How dental benefits improve employees’ well-being

by MikeMeehan 5/25/2018 11:36 AM

Offering a dental plan to your employees isn’t just about oral health. Dental benefits have been shown to improve both oral health and overall well-being. Dental coverage emphasizes preventive care Americans lose more than 164 million hours of work every year due to dental disease. But dental coverage can go a long way toward helping employees avoid oral health problems that require them to call in sick. Preventive care, like regular dental exams and cleanings, is typically fully covered under most dental plans including many of those available from Delta Dental.  Adults with dental coverage are 73 percent more likely than those without to visit the dentist at least once a year. By visiting the dentist regularly, employees can address dental issues right away – before they become costly, painful problems that lead to time away from the office.  Oral health is linked to overall well-beingPeople who keep annual dental appointments are more likely to report good oral health. Those who rate their oral health as good tend to also give their overall well-being a good or better rating.  When it comes to physical health, regular dental visits can help with early disease detection. According to the book, “Oral Diagnosis, Oral Medicine and Treatment Planning,” signs and symptoms of over 120 diseases appear in the mouth including diabetes and heart disease. Catching these diseases early can mean higher chances of effective treatment and less medical costs down the road. And last, but definitely not least, dentists may screen for oral cancer during routine checkups, which can dramatically aid in early detection and successful treatment.  Oral health is linked to successGood oral health touches multiple areas of our lives like speaking, smiling, eating, expressing emotions and more. Without it, people can feel uncomfortable smiling and expressing themselves fully. They may even experience anxiety about their oral health that can make everyday life more stressful.  By feeling confident in their smile and satisfied with their oral health, employees can focus their attention on what matters most.  

How Dental Benefits Go Beyond Dental Issues

by MikeMeehan 2/14/2018 2:04 PM

In honor of American Heart Month this February, we’re taking a look at an unexpected way to curb heart disease – visiting the dentist. Scheduling a dental appointment isn’t just about taking care of your teeth. Your mouth can reveal a lot about your overall health. Signs and symptoms of dozens of systemic diseases, disorders, syndromes and other conditions can appear in the mouth. Bleeding gums, burning or dry mouth, loose teeth and bad breath (to name a few) may point to health issues in different areas of the body. These issues include diabetes, heart disease, infectious diseases and a variety of others. If these indicators are present, your dentist will refer you to your physician for next steps that encourage proper diagnosis. Visiting your dentist regularly for a thorough examination of your teeth, gums and just as importantly, all other soft tissues in your mouth has multiple benefits. It can prevent small problems from becoming major issues and identify systemic diseases early. The earlier you detect and treat these diseases, the easier they are to manage. Early detection can help prevent the disease from causing more serious problems and can lead to better overall health in the long run. A study completed by the American Heart Association found that people who receive regular teeth cleanings have a 24 percent lower risk of heart attack and 13 percent lower risk of stroke.1 It’s also important to know that having a dental insurance plan can help. Most dental plans cover preventive services, such as exams and cleanings, at little or no cost to you. And people with certain medical conditions, like heart disease, may be eligible for enhanced benefits. These benefits may include coverage for additional exams and cleanings, periodontal maintenance and fluoride treatments. Think about your overall health and schedule your next trip to the dentist today.

Don’t Brush It Off: This Self-Improvement Month, Improve Your Brushing Technique

by MikeMeehan 9/22/2016 4:07 PM

September has been designated National Self-Improvement Month. And though the designation has proven surprisingly difficult to substantiate — the National Day Calendar listed its history as “To Be Researched” — a little self-improvement never hurt. In fact, you might expect the exact opposite. When it comes to dental hygiene, brushing and flossing are some of the most important routines for your smile, yet they could possibly use a little improvement. Why You Need to Brush and Floss Brushing and flossing can remove plaque, tartar and stains. These three culprits can cause problems of all sorts:   Cavities Gum disease, like gingivitis or periodontitis Weakened tooth enamel, making teeth more susceptible to chips or cracks   Conditions like these can wreak havoc on your smile. But the issues don’t stop there. In fact, here’s a saying worth remembering: You can’t spell overall without oral. As in, oral health directly affects overall wellness. Bad oral health doesn’t just put you at risk for cavities, gum disease, and weakened tooth enamel; it can increase risks for serious conditions like diabetes, heart disease and stroke. The solution, of course, is brushing and flossing, but only when done so properly. There are a few improper ways of going about them: Three Wrong Ways to Brush   Brushing with force. Brushing too hard might make you feel like you’re getting your teeth extra clean, but your teeth won’t be thanking you. Using too much force can lead to tooth abrasion, little notches in the teeth near the gums. Starting in the same place every time. Usually, when something is routine, the tendency is to start in the exact same place every single time. For brushing, this isn’t necessarily the best technique. It takes two minutes to brush your teeth. When you start, the first tooth has your full attention. But by the time you’ve reached 1:45, you might be thinking about that board meeting you have in an hour. For more evenly-cleaned teeth, consider a new first tooth each time you brush. Leaving your toothbrush on a bathroom sink or counter. This isn’t really a brushing technique, but it can defeat an otherwise perfect routine. Your bathroom isn’t the exactly the cleanest room in your house — to avoid getting too “potty” mouthed about it — so your toothbrush is susceptible to germs if you park it there. Should you keep your toothbrush in the bathroom, at least put it in a holder where it can air-dry, and where the bristles won’t touch the germy sink or counter. Pro-tip: If you’re on vacation and using a travel bag, don’t store the toothbrush while it’s damp, as bacteria can grow on a moist toothbrush.       Two Wrong Ways to Floss   Flossing too fast. Save for not flossing at all, rushed flossing may be a worst practice, as one up-and-down between your teeth might miss some food particles and won’t get under the gumline as effectively. Stopping at the sight of blood. If your gums start to bleed, it’s probably due to inflammation from bacteria that’s gotten into them. If you stop at the sight of blood, the bacteria wins, and the inflammation could grow worse.     At this point, it may feel like there’s a whole lot wrong with the world: diseases that want to rob you of your wellness, and wrong techniques that could prevent you from fighting them. But September is self-improvement month, and there’s love at the end of the day. Here’s how you can improve your brushing and flossing techniques. Six Steps for Better Brushing   Place your toothbrush bristles at a 45-degree angle to the gumline Use just enough pressure to feel bristles against your gums and between teeth. Don’t squish the bristles Brush all inner and outer tooth surfaces several times, using short, circular strokes. Be sure to brush along the gumline as well Brush chewing surfaces straight on. Clean the inside surfaces of front teeth by tilting the brush vertically and making up-and-down strokes with the front of the brush Clean only one or two teeth at a time Brush your tongue, as oral bacteria can remain in taste buds   Five Steps for Flossing   Start with an 18-inch strand of floss. Wind most of it around one of your middle fingers and the rest around the same finger on your other hand Tighten floss with about an inch of floss between your hands. Glide floss between teeth with a gentle sawing motion Curve it into a C against your tooth Hold the floss against each tooth, gently scraping the tooth’s side while moving the floss away from the gum. Repeat on all teeth. Don’t forget the back ones Rinse to remove any loosened plaque and food particles   For #SelfImprovementMonth this September, we’re brushing up on our brushing and flossing technique. What have you been doing to improve yourself?

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