Internal tooth bleaching can bring a dark, root canal-treated tooth to a naturally bright color to blend in with the rest of the smile.
coming soon to our office: Sinsational Smile, a 20 minute in-office whitening system that is done right after your cleaning. It’s only $99 and there is no sensitivity! Book with your hygiene appointment today: (707) 525-1500
We were very humbled to receive the Dream Maker award at the Junior League awards dinner for our participation in Give Kids a Smile day. The Dream Maker award is a business whose efforts have produced extraordinary results in our community.
This year we participated in Give Kids a Smile Day at our office. We provided free dental care to 53 children and young adults. Some of the young adults we saw came from VOICES, a nonprofit that is dedicated to helping former foster youth transition into adult life. We had a blast and are excited about providing ongoing comprehensive care to some of these patients.
For most people the holiday season is a great time of year to celebrate traditions and enjoy the company of friends and family. Unfortunately, it can also be a time of financial hardship for many. Put these two things together and it is understandable why your dental care is one of the furthest things from your mind right now. Frankly, there are other more pleasant things to do and to think about. We get that. But there are also some important things you should understand if you, like most people, rely on your dental insurance to help cover the cost of maintaining your pearly whites.
Did you know that you could save hundreds or even thousands of dollars by using your dental benefits before the end of the year? That’s right – it’s all about timing. Most dental insurance plans run on a calendar year (check yours) – and this means that this is an important time for you to understand their rules. Here are five reasons that will show you why you should make a dental appointment this month.
Yearly Maximum – This is the most money that the dental insurance plan will pay for your dental work within the year, and averages around $1,500 per person. If you have unused benefits at the end of the year, they will not rollover. You lose them as soon as that calendar page flips.
Deductible – The deductible is the amount of money you must pay to your dentist out of pocket before your insurance company will pay for any services, and averages about $50 per year. Again, as soon as 2013 arrives your plan requires you to meet that deductible all over again.
Premiums – If you are paying your dental insurance premiums by the month, you should be using your benefits. Otherwise, why are you paying? It’s like throwing money in the garbage! Even if you have healthy teeth and aren’t in need of treatment at this time, your regular cleanings and exams are usually covered at 100 percent. This is because insurance companies have figured out that it saves them (and you) money if you catch problems when they are small rather than waiting for expensive treatment needs.
Fee Increases – Another reason to use your dental benefits before the end of the year is possible fee increases. It is a fact that health-care costs are rising way faster in America than inflation, despite a struggling economy. Most of these increases occur at the beginning of the year.
Dental Problems Can Worsen – This is intuitive: By delaying dental treatment now, you are risking more extensive and expensive treatment down the road. What may be a simple cavity now, could turn into a root canal later and maybe even lead to tooth loss.
So, if you have dental insurance, take a year-end inventory of your plan and see if you can put it to work. It really is, as they say, a “use it or lose it” proposition. Don’t lose it. Happy Holidays!
CHICAGO (October 2, 2012)—Academy of General Dentistry spokesperson Steven A. Ghareeb, DDS, FAGD, offers advice on how to keep your smile healthy and pretty by avoiding these five bad oral health habits.
1. Not flossing
Brushing your teeth twice a day is important, but many patients don’t realize that flossing at least once a day is just as critical to achieving—and maintaining—a healthy smile. Flossing removes the cavity-causing bacteria left behind from food particles that get stuck between teeth. “Although bleeding and irritation sometimes can occur when you first start flossing, it’s important to keep at it,” says Dr. Ghareeb. “Your gums will toughen up and your oral health will be better for it.”
2. Brushing too soon after eating
Consuming acidic foods and beverages, such as sports and energy drinks, citrus fruits, wine, and tomatoes, can erode tooth enamel—the glossy outer layer of the tooth. Brushing your teeth too soon after eating and drinking these items can cause more damage because you are essentially brushing the acid into the teeth, not getting rid of it. Instead, you should rinse your mouth with water after consuming acidic foods and beverages and wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your pearly whites!
3. Not replacing your toothbrush often enough
Not only are old toothbrushes ineffective, but they also harbor harmful bacteria that can cause infections. Toothbrushes should be changed every three to four months. “It’s also important to change your toothbrush after you’ve had a cold,” says Dr. Ghareeb.
4. Excessively bleaching your teeth
Overzealous bleaching can cause your teeth to look unnaturally white and increase tooth sensitivity. Before using an at-home bleaching product, talk to your dentist. “He or she can advise you on proper use of these products as well as which type of bleaching system will provide you with the best results,” says Dr. Ghareeb.
5. Using a hard-bristled toothbrush
A hard-bristled toothbrush coupled with an aggressive brushing technique can cause irreversible damage to your gums. Use a soft toothbrush and gently brush your teeth at a 45-degree angle, in a circular motion. Using a back-and-forth, sawing motion causes the gums to recede, and can expose the root of the tooth, making teeth extremely sensitive.
To learn more about good oral health habits, talk to your dentist and visit www.KnowYourTeeth.com.