Your teeth are a very important part of your body. Teeth help you to chew your food, speak clearly and help you feel good about your overall appearance. Therefore, it is very important for you to take care of them so that they will last you a lifetime. Visiting your dentist regularly can ensure that any existing problems are addressed before they become serious and will help to prevent problems with your teeth in the future.
Did You Know…
- Not all cavities are visible.
- Children with cavities and dental pain miss more than 51 million hours from school each year.
- Studies link gum disease with other health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, pregnancy problems, diabetes, and respiratory diseases.
- Tooth decay is the most common childhood disease.
- Most dental problems do not result in pain until they reach a very advanced stage.
Be Your Best
Visit your dental provider on a regular basis. During these regular checkups, your dentist will perform an oral cleaning, X-rays, and a physical examination of your teeth. Your dentist will treat you for any problems and will help to avoid new problems from occurring or getting worse.
Make sure to brush at least twice a day. Brushing your teeth is one of the most effective ways to remove plaque from the exposed surfaces of your teeth. Brush your teeth carefully at least twice a day for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes each time.
Floss daily. Brushing alone isn’t enough to clean all of the plaque from the surface of your teeth. Places in between your teeth and below the gum line are two spots where your toothbrush cannot reach and plaque can build up. Regular flossing keeps your gums healthy and can help to prevent cavities from forming.
Eat a healthy and well-balanced diet. It’s important to eat a well-balanced diet and avoid excessive snacking between meals. Crunchy vegetables and fruits, popcorn and yogurt are all good choices for a healthy snack. Make sure to drink plenty of water too.
Avoid all tobacco products. The risks of oral cancer and gum disease are much higher if you smoke or use smokeless tobacco. Ask your PCP and/or dental provider for tips to help you quit.
Dental Hygiene for All Ages
Healthy teeth are important for children and adults of all ages. Did you know an adult has an average of 32 teeth? However, 40% percent of adults over the age of 65 do not have a complete set of teeth. Your teeth should last a lifetime, so take good care of them!
- Brush your teeth before bedtime.
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day.
- Replace your toothbrush every three to four months or after illness.
- Floss once a day.
- Visit your dentist every six months for a checkup and cleaning.
- Brush your tongue to keep it clean and have fresh breath.
- Brush your gums gently.
- Avoid using tobacco products.
- Keep your toothbrush for yourself. Sharing a toothbrush can spread germs.
- Avoid drinking too much sugary beverages such as soda, coffee, sweetened teas and caffeine energy drinks.
- Eat a well-balanced diet.
TODDLER 1 TO 3 YEARS
- Use sippy cups and glasses after 14 months of age.
- Take your child to the dentist twice a year.
CHILD 3 TO 12 YEARS
- Help your child to brush at least two times each day.
- Avoid foods and drinks high in sugar, like candy and soda.
- Take your child to the dentist twice a year.
TEENAGERS AND ADULTS
- Place your toothbrush where the gum meets the tooth, at a 45-degree angle, to clean under the gum line.
- Look at your gums to see if wisdom teeth are growing in. Talk to your dentist about removing them.
Do your dentures fit correctly? Your dentures should fit well when you chew and talk. Dentures that don’t fit well can irritate your gums and cause sores. If your dentures don’t fit well, call your dentist and make an appointment.
How should you care for your dentures?
Remove your dentures to clean them. After you eat, rinse your dentures with water and brush them with a soft toothbrush. Use a separate toothbrush for your dentures and real teeth. Brush your dentures with dentures paste to prevent plaque and stains. Soak your dentures in a mixture of 1 part white vinegar and 2 parts cold water overnight.
Dental Coverage for Pregnant Medicaid members
Effective July 1, 2018, Molina Healthcare provides dental services to pregnant women. Pregnant Medicaid members are able to use their Molina Healthcare Medicaid ID card to obtain dental services. Molina Dental Services under Medicaid is provided to members at no cost. Please visit MyMolina.com if you would like to review your healthcare coverage.
Molina’s dental benefit includes cleanings, fillings and other preventive services.
Pregnant Medicaid members will get dental coverage from the first day of the month when Molina finds out about the pregnancy through the postpartum period. The postpartum period is 3 months following end of month of the due date.
It is important that pregnant women get proper dental care during their pregnancy for the health and wellbeing of the mother and infant. Molina Healthcare will provide the names of participating dentists in their area who are available to provide dental services. Molina provides unlimited round-trip or one-way trips for covered, medically necessary services each calendar year. Pregnant Medicaid members can use this benefit to visit any Molina Healthcare provider.
If you are pregnant, you can find a Molina dental provider by visiting MolinaHealthcare.com, select Medicaid, then Find a Provider to view the Molina dentist near you. If you have any questions, please call the M.O.M. Program at (888) 898-7969, Monday - Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., EST. If you are hearing impaired, please call Molina Healthcare by dialing our TTY line at 711.
Healthy Kids Dental
The Healthy Kids Dental Program helps children with Medicaid have healthy, happy smiles. If your child is under the age of 21, they have dental benefits with Healthy Kids Dental. If you are currently enrolled in Healthy Kids Dental and become pregnant, you will stay in Healthy Kids Dental for prenatal dental services. To find a dentist or learn more about Healthy Kids Dental, visit HealthyKidsDental.org.
Healthy Michigan Plan
If you are in the Healthy Michigan Plan, you have dental benefits. Dental services are available for adults 19 - 64 years of age by a participating Molina dental provider. Preventative services are provided at no cost. You can call the Molina Healthcare Molina Dental line for help with finding a dentist at (888) 898-7969. If you are hearing impaired, please call Molina Healthcare by dialing our TTY line at 711.
Other Help to Find a Dentist
Medicaid non-pregnant members can call the Michigan Medicaid Dental line for help with finding a dentist at (800) 642-3195 or visit