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.
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