Let’s be honest: health care of any kind doesn’t come cheap. For some seniors, Medicare does not cover the cost of routine dental procedures. As a result, they end up paying more than they can afford to, or they choose to overlook their dental health to avoid the high costs.
It looks like an either/or scenario: break the bank for healthy teeth, or break the teeth for a healthy wallet. It doesn’t have to be this way! We have compiled a list of medical and dental coverage alternatives for seniors.
1. Alternatives for Covering the Costs of Dental Care
If you are a senior and you have trouble finding affordable dental care, look into the options below – you may find the perfect duo for a healthy budget and healthy teeth.
- Discount Dental Plans. Rather than dental insurance, a discount dental plan will give you access to discounts on most dental procedures at any participating dental offices.
- Medicaid. Medicaid is a program that provides free or low-cost health coverage for those with low income. Depending on the state that you live in, Medicaid may cover some dental services. To see if you are eligible for Medicaid, or about its dental coverage, call or go to your local Medicaid office.
- PACE (Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly) – This Medicare program allows seniors to get health care help in a community rather than a nursing home. The benefit of PACE is that they will cover any health needs even if your Medicare does not directly cover them.
- Non-Profit Organizations.
- Health Resource Searches. Where do you start looking for low-cost dental help? Take a look at the websites below to search and find help near you.
- In the Community.
- Local Hospital – Call your local hospital to find out if they offer dental services, the process for becoming a patient and their costs.
- Dental Schools – Some dental schools provide low-cost care in clinics where students can get the experience needed. Check here for a list of dental schools.
- Community Health Centers – Including dental care, these community centers provide a range of health services across the country.
2. Caring for Your Teeth at Home
As you age, so do your teeth. Naturally, the enamel protecting them will start to thin. It’s important to keep up healthy oral hygiene habits, such as:
- Brushing Your Teeth at Least Twice a Day. This will help keep your mouth safe from gum disease and cavities.
- If you have sensitive teeth, buy a toothbrush with soft bristles.
- Use an electric toothbrush for maximum efficiency.
- Use fluoride toothpaste to strengthen your teeth.
- Flossing. Flossing at least once a day will help keep your gums from getting inflamed and bleeding badly.
- If you have trouble holding floss, try investing in floss holders.
- Mouthwash. Not only will it leave your mouth feeling fresh, it will help clean and kill bacteria.
In order to get the most “bang for your buck,” check out one of our options above. Don’t ignore your dental health for the sake of saving money – it might lead to worse problems in the future; that if not dealt with could damage your teeth or wallet even more.
If you have questions about our discount dental plans, visit our website or give us a call.
Do you have any alternatives to taking care of your dental health at a low-cost? Let us know in the comments below!