ANOTHER YEAR IS COMING to a close, and that means another year of insurance benefits is about to expire. If you haven’t taken advantage of your dental insurance yet, that’s okay, but the year is almost over, so the time to use them is now. To help you prepare, we’ve put together some information about how dental insurance works at our practice.
What Dental Plans Typically Cover
Depending on the details and coverage of your plan most dental insurance plans usually will have a spending allowance every year. If you don’t utilize the allowance it expires and resets. You may have a treatment plan that requires several teeth or phases of treatment. Depending on your plan we may be able to optimize the coverage of your plan by using all of the supporting funds before the runout. We are happy to review your specific plan with you and show you how to make the best use of your insurance funds available for you.
Do You Have Compatible Insurance?
If you are curious about if we accept your insurance, and if we don’t how much your treatment will cost? Call us today and we will review your options with you.
Getting Everything Done On Time
Although the end of the year can feel far off, often times insurance may not cover portions of treatment if they overlap with the new year. Given that some treatments involve more the one phase – please call us today to discuss any treatment you may have pending.
If It’s Been A While, Let’s Chat!
If you have more questions regarding your insurance and how to use it, just stop by! We can answer all the questions you have and get you on the right path to affordable dental care!
Take advantage of those benefits while there’s still time!
CHEWING IS THE FIRST STEP in digestion! But chewing our food only enough to swallow it down doesn’t count. If you’re rushing proper chewing especially if it’s due to dental distress, you’re robbing yourself of some important benefits! It's our goal is to help you understand that your teeth are more then just aesthetics, they are a key part to your total body health.
Chewing Helps Retain Energy And Absorb Nutrients
Chewing our food does more than simply give us time to taste flavors. The more we chew our food, the more it’s broken down into elements we can absorb and use. When we swallow minimally chewed food, some of the nutrients and energy remains locked in making it more difficult to enter our bodies.
Chewing Aids Digestion
When saliva mixes with the foods we eat, we begin to digest it before we even swallow it. This is because saliva contains digestive enzymes that begin breaking our food down right away. In addition, unchewed pieces of food can cause digestive discomfort.
Chewing Gives Us Time To Notice We’re Full
Often, especially when we’re wolfing down our food, we eat more than we should before our body is able to give us the “full” notification. Eating slower can help us control our portions and feel more satisfied.
If Your Bite Is To Blame, Let’s Visit
If you’re not chewing your food properly, are your teeth to blame? Malocclusion (an uneven bite), tooth sensitivity, missing teeth, or poorly fitting dentures can all cause minimal chewing. You might swallow food down earlier because chewing is uncomfortable. You might even avoid certain healthy foods just because they require more chewing
Breakdowns in our oral health start to affect our overall health. If your teeth aren’t doing their job helping you chew, digest, and absorb nutrition from your food, don’t ignore the problem. Talk with us about it. We can get your teeth back into shape so they can better do their job.
HALLOWEEN is one of the most highly anticipated holidays of the year, and it’s almost here! This holiday sees kids, teens, and even adults consuming far more sugar than they would any other time, coming in second only to Easter. The problem with this is that sugar is the favorite food of the harmful bacteria living in our mouths, which means eating all these treats is very bad for our oral health.
Halloween Treats Versus Our Teeth
Any time we consume sugar, that bacteria in our mouths gets a big tasty meal, after which it excretes acid onto our teeth. If you’ve ever noticed an unpleasant sour taste or gritty feeling a little while after eating dessert, that’s why. The acid can do a lot of damage to our tooth enamel, because even though enamel is the hardest substance in our entire bodies, it is very vulnerable to acid erosion.
Fight Back Against The Sugar Attack
We can, of course, do things to minimize the harmful effects of sugar on our teeth. If we eat small amounts of candy throughout the day, then we aren’t giving our saliva time to neutralize the acids and wash away the sugar, so it’s actually better for our teeth to eat all the candy we want in one go.
Drinking water can help get rid of leftover sugars after eating a treat, and there are also other foods that work as natural cleaners and oral health boosters. Apples, bananas, vegetables, and even dark chocolate help scrub teeth clean and also supply important vitamins and minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, and vitamins C and D!
Another essential component of the battle against enamel erosion is a good brushing and flossing habit. Just make sure to wait half an hour after eating candy to brush, so that your saliva has time to neutralize all that acid first.
5 Delicious, Healthy, And Spooky Alternatives
Just because there are ways to minimize the effects of sugar on your teeth doesn’t mean it isn’t still better to choose healthier options for your spooky treats to begin with. Here are a few of our favorite options:
Colby Jack-o’-Lanterns. The cut-out jack-o’-lantern face in the bread and the yummy, calcium-rich cheese in the middle make this one a great, healthy snack!
Monster Apple Bites. Apples are full of fiber and water that help clean our teeth as we eat them, so why not make your apple slices look spooky for Halloween?
Boo-nana. This one is easy. All you need are a few chocolate chips (preferably dark chocolate) and a banana. Bananas are good for the teeth because they are loaded with potassium and magnesium, which help keep teeth and gums strong.
Spooky Spider Eggs. Eggs are great sources of vitamin D and our teeth need it to absorb calcium in order to stay strong.
Clementine Pumpkins. Simply peel the fruit and add a stem! Clementines have a lot of vitamin C, which promotes good gum health.
We Can Help You Protect Your Teeth!
We hope everyone has a great Halloween filled with sweets and scares, but oral health should always be a priority. After you finish eating all your healthy treats and brushing and flossing your teeth, another great way to protect your teeth is to bring them in for their six-month checkup! We look forward to seeing you!
Wishing all our patients a Happy Halloween!
YOU’VE PROBABLY NOTICED that your teeth aren’t all the same shape, but do you know the reason? Humans have four different types of teeth, and they each serve specific purposes, both in helping us chew and in giving us our beautiful smiles!
Types Of Teeth And What They Do
The reason we need so many different types of teeth is that we are omnivores, which means we eat both plants and meat. We need teeth that can handle all of our favorite foods!
At the very front of the mouth, the top four and bottom four teeth are the incisors. The middle ones are central incisors, while the ones on the sides are lateral incisors. Incisors are built for slicing. When we take a bite out of an apple, for instance, our incisors shear off a tasty chunk of fruit, but they aren’t the teeth we actually chew with.
Next to the lateral incisors are our canines, which are the sharpest and longest teeth in our mouths. This enables them to grip and tear food, particularly meat. Unlike incisors, we only have four canines. Their long roots and their position at the “corners” of our dental arches also make them some of the most important teeth in our smiles, because they provide much of the shape. Another name for canine teeth is eyeteeth. That might seem weird, but it’s because these teeth are directly beneath our eyes!
After the canines, we have our premolars. You can think of premolars as hybrids between canines and molars. They have sharp outer edges, but they also have flat chewing surfaces, which means they can help the canines with tearing food and the molars with grinding it up. We don’t have any premolars as children; our eight adult premolars are actually the teeth that replace our baby molars!
Finally, we have the molars. Molars are our biggest teeth, with multiple roots and large, flat chewing surfaces. We have eight baby molars and up to twelve adult molars, depending on whether or not we have and keep our wisdom teeth. Molars are the teeth that do most of the chewing, because those flat surfaces are perfect for grinding and crushing food until it’s ready to be swallowed.
What About Herbivores And Carnivores?
Our teeth are the way they are because we’re omnivores. Herbivores (plant-eaters) and carnivores (meat-eaters) have very different teeth. Herbivores typically have chisel-like incisors and large, flat premolars and molars for chewing plants, while their canines are small, if they have them at all. Carnivores tend to have much bigger canine teeth than we do, but their incisors are much smaller, and while they still have premolars and molars, they are often serrated like knives, built for shredding rather than grinding.
What do all four types of your teeth have in common? They need regular attention from a dentist! Keep bringing those incisors, canines, premolars, and molars to see us every six months so that we can make sure they’re all staying healthy. In the meantime, you can do your part by remembering to brush twice a day, floss daily, and cut back on sugary treats!
Americans View Oral Healthcare as Essential
Most American adults believe that proper oral healthcare is vital to overall wellbeing. In fact, a recent study conducted by the Health Policy Institute (a subdivision of the American Dental Association), concluded that 95 percent of individuals considered dental health absolutely essential. Moreover, 80 percent of Americans believe that an attractive, healthy smile is key to a successful career and an enjoyable life.
Dental Visit Statistics
Because so many individuals ranked dental care as crucial to general health, it’s no surprise to learn that 85 percent of Americans believe that biannual exams and cleanings are necessary. But while 75 percent of participants planned to visit the dentist within the next 12 months, less than 40 percent actually did.
Has it been a while since you’ve been to the dentist? Your general dentist in Thornton can assess your oral health and make recommendations for a personalized treatment plan.
Americans and Brushing
The ADA recommends brushing your teeth a minimum of twice every day, for at least two minutes each time. But how many Americans actually do this? One report launched by Delta Dental found that about 70 percent of adults in the United States follow this guideline. Most individuals fell slightly short of the two-minute recommendation; average brushing time was one minute and 52 seconds.
Americans and Flossing
To clean between the teeth properly, the ADA recommends flossing once daily. Unfortunately, the majority of Americans fall short in this department. According to the same Delta Dental study mentioned above, approximately 40 percent of adults floss once a day. Shockingly, two out of every 10 individuals reported that they do not floss their teeth at all.
Numbers on Tooth Decay
Have you ever had a cavity? If so, you are in the majority. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, over 90 percent of individuals between the ages of 20 and 64 had tooth decay at some point in their lives. Among the older population, this number is higher; 96 percent of those 65 and above were affected.
The good news is that the prevalence of tooth decay has decreased in recent years. Since the water fluoridation movement, there has been a 30 to 50 percent decrease in cavities among the American population.
Numbers on Periodontal Disease
Nearly as common as tooth decay and the leading cause of tooth loss, gum disease affects almost half of the United States population. In a research study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, experts found that 64.7 million Americans have had gum disease at some point. Over 70 percent of adults aged 65 and over experienced periodontal issues.
Contact Your General Dentist
Avoid becoming a statistic. Proper oral hygiene and regular dental visits are absolutely essential to long-term oral health. Routine care can help keep your teeth and gums healthy for many years to come!
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