Dentist inspecting patients mouth using a dental explorer

Dental Discount Plans vs Dental Plans

Dental Insurance vs. Dental Discount Plans

Over the last 10 years, 1 in 4 Americans have put off a needed dental procedure due to the high cost of oral health care.  Not surprising when you realize that the cost of dental care has soared by 20% over that same time.  The pain in the wallet that comes with a pain in your mouth has led many people to try to find another option; but which is the better option? Dental insurance? Too much coverage for you? How about a dental discount plan?

Even for those that have dental coverage as a part of their employee compensation package, they cannot always make full use of the coverage they do have.  Many dental insurance plans have coverage limits of only $1000 to $1500 dollars, and that’s after you meet your plans deductible.  Then there are the issues figuring out if your favorite dentist is in network, preauthorization requirements for many needed procedures, which can take weeks or even months, and finding out that your insurance doesn’t cover all your needed procedures.   Most plans require you to be in the program for a period of time before you can be authorized for root canals or fillings, so even if you get insurance, you may have to wait up to three months to be able to use it.  Then there is the painful fact that many of these dental insurance plans require you to pay for the procedure up front and be reimbursed later on down the road.

This combination of limited coverage, waiting periods, and red tape has caused many people to begin looking at dental discount plans.  Dental discount plans work very much like buying a Sam’s Club card.  You pay an annual fee (usually between $150 and $300) and then you get a reduced fee on all work you have done from any participating dentists.  These plans go into effect immediately and provide either a discounted rate or a percentage off of the work you want done.  Either way, you pay the full discounted rate at the doctor’s office at the time of treatment.

Which path is best for you really differs from person-to-person and your annual dental needs.  Even the cost of an employer covered dental insurance as a part of your employee compensation package should be compared and reviewed to insure additional coverage is not needed.

Dental insurance plans usually come with a monthly fee and cover 100% of preventative procedures such as check-ups, x-rays and cleanings.  They then usually provide a tiered system of costs for more involved work you want done.  Often, your total benefit can be roughly equal to your annual costs, so take the time to compare plans.

Dental discount Plans do not have deductibles or annual spending caps.  They are normally paid as an annual fee with coverage lasting for 12 months starting right away.  Dental discount plans normal costs are about half of what comparable dental insurance plans annual costs would be, but they offer only a discount on services not any form of coverage for needed procedures.

Often, the choice comes down to a persons need and preference.  If your personal yearly dental plan only calls for a few visits consisting of a check-up and cleaning, dental insurance may be the best bet for you as the annual cost of a discount plan might be more than the total savings offered for the minor work being done.  Not every needed procedure is covered by dental insurance however, while dental discounts are usually available for all of your oral care needs.  If you know that you have more involved procedures coming up, or if you have a family with active children, a dental discount card may be the way to go.  Other concerns, such as employment based coverage, insuring you are purchasing through someone with great customer service, and your favorite dentist is included are important considerations. Dental plans and Dental Discount plans found at www.mygenerationbenefits.com cover over 260,000 providers in all 50 states. The odds are high your current dentist is already a provider in a dental discount or insurance plan found at www.mygenerationbenefits.com

Everyone loves a nice smile and taking care of your dental health is a critical part of your overall health.  Take the time to look into your options to find the plan that is best for you.  If you need help checking your options, give Capital Benefits a call at 888-327-8880 or got www.mygenerationbenefits.com to get started.

 

7 Tips to Get Kids to Brush Their Teeth

Try out a few of these tactics to help your child get on a daily routine and the right track for great oral health.

1.) Set a good example!
Lead by example. Show your kids your oral health routine. Let them watch, hand them a toothbrush or if age appropriate some dental floss. Make it a positive experience that is a part of your daily routine.

2) Practice! Practice! Practice!
What’s a little baby doll brushing or practicing on a quick brush on you going to hurt? Nothing! In fact the more familiar the activity becomes for the child the more comfortable and easier to keep up those good oral hygiene habits!

3) Rewards. They work. Use them.
There is something that will entice your little one to brush those chompers. Is it a sticker chart? Maybe it’s a new toothbrush or a special tooth paste? There are several brands of tooth brushes that look and feel like toys, perfect rewards for good brushing.

4) Add some Technology!
What brings kids to the sink? Tunes and apps. That’s right, go to your favorite app store and check out the various apps you can download to provide your oral diva some tunes to jam to. Perfectly timed so they know when it’s been long enough, and they can stop.

5) Let Them Do It!
You know the struggle. Let them take the cap of the tooth paste, pour the fluoride into a cup, floss the front teeth… Whatever the task, let them participate as soon as the interest and ability is there.

6) Cater to the Little Things
If you still feel the resistance maybe it’s the toothpaste? No really. Try a new flavor, try a no flavor. Remember the pallets of the young are sensitive and mint and heavy cinnamon can be over bearing for their taste buds. Start mild. Maybe it’s a new step stool to reach and see at a higher height. Try to see the experience from the smaller perspective.

7) Play Games
Try using your child’s imagination to your advantage. Tell them they are space heroes and their mouth has been invaded by a zillion sugar aliens they need to brush out- or maybe they are a Princess and they need to brush the glitter off their teeth. Whatever the game, try to remember what it was like to be a young child and how to enhance the experience for them. 

Don’t forget The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that a child go to the dentist by age 1 or within six months after the first tooth erupts. Primary teeth typically begin growing in around 6 months of age. Find great dental plans for any age here.

Improving Your Memory With This Superfood Spice

Years ago, health care giant Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) sold Band-Aid bandages containing the spice turmeric.Turmeric bandages might seem odd, but the spice has a long history of medicinal use in India. JNJ sold them to the Indian market, where many creams and salves included the spice. The company stopped selling these bandages about a decade ago.

But more and more research is pointing to the health benefits of turmeric.Turmeric is a spice derived from a root similar to ginger. It appears in food from many cultures, especially curry.

Turmeric gets its healing reputation from one chemical, curcumin. Curcumin has powerful anti-oxidant and anti-bacterial properties.

It turns out, a brand-new study linked turmeric with improved memory. That follows on other research into how it may fight cancer. So we wanted to take a closer look today…

Turmeric preserves memory. A new study published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry shows how turmeric – specifically the curcumin – improves memory.

Researchers split participants into two groups: One group received a pill with curcumin. The other group got a placebo. They continued taking their pills every day for 18 months. Researchers ran brain scans of the participants’ brains at the beginning and end. In addition, participants took memory tests every six months. Those who took the curcumin supplements had a 28% improvement on the memory tests than those on placebo. And their brain scans showed fewer markers of the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

Researchers believe this boost comes from the strong inflammation-fighting properties of curcumin. This follows other research looking at how curcumin interacts with the body. It appears to interfere with specific molecules that control the inflammation process.

Turmeric and cancer. Turmeric also contains powerful antioxidants. Several studies have shown that these antioxidants help detox our bodies. They also protect our DNA directly.And it can boost traditional chemotherapy treatments. One small study focused on folks with pancreatic cancer. The patients who took curcumin saw improvements with their regular medications. The chemotherapy worked better with the spice.

Pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest cancers, is especially resistant to chemotherapy. But researchers found a specific pathway in some pancreatic cancers that keeps the cells resistant to drugs. It turns out that curcumin directly interferes with that pathway. The spice effectively shuts off the cancer cells’ resistance.

How to Increase Your Turmeric Intake

Now that we know the benefits of curcumin in turmeric, what’s the best way to take it?

Many of these tests use concentrated amounts of curcumin in their studies. However, one of the problems with supplements is bioavailability.

Bioavailability refers to how much of a chemical your body absorbs. For every pill you take, you only get a percentage of the main ingredient that’s “available” for use in your body.

Research has found two natural ways to increase the amount of curcumin we can absorb. The first is to combine it with piperine. If this sounds familiar, it’s because it’s the chemical that gives black pepper its kick. Piperine prevents your body from breaking down curcumin as waste. In fact, one study from India showed that taking curcumin with a quarter teaspoon of black pepper increased levels of curcumin in the blood by 2,000%.

The second is to combine it with oils. The structure of curcumin makes it attracted to lipids, meaning fats like oils.

Another point to remember – curcumin isn’t the only active ingredient. A group from the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas found this out in its study. They looked at curcumin alone and turmeric with different types of cancer cells. Turmeric killed far more cancer cells in each of the seven types tested. That included cells of breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and multiple myeloma.

It turns out, studies done on turmeric with the curcumin removed still had positive results. The spice still packed plenty of antioxidants. So if you want to benefit from all of turmeric’s power, we suggest adding it to your diet as a whole food.

You don’t just have to stick to curry, though. You can use it as a spice on salads, in soups, and on rice.

 

 

 

What We’re Reading…

Dr. David Eifrig and the Health & Wealth BulletinResearch Team February 1, 2018

Trump administration just carved another chunk out of Obamacare

by Sally Pipes | Jan 18, 2018, 10:47 AM

Earlier this month, the Department of Labor released a proposed rule that would enable as many as 11 million Americans to sidestep some of Obamacare’s premium-inflating coverage regulations. Specifically, the new rule allows small businesses and self-employed Americans within the same state or metropolitan area, including areas that extend across state lines, to band together to purchase large-group insurance policies through so-called association health plans, or AHPs.

The rule basically legalizes affordable health coverage for small businesses.

At present, businesses and individuals have little choice but to buy coverage in the individual or small-group markets. These plans are subject to Obamacare rules that have sent premiums soaring. Obamacare’s essential health benefits mandates, for instance, require all plans sold on the individual and small group market to cover a long list of potentially costly services and procedures, from pediatric dental care to speech therapy.

By effectively banning simple, low-cost coverage, such rules have made insurance more expensive for individuals and small businesses. On Healthcare.gov, the federal exchange that covers 39 states, the average premium for the second-lowest benchmark silver plan rose by 38 percent this year. By contrast, the average premium in the large-group market, where Obamacare’s mandates don’t apply, rose by only 5 percent.

AHPs also give small firms and self-employed individuals more bargaining power to obtain favorable rates from insurers. For instance, dozens of small landscaping companies could form an AHP. That economy of scale enables them to save big bucks and tailor coverage to members’ needs.

For years, Obamacare has forced many small businesses and sole proprietors to purchase prohibitively expensive, excessively comprehensive health insurance. The AHP rule would give these folks a more affordable option.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/the-trump-administration-just-carved-another-chunk-out-of-obamacare/article/2646301

Snack habits for kids is risky business for dental health

Tooth brushing only partly protects against the effects of sugary snacks on children’s teeth, research suggests.

A study of almost 4,000 pre-school children showed snacking habits were most strongly associated with decay.

Researchers found children who snacked all day – compared with just eating meals – were far more likely to have dental decay.

The study shows that relying on tooth brushing alone to ward off dental decay in children under five is not enough.

The study also said parental socioeconomic factors, such as the mother’s education level, explained more of the difference in children’s dental decay than diet or oral hygiene.

The researchers said that even though primary teeth were temporary, “good oral hygiene habits are set in childhood, and this relates both to diet and tooth brushing”.

Dental decay

Social scientists from the University’s of Edinburgh and Glasgow used statistical models and survey data to predict dental decay by the age of five.

They used data collected on diet and oral hygiene from repeated observation of children from ages two to five.

Snacking was the factor most strongly associated with decay, with children who snacked all day without eating meals having twice the chance of decay compared with those who did not snack at all.

There was an incremental association between lower frequencies of tooth brushing at the age of two and higher chances of dental decay at five.

Children who brushed less than once per day or not at all at the age of two had twice the chance of having dental decay at five compared with children who brushed their teeth twice per day or more often.

The study is published in the Journal of Public Health.

‘Ongoing challenge’

Lead researcher Dr Valeria Skafida, of the University of Edinburgh’s School of social and political science, said restricting sugar intake was desirable both for broader nutritional reasons and for children’s dental health.

Dr Skafida said: “Even with targeted policies that specifically aim to reduce inequalities in children’s dental decay it remains an ongoing challenge to reduce social patterning in dental health outcomes.”

Study co-author, Dr Stephanie Chambers, of the social and public health sciences unit at University of Glasgow, said: “Among children eating sweets or chocolate once a day or more, tooth brushing more often – once or twice a day or more – reduced the likelihood of decay compared with less frequent brushing.”

The researchers used data from the Growing Up in Scotland study – a social survey which follows the lives of children from infancy through to their teens.

The research was supported by The British Academy, the Medical Research Council and the chief scientist office of the Scottish government Health Directorates.

36 HEALTHY RECIPES FOR STRONG, CAVITY-FREE TEETH

Posted by  | May 27, 2015 | 

 

From the amount of research that’s been done, it’s become increasingly apparent that fluoride is a toxin and harmful for our teeth and bodies. As mama’s who care for our children, we can speak up and tell our dentist no to fluoride for our kids. There are healthier alternatives to your children having strong, cavity-free teeth without using neurotoxins. There are even natural solutions to turn to when little ones do develop a childhood cavity.

But what about the everyday stuff? How do we nourish our children’s bodies and keep their enamel healthy and decay free through our everyday choices? It all starts with the food we eat.

How Cavities Start

We’ve been taught that certain foods, like sugar and other acids erode enamel, creating a haven for bacteria to invade and causing cavities. But the issue is actually much deeper than that.

“Daily the calcium and phosphate of the enamel migrates out of the teeth to the bones, heart, brain and other places where it is needed. This is called by dentists demineralization.” (source)

Unless we are providing the body with the minerals it needs to function properly, the minerals in our teeth will continue to leech out. Our bodies don’t just need calcium though, they require water soluble and fat soluble vitamins and minerals.

Primitive people’s diets contained ten times more fat soluble vitamins than our average diet today. There was also little to no tooth decay. If you look at pictures of indigenous tribes in Africa today, their smiles are straight and very white, without modern dentistry.

So what should we be feeding our children to promote strong, cavity-free teeth?

Foods To Eat

These foods and nutrients should be incorporated into children’s every day meals. It’s also really important for pregnant and nursing mothers for the proper development of the baby they’re nurturing.

  • Fat soluble vitamins A, D, K and K2. These are found in grassfed dairy, aged cheeses, pastured butter, high vitamin butter oil and pastured meats. And yes, vitamin K and vitamin K2 really are two different nutrients.
  • Include regular protein throughout the day to help balance blood sugar. Dentist Dr. Melvin Page found that the incidence of tooth decay would increase when blood sugar levels raised above the 80-90 range. (source)
  • Increase mineral intake from bone broth high in gelatin, raw and cultured dairy products, and seafood products.
  • Fermented foods and probiotics are also a must have.
  • Fermented cod liver oilhigh vitamin butter and coconut oil provide necessary fat soluble nutrients.
  • Vegetables contain vitamins necessary for strong enamel, so a wide variety should be included.

Foods To Stay Away From

There’s a huge list of unacceptable foods listed in the Cure Tooth Decay book. Unless your child already has decay though, you can most likely get by on a real food diet. The Weston A. Price Foundation’s guidelines are a good place to start. Diets low in sugar, especially processed sugar, and high in fat soluble and water soluble minerals will prevent tooth decay in most cases. Some of the foods that can cause cavities include:

  • Refined flour and other grains, unless properly prepared
  • Refined and processed sugar
  • Prepackaged and fast food
  • Coffee, soda and sweeteners
  • Soymilk and tofu
  • Pasteurized milk products, even organic
  • Hydrogenated Oils – like margarine and low quality vegetable oils
  • Non-grass-fed meat and eggs, and farm raised fish

What About Cavities?

If your child already has weakened enamel, decay and cavities, then additional measures should be taken. The Cure Tooth Decay book is such a wealth of information on the subject, so at that point it would be best to get the book and follow its protocol.

36 Healthy Recipes For Strong, Cavity-Free Teeth

Main Dishes

Side dishes

Broth and Soup

Sweet Treats

Beverages

My son doesn’t have a perfect diet, but we do try to include strengthening and nourishing foods as often as possible. So far he hasn’t had any cavities, and I’m hoping that with diligence, it will stay that way.

 

REFERENCES:

Water fluoridation is affecting my family how?

ANOTHER study confirms the detrimental effects of water fluoridation on the IQs of children Tuesday, January 09, 2018 by: Zoey Sky (Natural News) Another study has added to the growing body of evidence that links the fluoride found in water with lowered intelligence quotients (IQ) in children. A study, which was published last year, confirmed […]

3 gross reasons why you should finally stop biting your nails

Gianluca RussoINSIDER Jan. 4, 2018, 2:26 PM

Bad habits are incredibly hard to break, and some are more difficult than others. Although difficult, whether you can’t stop overspending or picking your nose, these habits must be broken. One of the most common issues is biting your nails. In fact, it’s estimated that 20-30% of people have this bad habit.

But just because it’s common doesn’t mean it’s harmless.

For starters, nail-biting can cause serious damage to the nails.

Chewing away at the white part of the nail can cause inflammation or infection of the skin. This may, in turn, affect the way the nail looks as it grows from this white section of the nail. Although this may not be permanent, increased and consistent nail-biting will result in more regular bumpy or rigidity nails.

Biting off pieces of the nail may leave the skin underneath exposed, according to Prevention, and prone to getting infected by bacteria found in the mouth or anything that comes in contact with that specific spot. These infections may be seen in forms of redness, swelling, or pus-filled sores on the nails.

Dental health may also be affected by nail-biting.

According to the Academy of General Dentistry, nail-biting increases the chances of teeth cracking, chipping, or wearing down. This is even more prevalent for those who also have braces, as braces increase pressure on the teeth.

When enamel is worn down, teeth may have increased sensitivity which can cause tooth and mouth pain and discomfort. Nail-biting may also cause dental health problems such as unintentional grinding or clenching, sores, and damaged gum tissue.

Shutterstock

Another major concern when it comes to nail-biting is the possibility of infection and illness.

Germs on the hands and fingers are transported into the mouth when nail-biting occurs. Although some of the microorganisms found on hands do not cause serious illness, others can. Under the nail, especially, are thousands of forms of bacteria that, when making their way to the mouth can cause an illness or infection.

If you’re fighting a nasty nail-biting habit, don’t fret. There are many steps you can take to worktowards fighting this. To start, keep your nails trimmed. Doing so will help prevent a desire to bite your nails as they have already been cut short. Whether through getting regular manicures or simply cutting them at home, keeping your nails trimmed and short is the first step towards fighting this habit.

Also, identify your triggers. It’s important to determine why exactly you are biting your nails. If it’s stress, identify stressful situations and find coping mechanisms to deal with the urge to bite your nails. If it’s boredom, find small activities to fill the time.

You may even want to consider applying bitter-tasting nail polish to your nails. Sold at almost any convenience store, this polish goes on clear and will taste bitter if you try to bite your nails.

Is dental insurance tax deductible?

Read more: Is dental insurance tax deductible? | Investopedia https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/112415/dental-insurance-tax-deductible.asp#ixzz52UfkKq00

A: Dental insurance premiums may be tax deductible. To be deductible as a qualifying medical expense, the dental insurance must be for procedures to prevent or alleviate dental disease, including dental hygiene and preventive exams and treatments. Dental insurance that is for purely cosmetic purposes, such as teeth whitening or cosmetic implants, would not be deductible.

Where Are Dental Insurance Premiums Deductible?

For most taxpayers, the cost of medical and dental insurance premiums paid during the tax year are deductible on form 1040 Schedule A as a medical and dental expense. Only the total of all qualifying medical and dental expenses, including insurance premiums, that when combined exceed 10% of the taxpayer’s adjusted gross income (AGI), will actually be included in the total of all itemized deductions.

For example, if a couple has an AGI of $100,000 and a total of $8,000 of qualifying medical and dental expenses, including dental insurance premiums paid, then none of these expenses would be included as an itemized deduction. Ten percent of the AGI would be $10,000, which is greater than the couple’s total medical and dental expenses.

For a self-employed individual, the cost of dental insurance may be deducted on Form 1040, line 29, without having to itemize deductions on Form 1040 Schedule A with the 10% of AGI limitation described above.

Other Limitations

Dental insurance premiums paid with funds from a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA) are not deductible, as these funds are pretax and the IRS does not allow a double tax benefit.