The average age for retirement fluctuates over time, but generally remains between 63 and 66 years of age. Coincidentally, this is also the age when you start being considered a “senior.” Seniors today are more active and engaged than ever before. Seniors today represent about 16% of the nation’s population. In the next decade, that jumps to 20%. It’s no secret that our family, friends, and neighbors are living longer. This makes dental care for seniors that much more important! If we’re living longer, let’s also keep our teeth longer, too! To do that, you’ll need to get informed on dental benefits after retirement.
One key to a happy retirement is a healthy retirement! Who wants to take a permanent vacation only to visit the doctor every week? Since employer-sponsored dental benefits come to an end when you retire from your job, seniors have good reason to brush up on benefits after retirement.
Although some retirees may be tempted to “do without,” the toll that takes — both on your health and your finances — can be catastrophic. Seniors are at a higher risk of smile health complications. See why benefits after retirement are essential to more than your smile.
Why Have Benefits After Retirement
Seniors often take a variety of medications that can cause dry mouth. A dry mouth isn’t as harmless as you may think. It can lead to rapid tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss. Your gums, cheek lining, and tongue are impacted by a dry mouth, as well. If dry mouth is a concern for you, ask your dentist to recommend solutions like moisturizing mouth rinses. They can help improve the pH level for a more comfortable mouth. Be sure the pH of the dry mouth solution is a 6.7 or higher. Some solutions have been found to have a harmful, acidic nature.
If you use an inhaler, it’s important to rinse your mouth afterward. This will prevent fungal infections from occurring. Because of the impact medication can have on the mouth, signing up for individual dental benefits after retirement is a wise choice for your smile and your wallet.
Poor oral health can affect a person’s ability to chew, speak, smile, and maintain adequate nutrition. Maintaining good smile health practices by going to the dentist will, in the long run, reduce inflammation of the gums, reduce sensitivity, and increase your comfort level with your smile.
If proper dental health practices weren’t always part of your lifestyle, implants, partial dentures, or full dentures could be in your future. 16% of seniors don’t have any natural teeth. With an individual dental benefits package from Delta Dental, the cost of those procedures wouldn’t fall solely on you. You’d also have access to benefits like a pre-treatment estimate and a large network of approved dentists.
Without regular dental care, many adults seek care in costly emergency departments. The ER costs 3 times as much as a dentist visit. And the dentist gives you a toothbrush, too. Since “80% of dental-related ER visits are due to preventable conditions,” why not take care of them in a dental office, instead? One rule remains imperative: Seniors still need regular dental care to protect their oral and overall health.
To buy individual dental insurance that’s right for you, start off by evaluating your budget and your dental work needs. Educate yourself on the ever-changing dental benefits marketplace. Seek out innovative dental benefits and care from providers you trust. Check out our plan offerings to see if one works for you.
Editor’s Note: Content updated January 2019.