FSAs and better smiles: The story of Francine

Meet Francine S. Anderson. Francine is healthy. Francine sees her doctor regularly. And Francine uses her FSA to keep her healthcare costs down. We like Francine -- because she's a model FSA user.

(So good, in fact, that her initials are "F.S.A." It's like we made her up, for the sole purpose of educating you about your flex spending benefits.)

But, while Francine is a model FSA user on paper, she -- like so many other people who visit this site -- might be overlooking some important new ways to improve her healthcare spending. Because she's still spending out-of-pocket money on dental care, even though there's a ton of ways to use FSA money to save on dental care -- including treatments.

We love that Francine brushes twice a day. She even flosses regularly. But let's take a few minutes to point out some ways her FSA can improve Francine's smile.

Healthy mouth, healthy body

One thing that Francine is diligent about is her gym time. She doesn't over-do it, but three days of moderate cardio are part of her routine, so she can stay heart-healthy. What Francine didn't know until now is that caring for your teeth not only helps you have a whiter smile, but having healthy gums may lower your risk of heart disease.

You see, oral health and heart disease are connected by the spread of bacteria – and other germs – from your mouth to other parts of your body through the bloodstream. When these bacteria reach the heart, they can further infect a damaged area. This can result in illnesses such as endocarditis, an infection of the inner lining of the heart, according to Mayo Clinic.

Other cardiovascular conditions such as clogged arteries and stroke have also been linked to inflammation caused by oral bacteria, according to the American Heart Association.

Francine took this advice to heart -- pun intended. While items like toothbrushes and toothpaste aren't FSA-eligible, Francine now allocates a portion of her FSA for additional cleanings and checkups throughout the year. After all, it's no longer just about the teeth.

A hi-tech smile?

Francine may be on top of her health, but even the most-devout fitness enthusiasts still experience pain from time to time. And Francine is no exception, since she clenches her jaw at night, and wakes up with some serious oral pain and stiffness. Thankfully, she discovered advanced deep penetrating light therapy for her gums, to help alleviate her achy mouth, without needing medicines or invasive treatments.

Francine had actually looked at these machines in the past, but the high out-of-pocket cost always made her think twice about making the purchase. Using her FSA dollars, Francine felt much better about the decision, and is enjoying pain-free mornings as a result.

Don't ignore unexpected dental pain

Like most of us, Francine has first aid and emergency medical kits. But she never knew of emergency dental medical kits until she saw them on our site. These kits are ideal for stashing in your car, suitcase, and of course at home, since they contain basic supplies like floss, cotton, and oral aesthetic. Advanced kits feature more intricate items like temporary cavity filling mixture and dental wax.

Francine thought she was on top of her oral health, but she learned that some great FSA-eligible relief was right at her fingertips. If you think you need to boost your dental health game a bit, explore our products to see how your tax-free FSA dollars can help make that smile healthier and happier. Just like Francine's.

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