Healthy teeth and gums do more than providing you a nice, shiny smile. Good dental health - and good dental coverage - is a great way to keep your whole body in good shape.

The kind of poor dental hygiene that produces gum disease, cavities and other infections can have larger effects on your overall health. On the extreme end of things, some recent studies link common oral problems to illnesses that include heart disease, stroke, diabetes, premature birth, osteoporosis and even Alzheimer's disease. That's why it's important to keep your mouth healthy with regular brushing and flossing, in addition to periodic cleanings and check-ups with your dentist.

There are a few basic types of dental coverage - any of them can help you maintain great dental health. Dental insurance's low cost makes it generally affordable for individuals and families. And, because dental insurance encourages and generally pays for regular check-ups, many people who purchase protection start to benefit immediately. Don't get stuck with a big bill: the price of fixing a major tooth or gum problem, such as a crown or root canal, can easily reach into the thousands of dollars.

Unlike some other types of health coverage, dental insurance is something you'll almost certainly use - and be glad you did.

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