How to stay healthy and support your clients with LifeMap dental coverage

We’re taught dental hygiene from an early age. But many of us can do more to ensure that our teeth and gums are healthy.

October is National Dental Hygiene Month. So, it’s a perfect time for employers to educate their employees on proper dental hygiene and the benefits of good dental health.

The daily regimen

Good dental health starts with the basics. At a minimum, The American Dental Hygienists’ Association recommends people:

  • Brush twice a day—once in the morning and once at night
  • Floss once per day
  • Rinse with mouthwash once per day

It’s also important to avoid sugary candies and treats. And the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends chewing sugar-free gum after a meal, as the increased salivary flow can wash away harmful acids and prevent tooth decay.

Good oral health is important for good overall health

Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums caused by plaque and bacteria, and can range from mild inflammation (gingivitis) to tooth decay and eventual loss (periodontitis). Periodontal disease is surprisingly common, with 47.2% of adults aged 30 and older suffering from some form of it according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.* For an often-serious health condition, those numbers are alarming.

And yet, it’s relatively simple to prevent, beginning with the daily regimen outlined above. Regular dentist visits are also important, so any potential problems can be identified and resolved.

Studies also show there may be a connection between periodontal disease and other adverse health effects, such as an increased likelihood of heart disease and difficulty controlling blood sugar.

A healthy smile through all stages of life

Dental health needs change with age, and it’s important to know these needs for each stage of life.

Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Babies and children: Brush children’s teeth twice a day as soon as they start appearing—for children 3 years and older, use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.
  • Teenagers: Braces, piercings and participation in sports all affect a teen’s oral health, making regular care extremely important.
  • Adults: As we age, our teeth become weaker and more susceptible to damage—pay attention to sensitive teeth, and see a dentist when concerns arise.

The ADA also identifies pregnancy as an especially vulnerable time for dental health.** If pregnant, speak with a dentist about how to best protect against dental problems.

LifeMap can help

LifeMap offers employer-paid and voluntary group dental plans, as well as individual plans.

Visit LifeMapCo.com or speak with your LifeMap sales executive to learn more about how you can support employees with LifeMap dental coverage.


Sources:

*https://www.cdc.gov/OralHealth/periodontal_disease/
**http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/pregnancy-slideshow