If you’re shopping for dental insurance, you’ve probably noticed that some dental insurance plans have a waiting period. When you’re buying dental insurance it’s important to know which plans have a waiting period and how long that waiting period is so that you don’t end up having to pay out of pocket for dental care or end up putting off care that you need.
What is a waiting period?
A waiting period is a set amount of time you must wait before some of your dental coverage is effective. During this time, your dental insurance company may not cover some procedures. Waiting periods vary by insurer, policy, and type of insurance. After you buy a traditional dental insurance policy you could have a waiting period of six months to a year for some procedures, depending on your plan
Dental insurance companies have waiting periods to make sure that people don’t sign up for dental insurance only because they need expensive dental work done and then cancel the policy after that work is done.
COVID-19 and dental insurance waiting periods
If you had dental insurance through your employer and you’ve lost your job because of COVID-19, you may be able to get new coverage with no waiting period. If your current coverage is running out and you want to get a new policy to replace your current one reach out to the insurance companies that you’re looking at and let them know that you haven’t had a gap in coverage. Some companies will waive the waiting period if you have continuous coverage but now need a new policy because of a job change.
Dental care with no waiting period
When you’re shopping for dental insurance you should also look at what procedures are included in the waiting period. Some companies will not pay for any dental work during the waiting period but others only restrict basic or major dental procedures like root canals, implants, or crowns. Preventive care like regular checkups, X-rays and cleanings often do not have a waiting period.
How to wait out a waiting period
Sometimes there’s just no way around a waiting period. If you have changed jobs, lost a job, or have to switch your coverage unexpectedly for any reason you may be stuck waiting out the waiting period to get dental care. If you have a dental emergency you should always go to the hospital and not put off care. But, if you put some effort into taking care of your teeth and use some natural remedies for common dental issues you may be able to get through the waiting period without having to pay out of pocket for any expensive dental care.
Brushing and flossing
One of the most important things that you can do to take care of your teeth is to brush regularly and floss daily. The American Dental Association brushing your teeth twice a day with a soft bristled toothbrush and replacing your toothbrush every couple of months. Most dental hygienists recommend using an electric toothbrush to get a better clean. Investing in a high-quality electric toothbrush and replacing the brush head every three to four months can keep your teeth sparkling clean and healthy.
Flossing is also very important, even though most people don’t do it. If you don’t like to use floss you can try one of the disposable picks that gives you more control while you’re cleaning the spaces between your teeth. No matter what type of floss you like to use it’s important that you floss every day. If you don’t floss, plaque in between your teeth can cause gum disease and cavities.
Do mouthwashes and rinses work?
There is a huge variety of mouthwashes and mouth rinses on the market that claim to help get rid of plaque, help protect your teeth from cavities, and whiten your teeth. Choosing a therapeutic grade mouthwash that will help keep your gums health and get rid of plaque can help prevent cavities. Add a fluoride rinse if you want to give your teeth extra protection from cavities and keep them strong.
The benefits of dental insurance
Even with a short waiting period, dental insurance can help you budget for the cost of maintaining your oral health. Dental insurance generally covers a portion of the cost of a range of dental services from routine preventive care to dental surgery. Click here to learn more about Guardian Direct dental insurance plans starting at $20 per month in most states.
This is not dental care advice and should not be substituted for regular consultation with your dentist. If you have any concerns about your dental health, please contact your dentist's office.