It is a well-known fact that the mouth is a window into one’s overall health. Dental hygiene and health are directly linked to health in other areas of the body, so it’s important to visit the dentist regularly to ensure that you are at peak oral fitness. There are some costs to going to the dentist, however, which is why good dental health coverage is key. The Affordable Care Act made it so many adults are left fending for themselves for dental insurance and many opt out of getting it all together. Here are some reasons why it’s important that you purchase dental health insurance, regardless of your regular health insurance coverage.

Avoid Expensive Dental Care

Dental care could mean a twice-a-year visit for a teeth-cleaning, or it could mean thousands of dollars in oral surgery bills. Problems can arise at the drop of the hat– whether you take extra care to floss every day, or not–so the best way to prevent your wallet from suffering is to have preventative coverage for your dentist office visits. Most dental plans pay either all or a decent fraction of the cost for dental procedures.

Maintain Oral Health

The best way to prevent yourself from paying thousands of dollars in dental health bills (besides getting dental health coverage), is to stay up-to-date on your mouth’s overall health. Regular teeth cleanings and checkups will ensure that your health is being monitored by a professional. Most dental health insurance plans cover regular checkups, will pay off immensely for you in the long run.

Protect Your Smile with Dental Insurance

At the very least, dental health insurance is, well, insurance that your smile is protected. Should anything happen to your teeth at any given time, your insurance will have your back. The payoff of dental health insurance is huge and impossible to ignore.

Most people recognize the importance of maintaining good physical health, and having regular physical examinations, but we rarely extend the same consideration to our teeth. The truth is that good dental care is a crucial part of your overall physical health because other systems can be affected by your oral health. For example, taking proper care of your gums can help prevent heart disease.

Because dental health is so important, dental insurance is also important because it provides you a means to pay for both preventative and acute care.

According to a 2017 national survey, the average out-of-pocket dental cost per person was $873 per year. Additionally, when the survey factored in the cost of insurance premiums, those with insurance and those without spent approximately the same amount on basic dental care.

However, where dental insurance is crucial is in helping cover the cost of major dental care. Those without dental insurance usually experienced a greater variability in dental costs than those with insurance. That is, those with insurance tended to have more consistent pricing on dental care, while those without did not and were more likely to have higher costs.

Additionally, individuals with dental insurance have been found to be more likely to go to the dentist for preventative care and are more likely to seek medical attention for acute dental issues. Those without dental insurance tend to wait until the last minute, which can also result in more health issues and more expensive care.