Dental health care is critical, and there are many ways to ensure you do all you can for your oral health care. There are many ways to ensure you are doing all you can for oral health care: simple things like brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing daily, using tarter control, and gum care mouthwash. The primary dental care you do for yourself is low-cost and takes very little time each day. The next step is to see a dentist at least twice a year for check-ups and cleanings. Cost can be a factor, but it does not have to be.

One way to control dental costs is through a low-cost dental insurance plan. Many dental insurance plans offer free to low-cost preventive dental care. The money you spend on dental insurance is well worth it. And by seeing your dentist regularly, you will avoid any major dental issues. However, dental insurance will also help control your dental costs if you need more extensive dental services. Be thoughtful about your oral health and think ahead. Good dental care now makes for good dental care in the future.

I have no tooth pain but have not been to the dentist in over two years since I got removed from my parent’s dental insurance policy. My teeth are fine, but my mom told me to see the dentist, saying I could have cavities. Should I go?

Reply: Short answer: yes, you should see a dentist regularly to maintain good oral health. Even though you have not been to the dentist in two years, you still have cavities. However, only a dentist can confirm if you do or not. Think about getting a low-cost HMO dental insurance plan. Having dental insurance will help make your dental care more affordable.

Parents are frequently concerned about the noise they hear their kids’ teeth making at night. There are several theories surrounding why kids often grind their teeth at night. The two most common are; stress due to changes in the environment (home, school, etc.) and pressure in the inner ears at night. Either way, most kids with teeth-grinding issues do not need dental treatment. If there is evidence of excessive wear on your child’s teeth, your dentist may recommend a night guard. Most children will outgrow this condition between the ages of 9-12, and it will decrease over time as they reach the 6-9 age range.

What are the benefits of dental X-rays?

In a prior post, we discussed dental X-rays and their low radiation levels. Knowing the low dose may help put into perspective the importance of dental X-rays and how they help the dentist provide you with the best dental health care. With X-rays, the dentist is about to detect hidden tooth decay, the presence of a cyst or tumor, determine the presence of permanent teeth, see oral cancer problems and root involvement with the sinuses, and help determine whether or not to remove primary teeth

The annual maximum occupational exposure for radiation workers in the United States is 5,000 millirems (measure for radiation). When you spread low doses out over a period of time, it is not as destructive to the body because it has time to recover. To help put this in perspective to dental X-rays, you would need 2,000 dental X-rays to equal the radiation in 1 mammogram. To reach that maximum safety dose, you would need to have to take approximately 10,000 dental X-rays. On average, people receive three dental bite-wings worth of radiation daily from being outside in the sun or around concrete buildings and roads.

How to apply for Medicaid in California: Contact your State Medical Assistance (Medicaid) office: You can Call the Medi-Cal Helpline: at 800-541-5555 or 916-636-1980 or visit these websites for information:

  • https://www.dhcs.ca.gov/Pages/dhcs_contact.aspx
  • https://www.dhcs.ca.gov/services/medi-cal/eligibility/Pages/Beneficiaries.aspx
  • https://www.dhcs.ca.gov/Pages/Keep-Your-Medi-Cal.aspx

For states other than California, you may want to visit: https://www.medicaid.gov/about-us/beneficiary-resources/index.html#statemenu for helpful information

Pediatric dentists specialize in taking care of babies and young kids. After dental school, they do extra years of training to dedicate themselves to working with children. Babies, toddlers, and adolescents all need unique approaches to dental care, and seeing a Pediatric dentist provides them with the added dental care services they may need.

Sippy cups are good training tools to help your child transition from a baby bottle to a cup. However, like with a baby bottle, if your child continues to use a sippy cup throughout the day, fill it with water only (unless at mealtime). Prolonged exposure to liquids containing sugars will promote the cavity-causing bacteria in your child’s mouth.

Baby bottle tooth decay, or BBTD, is a severe condition resulting from prolonged exposure of your infant’s teeth to liquid containing sugar. These liquids include milk, breast milk, formula, juice, and other sweetened drinks. Putting your infant to sleep, whether for a nap or bedtime, with a baby bottle containing anything other than water can result in severe and rapid tooth decay. The sugar pools around the teeth, allowing the plaque to produce acid that attacks their tooth enamel.

Question: What does Medicaid helps pay for?

Reply: If you have Medicare and qualify for full Medicaid coverage:

  • Your state will pay monthly premiums for your Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance).
  • Depending on the level of Medicaid you are eligible for, your state might pay for your share of Medicare costs, like deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments. Part A (Hospital Insurance) premiums, if you have to pay a premium for that coverage.
  • You’ll automatically get Extra Help with your drug costs. Learn more about Extra Help.
  • Medicaid may pay for other drugs and services that Medicare doesn’t cover. 

When babies are born, they typically have around 20 teeth partly formed inside the gums. The front two, lower first and then upper, are the first to erupt between 6-12 months of age. By age 3, most kids have a set of 20 primary teeth in their mouths. The American Dental Association recommends scheduling your child’s first appointment between the arrival of their first tooth and their first birthday.

Did you know that mothers with poor dental health could be at a higher risk of passing bacteria that causes cavities to their children? However, many things can be done to help decrease this risk, such as:  

  •  Having regular dental visits 
  •  Daily brushing and flossing 
  •  Having a healthy diet that is low in sugars and starches  
  •  Choosing a toothpaste with fluoride  
  •  Rinsing daily with an alcohol-free rinse. 
  •  Do not share eating utensils or things that can transmit bacteria with your children. 
  •  If you chew gum, choose something with xylitol, which can decrease your and your children’s caries rate.

Question: How do you qualify for Medicaid 

Reply: Generally, you must meet your state’s rules for your income and resources and other rules (like being a state resident).

You might be able to get Medicaid if you meet your state’s resource limit, but your income is too high to qualify. Some states let you “spend down” the amount of your income above the state’s Medicaid limit. You do this by paying non-covered medical expenses and cost-sharing (like premiums and deductibles) until your income is lowered to a level that qualifies you for Medicaid. For more details, call your State Medical Assistance (Medicaid) office and ask about medical help for people with limited resources.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that all pregnant women obtain dental health care during pregnancy. According to research, it has linked periodontal disease with preterm birth and low birth weight. Speak with your dentist about ways you can prevent or treat periodontal disease during pregnancy.

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, at 12 months, your baby is old enough to visit the dentist. Cavities are a common concern with children, so it is essential to take your child to the dentist regularly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one in four children have tooth decay by the time they enter kindergarten. Yet cavities are preventable with proper infant oral care that continues throughout childhood and the teen years.

Question: What’s the difference between Medicare & Medicaid?

Reply: Medicare is federal health insurance for anyone 65 and older, and some people under 65 have specific disabilities or conditions. 

Medicaid is a joint federal and state program that provides health coverage for some people with limited income and resources. Medicaid offers benefits like nursing home care, personal care services, and assistance paying for Medicare premiums and other costs.

You will want to put your baby on your lap, facing away from you. Brush the teeth from behind, supporting your baby’s head. When you brush, focus your efforts between the gums and teeth—the most critical area. Consult with your dentist about frequency and if you should add flossing to your child’s routine.

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