Now is the perfect time to review your remaining dental insurance benefits. Oftentimes, insured don’t realize that they haven’t used up all of their dental benefits and still have a remaining balance at their disposal. This amount will be lost and not carried over to the following year if not taken advantage of during the current year.
Most insurance provide 2 standard exams and cleaning every year. This is a very important step to keep a close eye on the dental health and try to diagnose any issues early on that can help in preventing costly treatment later if left undiagnosed or untreated.
2. Did you already reach your annual deductible?
Co-pays and any out-of-pocket expenses that aren’t covered under your dental insurance plan can be paid for with your remaining Flex Spending balance. If you are enrolled in Flex Spending, use up any balance that you have left over in your account before the year is up in order to avoid losing that money. This can be used towards taking care of your dental treatment.
3. Check on your yearly maximum allowance for dental treatment
The yearly maximum is the most money that the dental insurance plan will pay for your dental work within one full year. This amount varies by insurance company, but the average is around $1,000 per year, per person in your family. The yearly maximum usually renews every year (on January 1, if your plan is a calendar year). If you have unused benefits, you will lose them because they will not rollover to the next year, you will start over again.
4. Dental problems can worsen
Avoiding dental appointments or putting off procedures will cost you in the long run, since you won’t use up the dental insurance benefits that are taken out of your paycheck every month. Putting off procedures also ends up costing you more health-wise, since dental issues such as decay and cavities often become substantially worse if not treated immediately.
5. Fees increase
Another reason to use your dental benefits before the end of the year is possible fee increases. Some dentists raise their fees at the beginning of the New Year due to the increased cost of living, materials and equipment. A fee increase also can make your co-payment higher.
At Bliss Dental we will help you make the best use of your remaining dental benefits and provide you with a great smile for upcoming holidays.
What you should know about gum disease
• Three out of four adults in the United States have gum (periodontal) disease.
• Periodontitis is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.
• Ten percent of American children suffer from juvenile periodontitis.
• The average 2-year-old already has a decayed tooth.
These are shocking statistics when you consider that gum disease is preventable and, if caught early enough, can be treated successfully.
Warning signs for gum disease
• Red, tender or swollen gums
• Bleeding gums while brushing or flossing
• Gums that seem to be pulling away from your teeth
• Chronic bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth
• Teeth that are loose or are separating from each other
Prevention starts at home
While regular dental exams are necessary to remove tartar and detect early signs of gum disease, you play the major role in preventing tartar from forming. Here are some measures you can take to keep your teeth for a lifetime:
• Brush for two to three minutes, twice a day, with fluoridated toothpaste. Be sure to brush along the gumline.
• Floss daily to remove plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. Don’t like to floss? Try a floss holder,which can make it easier to insert floss between teeth.
• Although not a substitute for brushing and flossing, a mouth rinse can reduce plaque up to 20 percent. Toothpicks are also helpful in fighting gum disease —ask your dentist about special types designed to keep gums healthy.
• Eat right. Starchy and sugary foods increase plaque, and only a healthy diet provides the nutrients necessary (vitamins A and C, in particular) to prevent gum disease.
• Avoid cigarettes and chewing tobacco, which may contribute to gum disease and oral cancer. Certain medications can also aggravate gum disease, including oral contraceptives, antidepressants and heart medicines.
• Have your dentist correct problems, such as faulty fillings, crowded teeth or teeth-grinding.
• Schedule regular checkups — the surest way to detect early signs of gum disease.
The phases of gum disease
Because it’s usually painless and slow to progress, gum disease can easily reach an advanced stage, resulting in deterioration of gums and bone structure ands then tooth loss. So how do you know if you have gum disease?
Although saliva is not particularly pleasant to think about, it is an important element of your oral health. It helps us digest our food and also helps control bacteria in the mouth. If you experience any changes in saliva production, you should consult with your dentist to diagnose the underlying problem.
What Saliva Does
Saliva is produced in the salivary glands in your mouth, and it consists mostly of water. However, it also contains various substances that help get digestion underway and that also help control the bacteria that builds up in your mouth. Controlling this bacteria keeps you from developing chronic halitosis and also helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Saliva also keeps the mucus membranes in your mouth moist so that your mouth feels comfortable.
If your salivary glands produce too much or not enough saliva, you can become uncomfortable and experience unpleasant side effects. Insufficient salivary production is known as dry mouth, or xerostomia. Dry mouth can cause extreme discomfort as your oral tissues lose moisture and develop sores or cracks. It can also lead to bad breath and tooth decay. Causes of dry mouth include issues like diabetes or HIV. It can also be a side effect of certain medications.
Excessive saliva is rarely a serious problem. However, if you experience excessive, persistent drooling, you should consult with your dentist. It could be a malfunctioning salivary gland or a reaction to a medication you are taking.
Treating Salivary Irregularities
Problems with saliva production can be difficult to diagnose because the normal range of saliva varies from one person to another. If you are uncomfortable, however, you should talk to your dentist. If you have dry mouth, you might need to adjust medications you are taking or take an over the counter or prescription medication that can supplement your natural saliva or stimulate additional saliva production. For excessive saliva production, our dentist at Bliss Dental might recommend treatment such as Botox injections or removal of an overactive salivary gland. Call 972-307-7777 for more information about your oral health today.
Bad breath is embarrassing either when you have it or someone else has it.
If you have been diagnosed with halitosis (bad breath) it can be very hard on your self-esteem and emotions. You might become too conscious about it and withdraw from socializing or worry it might affect your life in other ways. Don’t let having bad breath ruin your life!
Talk to your dentist or your physician about what is causing the problem.
Some types of bad breath, such as “morning mouth,” are considered to be fairly normal, and usually are not health concerns. The “morning mouth” type of bad breath occurs because the saliva that regularly washes away decaying food and odors during the daytime diminishes at night while you sleep. Your mouth becomes dry, and dead cells adhere to your tongue and to the inside of your cheeks. Bacteria use these cells for food and expel compounds that have a foul odor.
Bad breath can be caused by the following:
- Poor dental hygiene — Infrequent or improper brushing and flossing can leave food particles to decay inside the mouth. Bacterial growth between teeth, on gums and on tongue can cause bad breath
- Infections in the mouth — Periodontal (gum) disease, dental caries, yeast infection of mouth, ill fitting dental appliances.
- Respiratory tract infections — Throat infections, sinus infections, lung infections, pneumonia, bronchitis
- External agents — Garlic, onions, coffee, cigarette smoking, chewing tobacco
- Dry mouth (xerostomia) — It can be caused by salivary gland problems, medications or by “mouth breathing.”
- Systemic illnesses — Diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease, lung disease, sinus disease, reflux disease and others
- Psychiatric illness — Some people may perceive that they have bad breath, but oral-health-care professionals or others do not notice it. This is referred to as “pseudohalitosis.”
Adults with hectic lifestyles tend to neglect some of the basic oral hygiene regimens such as BRUSHING and FLOSSING. When this happens, these adults gain various gum problems such as gingivitis, which is a major cause of bad breath in adults. Simply brushing the teeth at least twice a day and flossing at least once in the evening provides optimum gum and teeth protection.
One of the Causes of Bad Breath in Adults is Stress
When a person is stressed, it causes the mouth to dry up. Once the mouth is dry, it becomes a perfect breeding ground for bacteria to grow. This bacterium excretes sulphur like foul smell that results in bad breath. When a person is experiencing a high level of stress, it is important to take a breather and find healthy ways to relax. Eliminating stress can help to eliminate one of the causes of bad breath in adults.
Steps for preventing bad breath:
1. Clean your mouth thoroughly and regularly; also brushing between the tongue and teeth, not just to look good, but for oral health and cleaner breath. Clean your tongue and floss regularly.
2. Keep your mouth moisturized.
3. Chewing gum stimulates saliva production (in addition to covering up the odor with some kind of scent). Mints do not encourage saliva production. Look for gum sweetened with xylitol. For one thing, sugar’s not good for your mouth. Xylitol is a sugar substitute that actually works to prevent bacteria from replicating in the mouth.
4. Drink water. Swish the water between your teeth from side to side. Water won’t necessarily increase saliva production, but it’ll wash out your mouth and it’s good for you.
5. Dry mouth can be caused by certain medications and medical conditions. Ask your doctor about switching medications, or addressing the underlying condition.
6. Talk to a doctor.
If you are suffering from bad breath , to find out cause and possible treatment please contact Bliss Dental at 972-307-7777..
Some people even put off routine dental care for years or even decades. This may result in gum infection (periodontal disease), pain, or even broken and unsightly teeth.
Discolored or damaged teeth can make people self-conscious and insecure. They tend to smile less or keep their mouths partly closed when they speak. Some people can become so embarrassed about how their teeth look that their personal and professional lives begin to suffer, resulting in a serious loss of self-esteem.
People with dental anxiety also may suffer from poorer health in general, and even lower life expectancy. This is because poor oral health has been found to be related to some life-threatening conditions, such as heart disease and lung infections.
Below are a few tips that can help with managing and overcoming dental anxiety:
- Don’t wait to visit the dentist until you are in pain.
- Always tell your dentist and the dental office staff about your dental anxiety starting with your first phone call to the dental office.
- Consider being put to sleep with general anesthesia, taking a medication like valium, or using laughing gas (nitrous oxide).
- An ounce of prevention is always worth a pound of cure so practice good oral hygiene with daily brushing, flossing and using a mouthwash like Listerine.
- Try not to pass on your dental anxiety to your children.
There is a very high possibility that the experiences at a dentist office might not have been pleasant in the past creating a persistent fear of dental treatment. Although picking a right dentist who understands this and helps to manage and overcome this anxiety can help lead to a better dental health and healthier life.
Please feel free come visit us at Bliss Dental and we will help you manage and overcome your dental anxiety.
If you experience a dental emergency, you should go to the dental office for diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible. However, immediately after a dental injury occurs, you can take numerous steps to increase the likelihood of a successful recovery. You should be prepared to take these steps by having a dental first aid kit ready at all times.
Immediately after a dental injury occurs, you can take numerous steps to increase the likelihood of a successful recovery.
Preparing a Dental First Aid Kit
To assemble a first aid kit for dental emergencies, you can assemble several familiar items that will help you treat a facial injury or an injury to your teeth. Many of the items in a dental first aid kit will be the same as those in a regular first aid kit, but others are specifically meant to help with dental injuries. Special items can include:
- A small cup to store a dislodged tooth
- Toothpaste or denture adhesive to help secure a loose or dislodged filling
- Mouthwash to disinfect injured tissues
- Gauze to stop bleeding
If a tooth is dislodged, place it in the small cup with water or milk and get to the dental office as soon as possible. If the tooth is set back in the socket promptly, there is a chance it might recover. Fillings or crowns that fall out should be replaced as soon as possible.
Preventing Dental Injuries
Facial and dental injuries are common but are often preventable. If you take precautions to reduce the likelihood of dental emergencies, you might save yourself a trip to the dentist.
Some of the most common causes of dental injuries include:
- Contact sports
- Slips and falls
- Vehicle accidents
You can help reduce your chances of suffering from a dental injury by wearing a mouthguard while playing sports, avoiding uneven, wet, or icy surfaces while walking, and by wearing a seatbelt while in a moving vehicle. If, however, you do suffer an injury to your mouth or teeth, treat it with emergency first aid and see our dentist, Dr. Sweta Sheth as soon as possible.
A dental emergency can be a very stressful situation. Knowing exactly what to do when an emergency situation arises can reduce pain and long term damage. Below are some helpful tips to keep in mind:
- Cut or Bitten Mouth
Apply wrapped ice to bruised areas. If bleeding, apply gentle pressure with clean gauze of cloth. If bleeding doesn’t stop after 10-15 minutes, or if heavy and cant be controlled by simple pressure, go to nearest emergency room or urgent care center.
- Permanent Tooth Knocked Out
Locate the tooth and pick it up carefully, touching the crown(top) only and not the root, if possible. Rinse the tooth if needed, but don’t clean or handle it unnecessarily. If the tooth is whole(not broken or cracked), gently reinsert it in its socket. Hold the tooth in place by biting down on clean gauze or cloth. If you don’t reinsert it, transport it in a cup of milk or mildly salty water. This helps keep the root alive until you can see us. Timeliness is crucial to help save the tooth!
- Broken Tooth
Rinse dirt or debris from injured area with clean, warm water. Place a cold compress over injured area of face to reduce swelling or bruising. Find and save any pieces of broken tooth you can. SEE US IMMEDIATELY.
- Toothache or Sore Gum
Thoroughly clean around the sore area. Rinse by swishing warm salt water and try to dislodge any trapped food or debris with dental floss. Don’t put aspirin directly on teeth or gums, but do take an over the counter pain reliever like Ibuprofen to help ease the pain until you can see us. If you face is swallon apply cold compress(or a bag of frozen peas can do the trick).
- Possible Broken Jaw
Try to keep the jaw from moving by holding it or gently wrapping a towel or tie around the jaw and head. Get to nearest emergency room or urgent care center.
- Bleeding After Baby Tooth Falls Out
Have your child bite down on clean, folded gauze or cloth over the bleeding area for 15 minutes. Repeat once if necessary, but Call our office if bleeding continues.
- Cold Sores/Canker Sores
Usually over the counter preparations bring relief until sore heal. However, some serious diseases can begin as sores. So let us know if sores worsen and/or persist.
Taking good care of your teeth involves brushing, flossing, and visiting your family dentist, but it also includes some other common sense guidelines to prevent unnecessary damage or premature wear and tear. If you avoid these bad habits, you’ll increase your chances of having strong, healthy teeth for many years to come.
Keeping a Healthy Routine
A regular oral hygiene routine is the best habit you can develop to maintain good dental habits. Many of us fall into the bad habit of skipping brushing or flossing sessions before meals or at bedtime, thus
leaving our teeth vulnerable to attacks from cavity-causing bacteria. We’re also likely to skip appointments with the dentist due to hectic schedules. Regular dental visits are vital to maintaining healthy teeth and gums, so be sure to schedule them according to your dentist’s recommendations.
Another bad habit is not replacing your toothbrush regularly. When the bristles show signs of wear, it’s time for a new toothbrush. In general, you should replace your brush about every three months, whether it’s an electric or a hand-held model.
Harmful Habits That Can Ruin Your Teeth
Other common habits that can cause major damage to your teeth in the long run include:
• Chewing on ice
• Chewing your fingernails
• Chewing on pens and pencils
• Using your teeth to open bottles
• Clenching and grinding your teeth
• Eating sugary foods
• Drinking sugary sodas and other beverages
These habits can cause your teeth to become chipped, cracked, or otherwise damaged. If you clench or grind your teeth habitually, you should see your family dentist, because this can be a symptom of a larger issue.
Avoiding sugary foods and beverages helps reduce your chances of developing tooth decay. These foods collect on the surfaces of your teeth and attract bacteria, which leads to decay. These bacteria can also lead to an increased risk of gum disease.
To find out more about habits that can endanger your dental health, please contact our experienced dental team at Bliss Dental for an appointment. Call 972-307-7777 today.
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