The high cost of dental care is preventing patients from receiving the dental care they need. As per the report released by the Centers for Disease Control, almost 13% of women didn’t receive dental care just because they couldn’t afford the treatment cost. Then again, 9% of men didn’t consult a dentist just because the treatment was too expensive for them.
People are avoiding dental care due to its high-cost
The Michigan University conducted a survey among 1066 middle-aged people about their oral health and how they take care of it and received a few startling responses.
Older adults (between 50 years and 64 years) are not sure if they can afford health insurance and dental care after crossing 65. Almost 41% of people said that they had good dental health. But more than one-third of patients said that they avoided or postponed the much required dental care in the past 2 years. The primary reason is the cost of dental care.
The mouth is the primary gateway into the internal parts of our body. Poor dental health can have a huge impact on your body. The fact that older people are not consulting a dentist just because of the high cost is not good. Older people are likely to suffer from serious dental issues if they don’t get basic preventive care.
Medicare doesn’t cover regular dental care cost. This has become a major problem for many people. Moreover, many people are afraid that they can’t afford a dentist after retirement. Adding salt to the injury, 70% of Americans don’t have any kind of dental insurance.
Senior people are more likely to suffer from teeth and gum diseases. These dental issues not only inflict physical pain but also take an emotional toll. Nowadays, people are conscious about their looks, and dental alignment can accentuate or ruin someone’s appearance badly.
The ultimate question is, if Medicare doesn’t cover the dental treatment cost, then how can you keep oral health in a good condition as you grow older? Let’s find out in the next section.
How to take care of your dental health at an affordable cost
Here’s how you can maintain good oral hygiene at an affordable cost across the world.
1. Brush and floss your teeth: Brush your teeth with a fluoridated toothpaste every day. Do it in the morning and after dinner regularly.
Flossing is as important as brushing your teeth. Flossing helps to eradicate the food particles from your mouth.
Brushing and flossing can help to prevent plaque buildup, which usually contains harmful bacteria. Dentists say that brushing and flossing help to fight off early-stage cavities and reverse tooth decay.
2. Find a good dentist: A good dentist can teach you good dental hygiene habits and tell you how to avoid chronic gum disease. Ask your friends to recommend a good dentist who provides treatment at an affordable cost. If you’re relocating, ask your current dentist to recommend another good dentist. For instance, if you’re moving to Kolkata, then ask where you can get the best dental treatment in Newtown clinic Kolkata. You can also request a local dental society to recommend a good dentist.
3. Avoid foods that are bad for teeth: Avoid foods that damage your teeth. For instance, candies, alcohol, potato chips, caffeinated beverages, white bread, dried fruits, ice, etc. Drink as much water as you can. That’s best for your teeth.
4. Look for affordable insurance: Several employers offer dental insurance policies to employees. Find out if your employer offers this insurance policy. If he does, then grab it with open arms. Some employers offer retirement health plans. If your employer offers a retirement health plan, then check the terms and conditions minutely. Find out if it includes dental care and take advantage of it.
A small tip for a better dental hygiene
Do you suffer from dry mouth? If so, then try to increase saliva production because the dry mouth can lead to tooth decay. Saliva helps your teeth to fight off bacteria and prevent tooth decay. It contains antimicrobial elements and essential minerals that help to develop tooth enamel.
Always read the side-effects of prescribed medicines online. This is very important. As you grow old, the list of prescribed medicines is likely to become longer with time. Google the side-effects of medicines and find out if they reduce saliva production, which can cause gum disease or early tooth decay.
Americans are spending billions on their looks. Cosmetic surgery has given them the scope to experiment with their looks, and Americans are taking full advantage of it. As per the reports of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, people are splurging $2.75 billion on cosmetic dentistry. Some people are even spending $1 billion for having sparkling white teeth. But the main problem is 40% of senior citizens can’t even afford a dentist.
A big percentage of American citizens are spending money to have a beautiful smile and teeth. But senior citizens can’t afford them. They struggle to avoid health issues that may arise due to poor dental health.
Not many people are aware of the fact that poor oral health can lead to cardiovascular disease, cancer, respiratory problems, kidney issues, dementia, etc. Poor oral health not only affects the teeth but the entire body. It increases the chances of diabetes and heart disease. So it’s time we give attention to dental hygiene and care.
Seniors shouldn’t neglect their oral health. They should consult a dentist periodically. Dentists need time to diagnose a problem and complete the treatment procedure. So seniors should visit dentists multiple times to treat their preexisting conditions. Follow-up care is extremely important.