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Dental Care for Hippies: 1800Dentist.com

Individuals born circa the Summer of Love were raised with a basic philosophy of not trusting anyone over thirty, being free from "man" and valuing peace, love, and happiness above all else. Now, those individuals are fully emerged in middle age and if they long to make it to senior citizen status, basic dental care is a must. Fortunately, old hippies can still embrace the belief system of their generation while maintaining healthy teeth.

The hippie culture can be traced back to 1967, when a young people dissipated with America's political and cultural climate banded together in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district. From there those hipsters decided to "turn on, drop out" and help pave the way for alternative expression in music, fashion and even gave birth to the health food movement. As the hippies aged, chances are they moved off the commune and have intermingled with the rest of society. Individuals who still want to keep the hippie spirit alive and get the dental care they need can make some dentistry choices based on the beliefs developed during the Summer of Love.

Stick "It" to "The Man"

"The Man" is a slang term born from the hippie movement; the terminology reflects the distrust of the government and other authoritative figures. Old hippies looking to give "it" to "the man" can opt out of buying dental insurance as the current system benefits the sellers of the coverage and barely provides any incentive to the insured.

For decades, humans have relied on insurance to minimize financial damage caused by health issues, car accidents and fires. Dental insurance is just one small niche in the massive billion-dollar industry and the maximum benefit limits involved in the current system will do very little to relieve the finance burden of dentistry for the insured.

Dental care has become increasingly expensive over the past few years and despite the growing costs of dental treatments, dental insurance providers have not raised the amount the pay in benefits accordingly; this move by "the man" has increases industry profit margins while putting more of the financial burden on the insured. WorldDental.com analyzed the premium payment costs versus benefits of the average pay-out for a dental policy.  The organization reports "...a typical dental policy will offer an annual maximum benefit of $1,350, it will offer 100% coverage for preventative care and diagnosis, 80% for maintenance and cleanings, 50% for basic restorative care (like fillings), 50% for oral surgery (like extractions) and root canal treatments, and 0% for cosmetic dentistry procedures," (http://worldental.org/dental-insurance/dental-insurance-worth-money/5012/). According to those numbers, $1,350 of coverage can cost up to $600 annually (for employees who still get dental insurance). Individuals who pay for the coverage may have to pay $1,200 and only receive an incentive of a couple of bucks in return.

Hippies are better off not opting into the dying system as this appears to be one system abusing its authority. Instead, hippies (and the people that love them) are encouraged to practice exceptional oral hygiene, and pay out of pocket for preventative dentistry managed by professional dental care providers. Estimates suggest that for every $1 spend on preventative care, up to $50 in restorative care can be saved. That equation is financially advantageous for the average hippie.

Health Food Diet

The hippie movement was one based out of abuses of power and there is not stronger proof of the misdeeds than within the food industry. Once upon a time, society was based on hunting, gathering and eating whole foods. Modern day hippies should follow the past trailed by their forefathers for dental health and general well being. As the country became more industrialized, processed foods became increasingly popular to quickly get nutrition and get back to work. Sadly, over time the processed become devoid of nutrients and healthy benefit; hippies were the first to notice the imbalance in America's food chain and in turn followed a natural food diet.

Estimates suggest that 23 percent of all Americans consume fast food on a weekly basis (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/11/20/opinion/polls/main1060315.shtml). Although those foods can be yummy and filling, they are not known for providing the important vitamins, minerals and nutrients recommended by the US Government's Nutrition Plate. Instead of being grown on farms and prepared in kitchens, the foods have been fined tuned in laboratory settings, upping the odds of addiction and lowering the chances of proper nutrition and the necessary benefits to dental health.

The fact is eating food in the most natural state is good for the human body; from the hippie perspective it also contributes less money to the processed food industry (another vision of the man). For those trying to channel their inner hippie to make the best food choices, there is some simple advice to follow. The more the food product is advertised, the further a consumer should run from it as the company is working too hard to get you to buy. Likewise the more a food is processed and manufactured, the better off hippies and their pals would be skipping it. The true hippie diet is a plant based diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, fruit, lean proteins and water. Modern day hippies can simply opt to follow the government's Nutrition Plate recommendations to get the job done.

Oral Hygiene

Regardless of if a person has dental insurance, or is following a nutritious diet, practicing regular oral hygiene is a must for dental care. The process involves brushing teeth twice a day for two minutes a session and flossing daily to remove an excess of dental plaque. In this case, it is better to use the nylon products produced by dental product manufactures because the natural options (especially in regards to toothbrush bristles) as they will last longer and potential hold less bacteria and germs.

That being the case, hippies can still opt to grab a natural toothpaste and still get major cavity fighting benefits. Although fluoride is known for preventing tooth decay, there is controversy surrounding the ingredient that some people may want to avoid.  Instead, self proclaimed hippies can instead opt for a natural toothpaste with the cavity fighting ingredient called Xylitol.

Xylitol is a natural compound that is a nonfermentable sugar alcohol. As a result, oral bacteria will take very little interest in the compound and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration supports the claim. The additive is being used by some toothpaste manufactures instead of fluoride, thus allowing hippies to have their cake and eat it too.

Since most hippies have now become older than the generation they were taught to distrust, age should not be considered a criteria for choosing a dentist. Instead, options such as education, license status, skills and hours are more appropriate options. Hippies or anyone else looking for a great dentist in order to keep their dental care strategy on point, simply need to call 1-800-DENTIST, 24/7 to get the name of a skilled provider up to the task.

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