One of the aspects of your unnecessary financial spending if you smoke, you may never thought about is a dental care.
If you are a smoker, your dental care needs are considerably more demanding than those of a non-smoker. In fact, cigarette smoking is a leading cause of tooth loss. Smoking also increases your risk for periodontal disease (gum disease), loss of bone structure, inflammation of the salivary gland, leukoplakia (precancerous condition), and development of lung, throat or oral cancer.
In addition to the critical risks mentioned above, other factors for smokers to consider include:
- A consistent build up of plaque and tartar.
- Stained teeth - tobacco has a strong staining ability that often leaves teeth yellow.
- Bad breath.
- The loss of taste and smell.
Furthermore, smoking is associated with a slower healing process following dental work, and a lower rate of success for procedures such as dental implants. In fact, smokers may not be implant candidates at all.
So, returning to the budgetary aspects of the tobacco smoking, due to the high degree of teeth staining, smokers often must have special cleaning done by a dentist to remove it. They also may need to use special "smoker's toothpaste" or other special dental products for smokers to keep their teeth from yellowing again. These call come with a premium price tag compared to regular teeth cleaning products.
Smokers also need to use more products to keep their breath fresh. This can be a combination of special breath freshening products designed especially for smokers, extra breath mints or gum and mouthwash. Because smoker's breath becomes stale quicker than non smoker's breath, they also use more of these products to mask and get rid of the smoking odor.
It's not hard to imagine that smokers spend a minimum of an extra $10 a month as compared to non-smokers on these items, and likely much more. That would result in the smoker spending an extra $120 a year over a non smoker on dental care.
There is also a danger that your Dental Insurance will cost you more if you smoke. While that might not be happening yet, it is just a matter of time for Dental Insurance companies to pickup up price uplift for up to 50% higher, as it is already happening in health and life insurance.
Why is that? Because non-smokers are generally healthier than smokers, that is why! Insurance companies usually define a smoker as, “a person who used, smoked or otherwise consumed any kind of tobacco products during the previous 12 months.” Some insurance companies have even lengthened their qualifying time for smokers from 12 months to 5 years.
Insurance companies may decide to rate your premium. Rating means that the insurance company agrees to only insure you at a higher premium than the one they originally quoted to you. This can happen if the insurance company believes you represent an above average risk to them.
Dental care for smokers is considerably more challenging than for non-smokers. Smoking increases your risk for dental problems such as gum disease. Smoking is the leading cause of tooth loss. Therefore, insurance providers are becoming increasingly concerned about the effects of smoking on their policy holders and may refuse to grant coverage to an applicant.
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