Smile

Debunking Dental Myths

How much do you know about your teeth? Whether your answer is not much or quite a lot, it turns out that even the things we think we know about our teeth are often not even true. Because of this, we decided to take a look at the top 7 most common myths surrounding our teeth to explain why they aren’t true.

1. You can never brush too much.

Believe it or not, you CAN brush your teeth too much. Brushing your teeth too often can wear down on your teeth. Toothpaste especially can be quite corrosive if overused. The best method is to stick with brushing two times a day. Rinsing often is a positive alternative if you like to do more than the standard twice-a-day routine.

2. Brushing before a dental appointment will hide irregular brushing habits.

When you do not brush your teeth, your dentist find redness and bleeding from your gums during your cleaning. When you brush your teeth regularly, this will not happen. As a result, they know if you’re not doing what you’re supposed to.

If you are concerned that your gums are bleeding when you are start brushing twice daily, know this is normal and that it will go away quickly as your gums get used to it. If the bleeding does not go away though, you should contact your dentist.

3. Eating sugar harms teeth and causes decay.

Turns out, sugar is not the real reason for your cavity, so you can apologize to all of the candy you blamed for your filling. In fact, if you do not consume sugar, you will likely have the same oral hygiene issues that you would have if you did consume sugar.

Tooth decay actually results from a combination of bacteria, acid, and sugar in your mouth. When bad sugars combine with bacteria to produce acid, plaque builds up on your teeth, so it is important to know though that sugar, just like any food, can get stuck and irritate your gums.

4. Bleaching or whitening your teeth is damaging.

Why would a dentist offer a service that would be harmful to teeth. The answer is they wouldn’t. While you must keep in mind the importance of moderation, teeth bleaching or whitening is not harmful. The only common negative side effect from whitening is temporary increased tooth sensitivity.

5. Whiter teeth mean healthier teeth.

Everyone has their own unique tooth color that is healthy for them. While teeth should be more white than not, having white teeth does not necessarily mean healthier teeth. You can have teeth that are white and also have unhealthy teeth. The white color does not indicate a lack of cavities or infection.

6. You can relieve tooth pain by placing aspirin next to aching tooth.

This home remedy is entirely untrue. Aspirin only works when it enters your bloodstream. Therefore, in order to experience pain relief you must swallow and digest it. Simply placing the pill next to a tooth will have no effect. If you have tried this and felt better, the best explanation is that you are experiencing a placebo effect.

7. Bad breath means you don’t brush well.

You can be a religious brusher and still not have good breathe. While poor dental hygiene can be a factor, there are numerous other reasons for bad breath. This includes the foods you eat and illness. Both can have a negative impact on your breath.

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Dental Insurance 101

Understanding your dental insurance is just as important as receiving quality dental care. Many people have had dental insurance for years, but few of those people actually understand what it is they are getting when they say they have dental insurance.

The problem is no one wants to deal with the complicated legal jargon and technical details associated with better understanding their insurance plan, and there are so many different options out there. However, it is important to both you and your health that you get a better understanding of dental insurance.

The first thing you need to know is that all insurance is not created equal, and dental insurance is not like other insurance. In fact, dental insurance is not run like auto or home insurance or even your other medical insurance. This is mostly because dental costs are much more predictable and routine than a car accident or broken bone, so there is no need to protect from unseen expenses. As a result, dental insurance should be thought of less like insurance and more like a coupon that gives you a discount on services provided to you to offset the costs.

Secondly, you need to understand what your personal policy plan covers and what percentage of each of these services are covered by insurance. For example, your plan can cover routine care, treatments, oral surgery, orthodontics, and more all at different percentages. While routine care might be covered 100%, orthodontics might only be covered 50% or not at all. The percent discount you get off of the usual fee for a service is your deductible, and the remaining amount you have to pay is your co-pay. If you have 100% coverage for your fluoride treatments for example, your co-pay would zero.

In this way, you should choose a dental insurance plan based on need. If you have children that are going to need braces over the next few years, a dental insurance plan that covers a higher percent of the cost of orthodontics might be beneficial even if the plan covers a smaller percent of the cost of your routine visits. In general, most plans do cover the basics such as routine visits, but not all policies cover services such as fillings or crowns or orthodontics. For this reason, it is necessary to examine policies closely.

It is also important to keep in mind however, that all dental insurance policies have a cap or a maximum amount of benefits you can receive in one year. If you go over that cap, you then personally will have to pay for any expenses over the maximum.

Thirdly, many people find that their plan requires them to see a specific dentist within their insurance provider’s network. This can sometimes cause people need to switch dentists in order to get full coverage from their dental policy.

In this situation, it is important to examine the benefits and disadvantages. Sometimes it may be worthwhile or financial necessary to switch dentists if this is the case with your insurance policy. For others, if you are getting high quality dental care, staying with your existing dentist, even when they are not included in the insurance provider’s network, may be worth paying more for their services and getting less of a discount. At that point however, it might now be worth paying for insurance.

Finally, you should always feel comfortable talking to your dentist or their staff about dental insurance. They will be happy to answer your questions and will do their best to help you find the answers you need if they do not know the answer. You only deal with dental insurance a few times a year, but it is there job to know about dental insurance and to help you make educated decisions about your dental health.

Dental Visit

Choosing A New Dentist

There may be times in your life when you need to look for a new dentist. Maybe yours retired or switched practices. Maybe you moved or need a dentist closer to your home. Regardless of the reason, you need to make careful considerations when choosing a new dentist.

How should I choose a new dentist?

We first recommend asking family, friends, or neighbors for recommendations on a new dentist. You can also ask your current dentist or doctor to recommend a qualified dentist. Once you have complied a list of dental practices recommended by those close to you, we recommend checking out the dentists’ websites and review sites to narrow down your list to two or three practices. You should look for a dentist with a good reputation that has given patients many positive experiences. Once you have a few dentists in mind, we recommend calling or visiting the practice to make your final selection.

What should I look for in a new dentist?

Each individual has his or her own specific needs when looking for a dentist, and it is important for you to make sure you pick the dental practice that is right for you. We have outlined some basic guideline questions you may want to ask yourself when looking for a new dentist:

•    Is your dentist licensed with your state licensing board?
•    Does the dental practice accept your insurance?
•    Are the location and office hours convenient for you?
•    Does the office appear clean and organized?
•    Where did the dentist attend school and what kind of training does he/she have?
•    Do you feel comfortable with the dentist and office staff?
•    What are the prices for dental services in comparison to similar practices?
•    What are your options if you have a dental emergency?
•    How far in advance are appointments booked?
•    What are the average waiting room times?
•    Are they currently accepting new patients?

Once you have answered all of these questions, you will likely have a front-runner dentist that you would like to pursue. The next steps would be to contact the dentist and tell them you would like to be a new patient – that’s it! On your first appointment, you will likely have to fill out paperwork regarding your medical history, and the dentist may take a bit longer performing a more thorough examination. After that, you should be good to go with your new dentist. Good luck in your search!

Baby

Baby’s First Dental Visit

Changing diapers, getting only a few sporadic hours of sleep, and spending all of your money on baby food are all things many new parents go through. If you’re a new parent, you may be feeling like your world was turned upside down.  Among the many things you’re worried about with your new child, your child’s first dental visit may be on the list.  Luckily, this blog post will ease some of your concern.

The average age most children first see the dentist is 2.6, but The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends a child see the dentist for the first time six months after the first tooth comes in, or by the age of 1. You may be wondering why the first few dental appointments are so important since your child will lose baby teeth anyway. These first appointments are crucial for establishing lifelong oral health. The first appointment will teach you, the parent, how to properly care for your baby’s teeth. The dentist can inform you how to properly care for your baby’s teeth by covering topics such as: thumb sucking, nutrition, fluoride, teething, and tooth development. It will also begin the education process for the child to properly brush and floss. Children that establish these habits early will likely maintain them throughout adulthood. It is important to care for a child’s baby teeth because these help the child chew properly, aid in speech development, and promote a healthy smile that will give a child confidence.

So what can you expect during the first visit? This visit will likely be short and provide your child a chance to meet the dentist and become accustomed to the process. The dentist will examine your child’s mouth and educate you about oral care that is specific for your child based on dental development. You will also have to complete forms regarding your child’s health and medical history, so be sure to bring the necessary information.

If you begin taking your child to the dentist at 1 year, then they are probably too young to be nervous. This will help them become comfortable around the dentist at a young age so they don’t experience the pre-dentist jitters. However, if you wait a little longer, your child may feel nervous when going to the dentist. You can help calm these nerves by educating your child – teach them about what the dentist does and why it’s important. You can also take your child to your dentist appointment so they can see what it’s like for you to have your teeth cleaned. Lastly, you can also play “dentist” so your child is accustomed to having someone touch his or her teeth.

We hope these tips have helped you figure out the new-parent world. Being a new parent can be hard, so please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.