If your child is currently covered by Public Aid in Illinois, straightening their teeth with dental braces can work wonders for their smile, but did you also know it may help lower their risk of developing serious diseases?
“Crooked, crowded or unevenly spaced teeth are harder to keep clean and tend to harbor more food and bacteria,” said Dr. G. R. Kozina, an approved Illinois Public Aid orthodontic provider, “This can lead to an increase in plaque and bacteria in the mouth which can cause decay and periodontal disease, a bacterial infection of the gums, bone and periodontal ligament that can enter the blood stream, travel to major organs and cause systemic complications.”
According to the American Academy of Periodontology, gum disease may contribute to the development of heart disease; increase the risk of stroke, premature birth and low birth weight; and pose a serious threat to people whose health is already compromised due to diabetes, respiratory diseases or osteoporosis.
Properly aligned teeth can help keep plaque and tarter from building up. Plaque and tarter are known causes of gum disease. Straightening mis-aligned or crooked teeth will help gums “fit” tighter around them and also make it easier to brush and floss, which leads to better gum health.
With today’s advances in orthodontic technology, straightening crooked teeth is easier and less noticeable than ever before.
Invisalign, also known as “invisible braces”, is a popular technique that straightens teeth using a series of custom-made, clear and removable aligners. Clinical studies show that gum health may improve using Invisalign over other forms of teeth-straightening techniques. Because there are no brackets or wires to worry about, patients can take out their “braces” after meals to brush and floss.
Additional health benefits of straightening teeth include improved chewing and speech and less stress on supporting bone and jaw joints.
Are Braces Covered by Public Aid in Illinois?
Although orthodontic treatment with braces is a covered service on Illinois Public Aid, not all children on Public Aid will qualify or be approved by the State of Illinois Public Aid administrators for braces.
Approval of orthodontic treatment in Illinois will depend on variety factors such as the age of the patient, current oral health condition and the type of orthodontic treatment required. There are also age requirements for children and individuals (between 5 and 21 years of age) in order to be considered for certain dental services which are considered to be “orthodontics”.
Not every child covered under the state Public Aid program will qualify for orthodontic treatment with braces. The State of Illinois Public Aid (Public Aid, Medical Card, Tarjeta Medica, All Kids) administrators will review and decide whether or not your child will qualify for braces coverage. Only after pre-approval from the State of Illinois is confirmed can orthodontic treatment can begin.