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6 reasons you need regular dental checkups to help maintain your overall health

Although you may not associate dental care with medical care, the health of your mouth, teeth and gums is closely related to your overall health. A healthy mouth and body go hand in hand. Here are six ways regular dental checkups will benefit you!

1. Cut the risk of gum disease

Gum disease is a serious gum infection that damages the soft tissue. Gum disease opens up the body to a host of infections, with known links to illnesses including heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, osteoporosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Making a habit of seeing your dentist regularly can cut the risk of gum disease.

2. Detect oral cancer

Oral cancer is an extremely serious disease that starts in various ways. Without knowing the signs, oral cancer is often not diagnosed and can quickly become life threatening. Good oral hygiene habits and regular dental check-ups help reduce the chance of oral cancer developing and going undetected.

3. Remove plaque and tartar

Even if you take great care of your teeth, you still have bacteria in your mouth. Dental plaque is a sticky substance that builds up on your teeth from leftover food and saliva that mix in your mouth. When plaque stays on your teeth, it hardens into tartar which can form below and above the gum line. A regular dental cleaning removes the tartar and prevents it from eroding teeth or creating holes, which is how cavities are created.

4. Change damaging habits

Many habits we have can cause damage to our teeth. Biting your nails, chewing ice cubes, frequent snacking and using your teeth to tear open packages can harm your teeth. Even habits we may not know we have, such as grinding our teeth at night or brushing too hard, can affect the health of your mouth. A dental visit can ensure these damaging habits are caught early and solutions identified.

5. Find the issue with X-rays

X-ray images allow dental professionals to see what is happening beneath the surface of your mouth, so they can diagnose issues that may not be caught by a visual check.

6. Enjoy a brighter smile

You’ll feel more confident when you have a whiter, brighter smile. Drinking soda, coffee and tea can stain your teeth as well as using tobacco products. A professional dental cleaning can help remove built up stains. A dentist can also suggest whitening procedures which may be covered by your dental insurance plan.

How a dental insurance plan from Blue Cross will benefit you

With a dental insurance plan from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas, you get the benefit of dental cleanings and oral exams with $0 deductible and no copayment or coinsurance with our network of dentists. Our plans have an annual allowance for teeth whitening as well. You may also be eligible to waive the waiting period for services like crowns and dental implants. See the plans.