Dental Tips Blog

Nov
12

Does Medical Insurance Ever Cover Dental Care?

You probably never expected your dentist to ask for your medical insurance card. They only take dental insurance, right? Although your policy might be carried through the same company, both of these plans are different and unique. What does medical coverage have to do with a trip to the dentist?

If You’re Getting Treated for Obstructive Sleep Apnea 

For people who are CPAP intolerant, an oral sleep appliance may be the best treatment option for your sleep apnea. Although it’s made by your dentist, the device is covered by medical insurance. 

For Wisdom Tooth Removal Surgery 

Getting your wisdom teeth removed is something that can take place in the dental office, surgery center, or even a hospital. Depending on your case and comfort level, specific types of sedation or equipment may be necessary for wisdom teeth removal. Some of these will fall under traditional dental benefits, but the others may need to be filed against your medical coverage. 

When You’re Undergoing Treatment for Oral Cancer 

Oral cancer is best identified by your family dentist. If it’s suspected that you have oral cancer, you may be referred to an oral surgeon. Oral surgery offices combine both dental and medical technology during treatments, and as such, the insurance codes and claims must be filed to reflect specific procedures. Your medical and dental plan essentially overlap. 

Accidents/Injuries That Affect Your Mouth

On the job injuries or automobile accidents can impact every part of the body…even your mouth and oral structures (including your teeth.) Depending on your situation, a medical policy may need to cover a portion of your care.

When in doubt, bring a copy of both cards during your next dental checkup!

Posted on behalf of:
Paul Jang Dentistry
14711 Princeton Avenue, Ste. 12
Moorpark, CA 93021
805-791-2336

Nov
12

What’s the Typical Age for a Dental Implant Patient?

Posted in Dental Implants

It’s estimated that over 50% of adults have at least one missing tooth. It doesn’t matter what age you are…20….40….80. The impact of having an extra space in your smile is something that affects more than just your appearance. It can prevent you from eating correctly or even impact your self-esteem.

With dental implants, you have the option to replace your missing tooth with an artificial, permanent “root.” On top of that implant, you can add anything from a single crown to an implant supported denture.

But are You the Right Age for Dental Implants?

Surprisingly, just about any healthy adult over the age of 18 is a great candidate for the treatment. By 18, your mouth has finished developing, so there’s enough space and bone to have an implant placed.

But don’t let that age fool you. There are even people in their late 80s and 90s who opt to get implants. At a later age, implants can help to stabilize your denture, maintain a balanced diet, or just make it possible to eat a piece of steak again.

Getting Implants is a Personal Choice

Investing in dental implants can help you get the most out of your smile. If you’re younger and want something that’s more cost effective that will last for decades…dental implants are the best choice.

Maybe you’ve recently retired but can’t stand the idea of wearing a partial denture after having those teeth pulled. Implants can give you what feel like real teeth all over again.

No adult is ever “too young” or “too old” for implants. The typical age is just a perception. Call your dentist to see if implants are right for you!

Posted on behalf of:
Buford Family Dental
4700 Nelson Grogdon Blvd. NE #210
Buford, GA 30518
678.730.2005

Nov
12

Three Habits That are Bad for Your Teeth

If you brush daily and don’t eat too much sugar, that’s all your smile needs…right? Not necessarily. Here are 3 habits you might not have known could be bad for your teeth:

Chewing Ice 

Ice chewing might be linked to health issues like anemia, but that isn’t the only thing that should be at the back of your mind. It can also damage your teeth.  Not only can chewing ice cause a cracked or chipped tooth, but the cold temperature can cause dental problems too. If you have existing crowns or fillings, the cold temperatures can impact the rate of how they expand/contract compared to the enamel that they’re bonded to. Frequent ice chewing may break your restorations down quicker, resulting in the need for more dental work.

Clenching Your Teeth When You’re Stressed Out 

Your teeth take the brunt of your jaw muscles’ force when you’re focused on a problem at the office or during your long commute home. You might even be waking up in the morning with a migraine headache from all the tension. This can make your teeth start to chip away, break, or just look flat.

Make a conscious effort to relax your jaw so that your teeth are slightly apart, but your lips still together.. If the tension is happening still,  talk to your dentist about getting a splint made.

Adding Cream and Sweetener to Your Coffee

Coffee might stain your teeth, but the bigger problem is those other things that you’re putting inside of it. Sugar, artificial sweeteners, and creamer don’t just add calories to your diet…they increase the acid and bacterial levels on your teeth (which can increase how many cavities you get.)

Ask your dentist how he or she can help!

Posted on behalf of:
Short Pump Family Dentistry
201 Towne Center West Blvd
Suite 709
Richmond, VA 23233
804-332-5505

Nov
12

Oral Hygiene Hacks for Better Breath

Posted in Bad Breath

Tired of halitosis and breath malodor? Don’t rely on mints or alcohol-based mouthwashes…those could make the problem worse. Here are a few other tips to try to get that halitosis under control:

Add a Few Drops of Essential Oil to Your Toothbrush 

Essential oils like peppermint can make your breath feel fresh for hours. Add just one or two drops to your toothbrush once or twice a day, then brush as normal. Or, you can add the drops to a small cup of water to rinse and gargle with it for the same effect. 

Don’t Forget to Clean Your Tongue 

Approximately 90% of bad breath bacteria originates on the tongue. Have the right tools necessary to clean your tongue and you’ll be amazed at what you see come off. While a soft toothbrush is ok to use, a tongue cleaner/scraper is even better. 

Drink Lots of Water 

Water helps to keep your mouth lubricated while washing away excess bacteria. It doesn’t “break down” the way other drinks will, and as such, it won’t add to the problem. 

Treat Your Seasonal Allergies 

Nasal congestion and drainage at the back of your throat may be what’s causing you to have halitosis. If your physician recommends an over the counter allergy medication, be sure to take it every day…even if you think you won’t have a flare up.

If you’re also suffering from signs of gum inflammation or recession, or if your gums bleed when you floss, you could have periodontal disease. Untreated, gum disease can cause significant bad breath. Talk to your dentist to find out how they can help.

Posted on behalf of:
Pure Smiles Dentistry
2655 Dallas Highway Suite 510
Marietta, GA 30064
770.422.8776

Nov
12

Five Cosmetic Treatments for a Dazzling Smile

Curious about what your smile makeover options are? While most people opt for a combination of various cosmetic dental treatments, some find one that works well on its own and provides everything that they’re looking for.

Here are five that you might want to consider:

Veneers: Dental veneers offer the most life-changing, dramatic cosmetic enhancement in modern dentistry. You can use veneers to make your teeth look straighter, whiter, and properly shaped. They’re bonded directly over the front of your teeth, hiding what’s tucked away behind them. 

Tooth Bonding and Recontouring: Small gaps and chips in your teeth don’t necessarily mean that you need veneers. Conservative bonding or adjustment to your tooth shape can provide significant results without requiring more extensive treatment. 

Whitening Your Teeth: Brighter tooth enamel can make a person’s smile look more youthful and appealing. Depending on how much time you have on hand and the level of brightness you want to achieve, the best choices are a professional take-home kit or in-office laser whitening treatment. 

Getting Braces: Tooth colored braces and clear aligners help to straighten your teeth so that they are easier to care for and won’t wear down so much. There are also “cosmetic” braces available that only straighten your front teeth (taking less time to complete.) 

Gum Recontouring: The shape of your gum tissue can make your teeth look short or even lopsided. Adjusting your gumlines can give you a fuller, even smile and erase “gummy” grins.

Talk to your dentist today about your top choices, to see how you could have a beautiful smile in no time.

Posted on behalf of:
True Dental
1257 Annapolis Rd.
Odenton, MD 21113
(443) 438-1054

Nov
12

Flat Teeth: Three Causes

Posted in TMJ Therpy

When you look in the mirror, do your teeth look flat, sharp, or jagged? In reality, their biting edges should have a nice, smooth contour. Here are three reasons why your enamel may be starting to look flatter over the years:

End-to-End Alignment 

The older we get, our teeth start to shift toward the middle-front portion of our mouth. This can cause upper and lower teeth to bite against each other irregularly. When this happens, your healthy tooth enamel actually wears itself down…causing flat biting edges.

Getting braces can help to fine-tune your bite and give you more time out of your smile, rather than fast-forward you into needing extensive dental work.

Bruxism / Grinding 

A stressful lifestyle can give you headaches, but you might be deferring some of that stress to your teeth. When you bite down firmly because of muscle tension, project due dates, or bad traffic, it wears your bite down quicker than it should. This can make your smile look like it’s decades older than it really is.

Your dentist may recommend anything from wearing a splint, to muscle relaxers. Usually, the first step is to consciously train yourself to not clench your teeth. It can take a bit of practice!

Misaligned Jaws 

Your upper and lower jaws should fit together the right way, allowing your entire mouth to function efficiently day after day. Irregular jaw shape, size, or alignment can alter the occlusion (biting relationship) of all your teeth. In addition to seeing worn enamel, you might also experience symptoms of TMJ disorder.

Talk to your dentist today to find out how you can prevent future damage to your smile.

Posted on behalf of:
Alluvial Dental Center
1875 E Alluvial Ave
Fresno, CA 93720
559-325-0700

Nov
12

Why Professional Teeth Whitening Works Best

Posted in Teeth Whitening

Is teeth whitening a gimmick? Why do so many products online or in the store say that they whiten your teeth just as good as a dentist? For someone with very, very mild tooth stain, that might be the case. For everyone else, there’s nothing that compares to the results that you can get with the help of a dental professional.

You Can’t Buy Prescription Strength Products Online 

The teeth whitening solutions purchased through your dental office will be concentrated and more effective when it comes to disrupting stain particles. The specific types of gels that are sold over the counter are made of different ingredients and at lower strengths. 

Professional Treatments Guarantee Better Coverage 

Store bought kits are “one size fits some.” They aren’t contoured to the shape of your individual teeth. Because of that, it can cause uneven whitening or some areas of your teeth to be skipped over entirely…whereas what your dentist uses will fully cover each one of your teeth. 

It’s Safer to Work with Your Dentist

DIY teeth whitening products or solutions can hurt you if your teeth aren’t healthy. It’s best to have your dentist check your teeth first, to make sure it’s safe to whiten.

Some solutions can even cause tissue irritation or chemical burns if you’re not careful. Rather than having whiter teeth, you may be left with discolored, splotchy gums.

The initial investment in professional teeth whitening costs less to maintain over the course of the next several years than it does to use store-bought kits. While a DIY kit may seem cheaper, it really isn’t. Ask your dentist today to see which solution is best for your smile!

Posted on behalf of:
Arbor Dental
6471 Lone Tree Way Suite 301
Brentwood CA 94513
925-271-4642

Nov
12

Reasons to Take Your Two-Year-Old to the Dentist

Surviving the “Terrible Twos” is something every parent of a toddler understands. Just getting out the door in the morning without a meltdown is considered a success. While there are a lot of things your two-year-old might not like doing, going to the dentist shouldn’t be one of them. Here are a few reasons why dental visits shouldn’t be skipped at such a young age.

To Talk About Any Habits

Thumb sucking, pacifier use, or sippy cups should all be a think of the past. If they’re still an everyday occurrence, it could alter how your child’s adult teeth erupt (or even their speech.) Your dentist can help you stop the habits early, by sharing what techniques work best. 

Screening for Cavities to Prevent Unwanted Infections Later 

Baby teeth can get decay very quickly. At two years of age, your toddler will be getting their “two year molars.” It’s important to have all the teeth examined so that cavities can be treated when they’re very small. Otherwise it can spread very quickly and possibly even result in a trip to the hospital. 

Getting to Experience the Dental Office in a Positive Light 

Some parents wait to bring their child to the dentist until there’s a problem. When that happens, children associate dental care with pain and discomfort. Instead, it’s better to take a preventive approach and help your child keep their teeth healthy before an issue pops up.

Most pediatricians and kids dentists agree that children should see a dentist by their first birthday. Don’t let the Twos catch up with you! Call your family dentist to schedule a visit.

Posted on behalf of:
Three Creek Dentistry
7236 Muncaster Mill Rd.
Derwood MD 20855
240-256-3258

Nov
12

Healthy Summer Snacks for Your Kids

School is getting ready to let out, and parents everywhere are planning out their summer activities. From day camps to water parks, there’s no more exciting part of the year for your kids (except for maybe Christmas break.) With all that energy they’re burning, they’re sure to be hungry too! Here are some healthy snack ideas that can keep tummies satisfied without being hard on teeth:

Cheese Sticks — Sharp cheddar cheese is rich in calcium for strong teeth and bones. It’s also been proven to neutralize acid inside of the mouth, helping people reduce their risk of tooth decay.

Apples — Biting into crisp, fresh fruit keeps teeth clean and adds important vitamins to your child’s diet. Stick to anything that can be picked. The texture of apples and carrots in particular, are great for teeth and gums.

Nuts — Assuming your child doesn’t have a nut allergy, nuts like almonds and other varieties are packed with Omega-3 fatty acids. This nutrient helps keep gums healthy, but it’s also essential to healthy brain development.

Be Sure to Avoid the Sports Drinks — If your child is active in a summer soccer or baseball league, you’re probably bound to see tons of sports drinks on the team bench. However, unless your child is physically exerting themselves at the level of an Olympic athlete or at risk of a heat stroke due to temperatures, water is all they need to stay hydrated. Sports drinks cause rapid tooth decay (worse than soda) so it’s better to find a fun, personalized bottle and keep it full of fluoridated tap water.

Don’t forget to schedule that next dental cleaning and check-up for your child. Call your dentist today.

Posted on behalf of:
Dental Care of Acworth
5552 Robin Road Suite A
Acworth GA 30103
678-888-1554

Nov
12

Loose Dentures? Consider Getting Them Retrofitted for Dental Implants

Posted in Dentures

Wearing dentures can take a lot of practice to get used to. If you’re new to one of these prosthetics, you’ve had to take time to work on everything from talking to chewing your food. But what if it feels like your denture still isn’t sticking in place like it should? Especially for people with lower dentures, this can be a big problem.

Fortunately, there’s a better option than using gooey adhesives or messy pastes to keep your teeth in place. You could talk to your dentist about retrofitting your denture so that it snaps over dental implants.

Snap in Dentures and Implant Locators

Implant locators are small abutments that extend above your gumlines, on top of the implant that’s inserted into your jaw. They act as anchors that fit into your denture, so that you can “snap” your prosthesis down on top of them.

In some cases, all you need is two implants to give you the stability that you need.

Having an overdenture that’s removable makes it easier to keep your prosthesis clean, care for your gums, and still get the added benefit of implant stabilization.

What Other Options Are There? 

You could always talk about having your dentist reline your denture so that it fits more snuggly against your teeth. Or if your denture needs to be replaced entirely, you might want to consider a permanent option that’s affixed directly onto four to six implants and never comes out of place (it’s only removable by your dentist.)

Talk to your dentist or implant provider to see if an implant retained denture is the right option for you!

Posted on behalf of:
Center For Restorative, Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry
711 Greenbriar Pkwy, Suite 101
Chesapeake, VA 23320
(757) 547-2770

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