Planning your family? There’s so many things to think about! But it’s important to prioritize oral health before, during and after pregnancy, even if you have neglected it in the past because it can have an impact on both you and your baby.
Don’t let the out-of-pocket costs of dental care be a barrier – dental insurance can help with those, and so much more.
What can happen to your teeth when you are pregnant?
According to Canada’s Your Guide To A Healthy Pregnancy, during pregnancy you can be more susceptible to certain dental problems. Why? The reasons vary, but hormone changes, morning sickness and even food cravings can contribute to problems like these:
Morning sickness can expose your teeth to stomach acid, which harms the surface (enamel) of your teeth. This can lead to dental cavities, which are areas of decay on or into your teeth.
Gum disease (Gingivitis)
You may have swelling and inflammation of your gum tissue because of hormonal changes. In fact, as many as three-quarters of pregnant women suffer swelling, redness, tenderness, and bleeding in the gums when they brush their teeth.
Bone infection (Periodontitis)
Untreated gingivitis can lead to gum disease, and since both gums and bones support your teeth, infection leaves your teeth unsupported and loose and may they even fall out or need to be pulled. You may notice spaces between your teeth that weren’t there before. In the most serious cases, the infection can enter the bloodstream, causing a life-threatening infection that requires emergency treatment and hospitalization.
Periodontitis has also been associated with poor pregnancy outcomes, such as having a pre-term delivery or a baby with low birth weight.
How professional dental care helps you avoid dental health problems
Beyond brushing your teeth and flossing daily, you’re less likely to have dental problems during pregnancy if you look after your teeth and gums before you are pregnant. You can do this by:
- Visiting your dentist for regular check-ups to you know the difference between pregnancy-related oral health changes and dental problems.
- If you’re planning to get pregnant, see your dentist to discuss any treatments that can be done before your pregnancy.
Tell your dentist if you are pregnant, and they will take extra precautions to ensure your care is safe for you and your baby.
Be sure to seek out help and dental treatment if you have any signs or symptoms of a dental problem. If you do need dental treatment during pregnancy, non-urgent procedures can often be performed after the first trimester.
How dental insurance can help you
The cost of dental insurance may seem high when you add up the monthly premiums, deductible and co-payments/co-insurance you must pay. However, having adequate coverage can actually save you money – which is really important when you will have another person to support financially.
If you do not have dental insurance and your provincial plan does not cover the dental care you need, you won’t just have to pay a portion of the cost associated with your treatment—you will be responsible for paying the total cost. This can range from a couple of hundred to a couple of thousand dollars, depending on the treatment you need. That’s hard to budget for with a new addition to your family!
For example, the average cost of a routine cleaning is approximately $200, while the average cost of a root canal ranges from $800-$1200. Additional treatment can be even more expensive, and the government does not regulate dental care fees. Each dentist has the ability to set his or her own prices, and it varies greatly based on many factors, including the location of the dental office. It is important to shop around and compare prices before receiving dental treatment.
There are different types of dental insurance plans to choose from
Basic plans generally include coverage for preventive care. Comprehensive plans are more likely to cover restorative care and orthodontics.
You can choose the type of dental coverage you need which will cover a portion of dental costs covered per year for:
For routine oral health maintenance, this coverage includes dental check-ups, fillings, X-rays, and cleanings.
This coverage includes periodontal treatment of gums and mouth tissue including cleaning and scaling, endodontic root canal therapy, and denture cleaning and repairs.
Includes services to restore teeth including crowns, on lays, dentures, and bridgework.
Covers services to correct defects and straighten teeth including braces and retainers.
Some plans may pay for the entire cost. Some pay for part of the cost. And others don’t pay for certain services at all. Most plans won’t pay for unlimited amounts toward your treatment but have maximums. For example, a plan with a maximum of $1,000 for basic services such as exams, cleanings, fillings, and X-Rays will pay up to that amount for those services, in accordance with the Provincial Dental Fee Guide in your province, less any co-pay as outlined in your policy. After your dental expenses reach the plan maximum, you are responsible for all additional costs incurred. Be sure to find out if the services covered under the plan you’re considering meet you and your family’s needs.
And remember, some dental insurance plans have a waiting period before you are eligible to receive benefits. Coverage for your Basic Dental care may be available as soon as your insurance policy is in effect. Other dental coverage may have a waiting period – so be sure to put the dental insurance plan in place as soon as you begin planning your family and before you are pregnant for protection under the plan.
Once you qualify for benefits many dentists will submit claims directly to the insurer for reimbursement. This means you will only have to show your benefit card to confirm coverage for the services provided — and won’t have to pay out of pocket for the services that are covered..
Your dental insurance covers other health care expenses too
Your individual dental plan will provide a great range of other coverage for healthcare expenses such as
- medical equipment including coverage for diabetic medical supplies like, needles and syringes and blood glucose monitors
- vision care
- registered specialists and therapists including chiropractors, chiropodists, naturopaths, registered massage therapists, physiotherapists, acupuncturists, and dieticians
- registered psychologist or psychotherapists
- homecare and nursing or personal support workers
- prosthetic appliances
- accidental dental
- accidental death and dismemberment
- hearing aids
- travel medical insurance.
The comprehensive range of benefits that your choice of dental plan offers will provide a strong foundation to manage healthcare expenses you may have during your pregnancy.
Once your baby arrives, make sure they have coverage too
If this is your first baby, you will want to switch your health and dental insurance to a family plan so everyone is protected. As soon as you are able, after the birth of your child, contact your insurance carrier and inform them that you have a new family member. Be sure to call within 30 days of the birth, though. They will be able to upgrade your plan and add your child’s name under eligible dependents.
If you expect to need help choosing your plan, call SBIS
Dental insurance plans are reasonably priced, so for a small cost you go a long way in taking care of your health, and your family’s. Coverage is available with no medical questions asked.
If you would like some guidance on choosing your dental plan, we make that easy. You can get health insurance quotes, results, applications, and all things associated with your health and dental insurance questions served up quickly and online at SBIS. Give us a call Monday to Friday 8:45 a.m. – 4:45 p.m. Eastern Time at 1-800-667-0429 or 416-601-0429.