*This article was last updated September 2020.
October is National Dental Hygiene Month External Site, and though dental health is important at any age, routine, quality care can make a big difference as an adult. A whopping 80 percent of Americans have at least one cavity by age 34, and more than $6 billion of productivity is lost annually External Site due to employees missing work for unplanned dental care.
On top of that, adults with a chronic disease (like arthritis, heart disease or diabetes) may be at even higher risk of dental problems. Encourage your workforce to make dental health a priority for a lifetime of smiles.
Did you know? Only 40 percent of Americans age 18– 64 receive regular oral care.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
The American Dental Hygienists Association External Site recommends the Daily 4 to keep teeth, gums and the mouth in tip-top shape:
- Brush twice per day. Use a soft-bristled brush, held at a 45-degree angle, for two minutes each day. And don’t forget the tongue! Brush it to remove bacteria, too.
- Floss regularly. The American Dental Association External Site recommends cleaning between your teeth once a day to remove plaque not reached by brushing.
- Rinse with mouthwash. Rinsing with alcohol-free mouthwash removes biofilm and bacteria left behind by brushing.
- Chew sugar-free gum after meals. Clinical studies have shown External Site that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes following meals can help prevent tooth decay External Site. This can help increase the flow of saliva, which washes away food and other debris and neutralizes acids produced by bacteria.
The benefits of offering dental coverage
Dental coverage is the most sought-after benefit (after medical insurance) when an employee is evaluating an overall benefits package. Dental coverage is essential — but it's more than your employees simply checking in on their teeth. When your employees take advantage of regularly scheduled (and covered) preventive dental services, their dentist can detect up to 110 health conditions.
Where should you start? Easy: Blue DentalSM
As a Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield member, you can integrate Blue Dental with your medical benefits and reap the rewards. The combination of Blue Dental and Wellmark medical coverage is clear: 9 out of 10 groups renew their coverage with us each year. Need a bit more convincing? Consider the benefits of choosing Blue Dental:
By combining your coverage, you can experience the power of one trusted carrier. Take care of administrative tasks throughout our convenient online tools and streamlined billing. Bonus: You don't lose time during the enrollment and renewal process by searching for or enrolling in a new plan.
Seamless experience for your employees.
Dental claims roll into myWellmark® Opens in a new window — our personalized, secure member portal — and can be viewed alongside an employee's medical claims, well-being initiative and more. And, with the dentist finder, your employees can locate an in-network provider.
Voluntary dental option.
With a voluntary dental plan, you have the ability to offer your employees an affordable dental plan at no cost to you.
Competitive network, rates and benefits.
When you choose Blue Dental, you have access to more than 1,600 providers in Iowa (that's 91 percent) and a broad national network that covers your employee's dental care for healthier teeth no matter their location.
Great dental coverage gives your employees what they want, while keeping your company's bottom line in check.
For even more advice to share with your employees, check out these oral health tips External Site from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Want to learn more about Blue DentalSM coverage available from Wellmark? Contact your Wellmark representative or or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org Send Email to learn more.