If you’ve been avoiding crunchy food due to dental problems, we have bad news for you. Your brain power may be dwindling.
Several research studies have shown that chewing stimulates your brain, while slurping down soft food does just the opposite. In some cases, a diet of soft foods may not only bore your brain but also be a risk factor for dementia.
Chew On This
Chewing has been associated with improved brain processing performance, enhanced alertness, and better reflexes. Why? Some researchers think that chewing stimulates the brain, helping to keep brain functions alert and active. Our brains don’t like to be bored. They are happiest when they are performing tasks, solving challenges, and getting lots of exercise. Although chewing may seem like a basic, repetitive chore – it’s big fun for our brains.
Studies have indicated that losing your teeth before you reach age 35 is a significant risk factor for dementia or Alzheimer Disease. Additional research has been attempting to determine whether tooth loss contributed to reduced brain function, or was a symptom of overall ill health. Chances are, its both, but lack of healthy teeth apparently does have a distinct impact on your brain’s ability to access and process information.
The good news is that replacing lost or damaged teeth can fix the problem. You don’t need natural teeth to benefit from the brain boosting power of chewing. Chomping on crunchy foods with dental implants, crowns or dentures stimulates the brain as effectively as chewing with your original set of teeth. Implants, since the stimulate the jaw and surrounding tissues, seemed to enhance the chewing experience for the brain.
The research also found that if you have a badly aligned bite, your brain might not be getting the full benefit from your chewing. Likewise, if you have jaw problems, such as a Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD/TMJ) you may not be chewing vigorously enough to keep your brain happy.
On that note, don’t go overboard with the chewing to boost your brain power. Incessant, aggressive chewing can overwork your jaw muscles and cause pain as well as difficulty opening or closing your jaws.
Affordable Dental Care
Further research is needed to conclusively prove the connection between healthy brains and healthy teeth. None of the above is 100% conclusive, so don’t start worrying yet about your brain power decreasing if you have missing, weak or damaged teeth.
But since we already know how important good oral health is to your overall well-being, these new studies are yet another reason to go to the dentist regularly and get the care that you need for a healthy, strong smile.
Dental insurance will probably cover part of the cost of a crown, depending on your policy, how long you have been a plan member, whether the crown is addressing a pre-existing condition (restoration of teeth that were missing prior to your purchasing a policy are rarely, if ever, covered by insurance) and whether you have reached your deductible or annual coverage cap for the year.
Dental insurance rarely covers dental implants, which are still considered a purely cosmetic procedure. Check to see if your plan does provide coverage. Even if it does, with the typical annual coverage cap of $1200-$1500, your dental insurance won’t go far. The average cost for a dental implant is about $5000.
Dental savings plans, an alternative to traditional dental insurance, often do provide reduced rates on dental implants, as well as crowns, dentures and bridges. Dental savings plans enable you to save 10%-60% on your dental care. Unlike dental insurance, with a dental savings plan there are no annual spending caps, waiting periods, approval process or restrictions on pre-existing conditions.
Dental savings plans are very affordable. The plans available on dentalplans.com range from $79.95-$199.95 annually. Plus, many of dentalplan.com plans include additional free bonus benefits too, such as savings on vision and hearing care, prescriptions, and other wellness services. Select plans even include a bundle of health and wellness services which range from telemedicine –free consultations with local doctors who can diagnose and treat common ailments (including prescribing medications), discounts on chiropractic, alternative medicine and fitness centers, and savings on labwork and medical diagnostic services.
Visit dentalplans.com or call us at 1-800-238-5163 to find out about how dental savings plans can help make quality dental care affordable.