Maintaining oral health

Visiting the dentist every six months may seem complicated, but it’s easier than you might think. Visiting the dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups can help identify health issues early.

What to expect at the dentist

Visiting the dentist on a regular basis for cleanings, X-rays and other needed services will prevent pain and discomfort in the future when small problems, if left untreated, could turn into larger problems or even dental emergencies.

A routine dental appointment lasts approximately 30 minutes. A dental hygienist will look into your mouth and determine if X-rays are needed. They will gently scrape away any plaque, clean your teeth with an electric toothbrush and apply dental floss. The dentist will take a final look at your teeth and determine if a second appointment is needed to fill cavities or provide other needed services.

You won’t be asked to pay for your dental appointment at the dental office. Healthy Michigan Plan members may be billed a small co-pay for their visit through their MI Health account.

Visiting the dentist may look a little different if you haven’t had an appointment in a couple of years. Many dentists are taking extra precautions to protect your health. It’s important to go to the dentist even if you don’t notice anything wrong.

Regular dental exams can:

  • Find problems with your teeth and gums before they cause pain and are costly to treat
  • Help you maintain your dental health
  • Spot warning signs of medical conditions in the mouth unrelated to your teeth
  • Establish a place to go if you have a dental emergency

For these reasons, it’s important to see your dentist twice a year — even if there are no obvious problems or you no longer have your natural teeth.

Make it a habit to schedule and keep regular appointments with your dentist. Taking action now may help you avoid major issues in the future. Be sure to schedule your next appointment before you leave the dentist. Add the appointment to the calendar in your phone and block a bit of time before and after for your commute.

Dental services are a covered benefit for Healthy Michigan Plan members and pregnant members 21 years and older. Pregnant women under 21 are covered by Healthy Kids Dental benefits. For help finding an in-network dentist in your area, visit Find a Doctor, then click Find a dentist.

Form a positive, lasting relationship with your dentist, who is there to support you in maintaining a smile you can be proud of.

How to access dental services

Click below to learn who to call for dental services.

Healthy Michigan Plan members, including those who are pregnant, are covered through Blue Cross Complete. Pregnant women under age 21 are covered by Healthy Kids Dental benefits. To find a dentist, visit Find a Doctor or call 1-844-320-8465 (TTY: 711).

The Healthy Michigan Plan dental benefit covers oral exams, teeth cleanings, X-rays, filling, extractions, partial dentures, complete dentures and denture repairs.

You won’t have to pay for any covered services at the dentist office. The Healthy Michigan Plan has co-pays for certain services. Co-pays for dental services are paid through your MI Health account. You don’t have to pay a co-pay at the dentist.

It’s important to get annual dental checkups for your kids, starting at age 3. These visits will help protect their teeth and keep them healthy.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Delta Dental of Michigan provide Healthy Kids Dental services for children and adolescents through age 20. You’ll be enrolled automatically. You’ll get an identification card from the dental plan. The benefit covers services such as X-rays, cleanings, fillings, extractions and sealants at no cost to families.

To select a dental provider, call Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan at 1-800-936-0935 or visit Or, call Delta Dental of Michigan at 1-866-696-7441 or visit

To check your dental plan, call Blue Cross Complete of Michigan’s Customer Service at 1-800-228-8554. TTY users should call 1-888-987-5832.

Need transportation to your dental appointment?

If you’re part of Healthy Kids Dental, you can get a ride to and from the dentist. If you live in Wayne, Oakland or Macomb counties, call ModivCare at 1-866-569-1902 to schedule transportation. If you live in any other county, contact your local MDHHS office.

Pregnant members, including Healthy Michigan Plan members, are covered through Blue Cross Complete. To find a dentist, visit Find a Doctor or call 1-844-320-8465 (TTY: 711).

If you’re under 21, your dental benefits are provided through the Healthy Kids Dental program. To find a dentist, contact Healthy Kids Dental providers:

You can also visit for more information.

Michigan provides coverage for dental care through Medicaid fee for service. To find a dentist:

Once you choose a dentist, call their office to see if they cover Medicaid dental services.

Dental emergencies

When you have a toothache or other dental problem, your first thought is to get it fixed — and fast. Fast treatment means the emergency room, right? Not when it comes to problems with your teeth or mouth. The emergency room can handle just about anything, but for mouth-related issues, your dentist is the better option. Dentists have the specialized equipment and training to figure out what’s wrong and how to fix it.

Contact your dental office first and ask what you should do. If your life is in danger, call 911.

If your dental problem is interfering with your comfort and ability to eat, speak and function normally, it may be time to seek emergency dental care.

Call your dentist right away if you think you need emergency dental care. Most dentists set aside time in their daily schedule to handle emergencies — so you may be able to get in for an appointment quickly. Even if your emergency happens on the weekend or at night, try calling your dentist office first. The office’s after-hours message may give an emergency number to call or provide other useful information.

You can also call our 24-hour Nurse Help Line. The nurse line can help you make informed health care choices when your dentist isn’t available. Call 1-888-288-1724 24 hours a day, seven days a week. TTY users should call 1-888-987-5832.

If these options don’t work, you should go to the nearest emergency room.

Here are a few tips from the American Dental Association if you have a broken or knocked-out tooth:

  • Never touch the root of your tooth with your hands. Instead, hold the tooth by its crown.
  • Rinse debris off all tooth pieces using warm water.
  • Insert the tooth back into its socket whenever possible.
  • If you can’t reinsert the tooth, put it in a glass of milk or hold it between your cheek and gums to keep it moist until you can get professional care.
  • Visit your dentist twice a year for cleanings and checkups.
  • Brush your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste twice a day.
  • Floss daily.
  • Don’t use tobacco and avoid heavy drinking.
  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Wear mouth guards when playing sports.
  • Replace your toothbrush every three to four months.