A nice smile is one of the first things people notice about you. But having nice looking teeth doesn't necessarily mean you have good oral health.
About a third of each tooth is underneath your gums. That's why keeping your whole mouth healthy is as important as making sure your teeth are well cared for. Did you know that tooth decay is the second most common disease in the world? But good oral health is about more than just protecting your teeth -- your mouth and overall health are connected. A sore jaw along with chest pain can be a sign of a heart attack. Expectant mothers with poor oral hygiene are also seven times more likely to give birth to premature and low-birth weight babies.
Regular brushing, flossing and checkups with your dentist are all effective ways to maintain good oral health. You should brush for at least two minutes twice a day and as often as after every meal. Brushing removes plaque, a layer of bacteria that clings to your teeth. Try setting a timer for two minutes or using the Blue Cross Blue Shield FEP Dental app's timer tool to help you make sure you brush long enough. And remember, replace your toothbrush every three to four months so it can effectively clean your teeth. Floss once a day. Flossing removes plaque and food between your teeth where your toothbrush can't reach. Without flossing, plaque and food can turn into tartar and must be removed by a dentist. Use antibacterial mouthwash daily. This helps kill any remaining bacteria that can cause plaque, gum disease and bad breath.
At-home care alone isn't enough -- routine visits to the dentist help ensure your mouth stays in good health. During a dental exam, a dentist will clean your teeth and check for any signs of cavities, gum disease or other conditions in your mouth and neck area. The exam may also include an X-ray to get a better look at the part of your teeth that's inside your gums. Everyone's oral health needs are different. The American Dental Association recommends you talk to your dentist and determine how often you should get dental exams.
Medical insurance doesn't cover many important dental costs. Even if you don't currently require any dental services like crowns and root canals, you're still at risk. Dental insurance covers these common services and procedures plus a lot more. Meaning you not only pay less -- or nothing at all -- for those services, but you might also avoid the costs of treating dental complications down the line.
Blue Cross Blue Shield FEP Dental offers comprehensive dental coverage for federal employees, retired federal employees, retired uniformed service members and their families. When you enroll, you get benefits that give you peace of mind. That includes things like a large nationwide network of providers; no deductibles for any in-network services like fillings and root canals; three free cleanings a year; preventive exams, cleanings, X-rays and sealants covered in full and benefits starting from day one of your coverage being active.
BCBS FEP Dental is proud to support the oral needs of all its members. If you have a serious condition, such as diabetes, heart disease, end-stage renal disease, head and neck cancer, a suppressed immune system or are pregnant, we cover important dental services that are important for maintaining your well-being. That includes periodontal maintenance, periodontal scaling and root planing, periodontal and oral evaluations, palliative treatments and a lot more.
Speaking of savings, let's say you got two dental exams, three cleanings and one set of X-rays throughout the year. Without dental coverage, you'd pay about $670, on average. With BCBS FEP Dental, you'd pay nothing.
Let's look at another example. Say you needed a crown and root canal -- on average, you'd pay $3,110 without dental coverage. With High Option, you'd pay just $885 and $1,145 with Standard Option. Having a smile you love is priceless -- and so are the savings you get with BCBS FEP Dental. Visit bcbsfepdental.com/benefits to learn more about all the ways we can help you smile with confidence.