Broker blog from Delta Dental

Tag: dental health

Grin! for Kids: a value-added resource for family dental plans

Edu­cat­ing fam­i­lies about den­tal care in cre­ative ways rais­es prospects for buy-in to a Delta Den­tal plan. The way to engage chil­dren in den­tal care is to give them oppor­tu­ni­ties to learn about tak­ing care of the teeth, gums and mouth so their smiles are healthy.

Grin! for Kids is a col­or­ing and activ­i­ty book with fun, edu­ca­tion­al projects for chil­dren in grades K‑5. It is a free resource that adds val­ue to a Delta Den­tal plan. The book can be print­ed out at home for easy access, as par­ents show chil­dren about pre­ven­tive care in tak­ing advan­tage of plan ben­e­fits.

Each issue of Grin! for Kids, avail­able in Eng­lish and Span­ish, con­tains new ideas and infor­ma­tion that fam­i­lies can share as they main­tain reg­u­lar vis­its to their den­tist under their plan.

Dental care is an important part of overall health

Den­tal health is about more than just den­tal health. As the Sur­geon General’s Report on Oral Health in Amer­i­ca put it: “…oral health is inte­gral to gen­er­al health. You can­not be healthy with­out oral health. Oral health and gen­er­al health should not be inter­pret­ed as sep­a­rate enti­ties.”

Not sur­pris­ing­ly, then, neglect­ing den­tal health can impact more than just teeth and gums. While a com­mon per­cep­tion is that poor den­tal health affects only the mouth, it has also been asso­ci­at­ed with a vari­ety of gen­er­al health con­di­tions.

While there isn’t con­clu­sive evi­dence that poor den­tal health caus­es these con­di­tions, stud­ies have linked cer­tain den­tal con­di­tions, such as peri­odon­tal gum dis­ease, to stroke and bac­te­r­i­al pneu­mo­nia.

The link between poor den­tal health and heart dis­ease is par­tic­u­lar­ly strong. For instance, a study pub­lished in the Amer­i­can Heart Asso­ci­a­tion jour­nal Cir­cu­la­tion sug­gests that gum dis­ease may increase the risk of heart attack by almost 50%. And in the same issue of the jour­nal, it was report­ed that there’s increas­ing evi­dence for an asso­ci­a­tion between gum and heart dis­ease.

For women who are preg­nant, poor oral health may affect not only their health but the health of their babies as well. For instance, a 2016 study found a pos­si­ble link between gum dis­ease and adverse preg­nan­cy out­comes, includ­ing pre­ma­ture deliv­er­ies and babies with low weight at birth.

Oral health issues can also be symp­toms of seri­ous health con­di­tions. For exam­ple, dry mouth, bad breath, gum dis­ease and new or slow-to-heal den­tal infec­tions may indi­cate untreat­ed dia­betes. Patch­es or numb­ness in the mouth, jaw pain or dif­fi­cul­ty chew­ing may sig­nal oral can­cer.

Access to den­tal care, then, is impor­tant not only for main­tain­ing healthy teeth and gums but for main­tain­ing over­all well­ness and ensur­ing that no oth­er, more seri­ous health issues are present.

A key to this access is hav­ing den­tal ben­e­fits. Peo­ple who have den­tal ben­e­fits are not only more like­ly to vis­it the den­tist than peo­ple with­out them, but they’re also more like­ly take their chil­dren to the den­tist, accord­ing to a Nation­al Asso­ci­a­tion of Den­tal Plans (NADP) report. The report also notes that these peo­ple expe­ri­ence greater over­all health than peo­ple with­out den­tal insur­ance.

The cost of skip­ping this care is sig­nif­i­cant. Each dol­lar spent on pre­ven­tive den­tal care can save as much as $50 lat­er on cost­ly restora­tive treat­ments, such as fill­ings and crowns. And each year, $45 bil­lion is lost in pro­duc­tiv­i­ty due to den­tal dis­ease, accord­ing to an esti­mate from the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion.

So when dis­cussing den­tal health, remem­ber — it’s about much more than den­tal health.

Grin! offers clients and their employees a free and fun wellness resource

Encour­age your clients to bright­en their smiles — and their days — with Delta Dental’s fun, infor­ma­tive and free e‑magazine: Grin!

Avail­able in Eng­lish and Span­ish, this quar­ter­ly pub­li­ca­tion is full of use­ful and enter­tain­ing con­tent, such as:

  • The lat­est news on den­tal care — includ­ing what to do dur­ing the coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic
  • Advice from experts
  • First looks at inno­v­a­tive tech­nol­o­gy
  • Fun fea­tures
  • Healthy recipes, and more

And because den­tal health is strong­ly tied to over­all health, Grin! also explores how many chron­ic health con­di­tions, includ­ing heart dis­ease, dia­betes and depres­sion, are relat­ed to den­tal care. In fact, Grin! explains how aller­gies and oral health are relat­ed in the recent sum­mer issue.

See for your­self: Check out the lat­est edi­tion of Grin! here. And it’s easy to sub­scribe. With just one click, your clients and their employ­ees can receive all that Grin! has to offer, four times per year.

Healthy, hap­py employ­ees are the key to a pro­duc­tive work­place, and Grin! can help. Why not offer it your clients today?

And if they do choose to sub­scribe to Grin!, be sure to remind them to down­load this free poster that they can use to pro­mote this great resource to their employ­ees.

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