Tag Archives: dental health

12 Awesome Oral Health Resources You Should Bookmark

Maintaining good oral health is important at any age, but is especially important for young adults and college students who may just be entering the world on their own and have changing lifestyles. Good oral health has been linked to overall body health. Gum disease has been linked to heart disease and a variety of other maladies. The following are 12 quality oral health resources you should bookmark. They are geared toward young adults and college students, but can be used by individuals of any age.

  1. CDC Oral Health

    This government run resource on oral health has a topic list from A-Z, a list of guidelines and recommendations, and a variety of fact sheets to choose from. It’s a great oral health resource for individuals of any age.

  2. American Dental Hygenists’ Association

    The American Dental Hygenists’ Association website is another resource with a variety of information from proper brushing and flossing techniques, to oral health tips for adolescents and young adults.

  3. MouthHealthy

    This resource, funded by the American Dental Association, is geared toward all adults over the age of 18. It addresses healthy oral health habits, and has a section on nutrition, as well as a section on “Fact or Fiction” oral health habits.

  4. WebMD Oral Health

    This credible resource covers everything from tips to help prevent bad breath, to how stress affects the health of your mouth. It also includes a section on signs of gum disease, and an oral health community.

  5. National Institute of Health

    This MedlinePlus website begins with a general section on how to keep your mouth healthy. It also offers resources geared toward younger visitors, such as videos and games.

  6. Proper Flossing

    This infographic displays the proper flossing technique to be used by all ages.

  7. Proper Brushing

    Another infographic displaying the proper technique for brushing teeth.

  8. Victoria Dental Health Resources

    This Australian resource has tips for teens and young adults on how to protect their mouths by maintaining good oral health. It has information on how to prevent tooth decay with healthful eating, and proper tooth cleaning.

  9. The University of Adelaide Oral Health Promotion

    Another Australian resources with pamphlets and information sheets relevant to both young adults and adults.

  10. Colgate Oral Health

    This resource offers a downloadable .pdf file with oral health information specialized for oral health needs of young adults.

  11. Ultimate List of Oral Hygiene Tips

    As the name indicates, this resource is a list of oral health tips. It has sub-sections on brushing and flossing, healthy diet, and long-term dental care. It also has resources to help find a quality dentist.

  12. Mouth and Teeth Facts

    This resource includes a list of tips and facts for a healthy mouth, a symptom checker, as well as a list of 16 foods that increase good oral health.

How Low Income Affects Dental Health

With the economic crisis, job loss, and resulting financial burdens Americans face today, dental care and insurance is being impacted in dramatic ways for all age groups. Furthermore, the government budget changes may severely reduce dental care to children. Even with the dental insurance available now, children are not receiving adequate care. Unfortunately, low income families are worse off than anyone involved.

Low Income Insurance

Currently, there are two primary health care plans that include dental coverage. Below is a comparison of the difference between Medicare and Medicaid.

Medicare:

Although not based on income, which is a huge benefit for those with low income levels, this program only covers those aged 65 or older and younger persons with disabilities or specific conditions. Premiums are required for Medicare Part B services, which include durable medical equipment. The Federal Government works in conjunction with subcontractors who act as fiscal intermediaries and make decisions for DME and prosthetic devices.

There is a higher requirement for documentation during the application and service process but claims are filed post-delivery or charge. Payments are made to the beneficiary or manufacturer/supplier with a requirement for co-payments by the beneficiaries in most cases. The administrative procedure takes five steps and judicial reviews are available in federal court.

Medicaid:

Unlike Medicare, this program is income based. However, all ages are eligible and most individuals will not be required to pay a monthly premium (although in certain cases, participants have a “spend down” requirement on a monthly basis for eligibility). Medicaid is often used by low income families because it covers all members of the family, regardless of age. Administration is done by State Governments who are subject to federal regulations and guidelines.

Because Medicaid functions with state-level oversight, less documentation is required to process services. Claims are also filed prior to delivery or charge and payments are only made to the manufacturer or supplier. In most states co-payments are not required, but in the instance that they are required, co-payments must be minimal. The administrative process is vastly simpler than that of Medicare — only one or two steps are required for the process. Judicial review is available in state or federal court.

In addition to the coverage offered by Medicaid and Medicare, some states and other local organizations have begun to offer limited free dental.

Free Dental

The Gazette reports that His Hands Free Medical Clinic in Iowa, which is offering free services to the uninsured and underinsured, has a waiting list already, though the grand opening isn’t until Thursday. The office is staffed by eight volunteer dentists but regular hours have yet to be established. His Hands Free Medical Clinic attends to both adults and children who may not qualify for other services. The clinic recently received a $100,000 donation from Physicians’ Clinic of Iowa that helped it open earlier than anticipated. Tax incentives also helped finance the medical pavilion.

Certain clinics have designated Free Dentistry Days where they perform fillings or extractions at no cost, like the Willow Knolls Family Dental in Peoria, Illinois. According to pjstar.com, it has scheduled its free service day for May 18th but appointments can’t be made in advance — patients will be accepted on a first come, first serve basis.

HealthNet of Rock County Inc. started in 1994 as a completely free clinic serving all those without health insurance. It provides aid for all medical needs, not just dental. In 2010, HealthNet reached full capacity and had to reduce the number of new enrollments to five patients a week, down from 30 to 40 weekly. The majority of their funding comes from donated services and materials, followed by grants, contributions, and fundraising.

Children

Despite the government increasing availability of health care, the quality of the care is decreasing. Many children — especially those in low income families — are receiving inadequate care or none at all. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality conducted a study of the effectiveness of care relative to the availability and found that poor and near-poor children were 50% less likely to have received preventative care than those in higher income families. In several states, their studies revealed that a mere 31% of children insured by Medicaid actually received preventive care.

Part of the problem with Medicaid-insured children is that many dentists and doctors don’t accept Medicaid. In response to this issue, President Barack Obama recently announced a pay raise for primary doctors tending to children insured by government programs. So far, there has been no confirmed indication that dentists will be included in this incentive drive.

Regardless of what the government intends to do about the problem of children not being given adequate dental care, private organizations are increasing efforts to provide additional care to uninsured children and adults. Even if cuts were made to both Medicare and Medicaid, or if the programs were completely abolished, Good Samaritan clinics would still rise to the occasion and provide free or affordable solutions for dental care to all ages.