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13 Health > Teeth - Pg. 321

Health 321 and avoid speaking with your hand over your mouth or when smoking. Learning British Sign Language is another option. In case of real difficulty, write down your message. Teeth Everyone knows the importance of having regular dental check-ups. Many adults, however, slip out of the habit, which could result in their having more trouble with their teeth as they become older. Dentistry is one of the treatments for which you have to pay under the NHS, unless you have a low income. If you or your partner are in receipt of Income Support, income- based Jobseeker's Allowance or Pension Credit, you are entitled to free NHS dental treatment. You may also receive some help if you are in receipt of the Working Tax Credit; for details, see leaflet HC11. Even if you do not belong to any of these groups, you may still get some help if you have a low income. To find out if you qualify, fill in claim form HC1 (obtainable from social security or Jobcentre Plus offices, NHS hospitals and NHS dentists). To avoid any nasty surprises when the bill comes along, it is important to confirm with your dentist before he or she treats you whether you are being treated under the NHS. This also applies to the hygienist, should you need to see one. The best advice is to ask in advance what the cost of your treatment is likely to be. Help with the cost is all very well, but for many an even bigger problem than money is actually finding an NHS dentist in their area. The best advice is to call the British Dental Health Foundation's helpline (see below) or, if you are thinking of going private, ask friends and acquaintances for recommendations. For those who like to be able to budget ahead for any dental bills, Denplan is the UK's leading dental payment plan specialist, with over 6,500 member dentists and approximately 1.8 million patients across the UK. For more information on Denplan's hassle-free dental healthcare, see website: www.denplan.co.uk. Prevention is always better than cure. If you want free, independent and impartial advice on all aspects of oral health and free literature on a wide range of topics, including patients' rights, finding a dentist and dental care for older people, see the British Dental Health Foundation website: www. dentalhealth.org.uk.