients. Keep in mind your ingredients and read the labels on the store-bought items.

Diabetes and Your Oral Health

by MikeMeehan 11/14/2017 2:11 PM

November is Diabetes Awareness Month to bring attention to the disease and the millions of people affected by it. We’d like to join this effort from the perspective of your oral health. Frequently, we emphasize the connection between oral health and overall health. And that connection can work both ways. A person with diabetes is an example of this connection. If you have diabetes, you’re at a higher risk of developing gum disease. And, according to the American Diabetes Association, research suggests “serious gum disease may have the potential to affect blood glucose control and contribute to the progression of diabetes.” What’s the connection? To be clear, diabetes doesn’t cause gum disease and gum disease doesn’t cause diabetes. But if you have one, you are likely to have the other, in comparison to others who don’t have diabetes or gum disease. To explain a bit further, if you have diabetes, your ability to fight infection is reduced. Gum disease is a type of infection in your gums and the surrounding bones supporting your teeth. Gum disease is also referred to as periodontal disease. Early gum disease, called gingivitis, has symptoms like red, swollen and bleeding gums. In the early stages, gingivitis can be reversible with daily brushing, flossing and regular visits to the dentist. When the condition reaches the later stage, called periodontitis, your gums are seriously damaged.  Talk With Your Dentist To prevent gum disease, practice good oral health care. If you have diabetes, since you’re at higher risk of developing gum disease, paying close attention to your teeth and mouth and maintaining a good oral health care routine is extremely important. Managing your diabetes will also help. According to studies, people who manage their diabetes tend to have less gum disease than people who are not managing their disease well. Talk with your dentist to discuss a plan going forward. Enhanced Benefits Also, if you have diabetes or gum disease you may be eligible for enhanced benefits through your Delta Dental plan, like extra cleanings and exams. Confirm your eligibility before treatment by contacting us directly or talking with your dental care provider. You may have to sign up for the enhanced benefits program before receiving the extra coverage. You can learn more about the symptoms diabetes can create in your mouth by visiting the American Dental Association website. Learn more about diabetes and Diabetes Awareness Month by visiting the American Diabetes Association website.

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