Category: Featured

Sparkling Water

Is Sparkling Water Bad For Your Teeth?

Is the satisfying fizz of your favorite sparkling water putting you at risk for tooth decay? Any drink with carbonation—including sparkling water—has a higher acid level. Some reports have questioned whether sipping sparkling water will weaken your tooth enamel (the hard outer shell of your teeth where cavities first form).

So, Is Sparkling Water Affecting My Teeth?

According to available research, sparkling water is generally fine for your teeth and here’s why – in a study using teeth that were removed as a part of treatment and donated for research, researchers tested to see whether sparkling water would attack tooth enamel more aggressively than regular lab water. The result? The two forms of water were about the same in their effects on tooth enamel. This finding suggests that, even though sparkling water is slightly more acidic than ordinary water, it’s all just water to your teeth.

Tips for Enjoying Sparkling Water and Protecting Your Teeth

  • Sparkling water is far better for your teeth than sugary drinks. In addition, be sure to drink plenty of regular, fluoridated water, too—it’s the best beverage for your teeth. Water with fluoride naturally helps fight cavities, washes away the leftover food cavity-causing bacteria feast on and keeps your mouth from becoming dry (which can put you at a higher risk of cavities).
  • Be mindful of what’s in your sparkling water. Citrus-flavored waters often have higher acid levels that does increase the risk of damage to your enamel. Plan to enjoy these in one sitting or with meals. This way, you aren’t sipping it throughout the day and exposing your teeth over and over again to the slightly higher level of acid it contains.
  • Sparkling water brands with added sugar can no longer be considered just sparkling water. They are a sugar-sweetened beverage, which can contribute to your risk of developing cavities. So remember—sparkling or not—plain water is always the best choice.
Special Needs

Planning Ahead for Patients with Special Needs

When it comes to dental exams and procedures, patients with special needs may require a little extra care and planning. Although most dentists can accommodate for special needs, there are things you can both consider to help plan ahead for your patient’s appointment. To help you get started, we’ve put together a checklist of things to keep in mind. Before you schedule, we encourage you to discuss these items with your dentist’s office, to ensure the comfort, well-being and safety of your patient.

Here are some things you may want to consider:

Parking – Where is the best entrance to the building for your patient?

Accommodations – Can the hallways and exam rooms accommodate your patient’s means of movement? Will someone from the office be available to help with access?

Comfort – Is there something that you or the dental team could do with lighting, distractions or sounds that could help your patient relax?

Time – Consider scheduling during a time of day that is best suited for the patient (when they are least tired, not hungry, etc.).

Needs – Be sure to let the dentist know about your patient’s emotional needs ahead of time. This can help with communication, comfort and trust.

Medical History – Have your patient’s medical information available. This includes any medications, allergies, surgeries and the patient’s primary care physician’s contact information.

If you have additional concerns or questions, be sure to bring them up to your dentist before your procedure or exam. And if you are looking for a dentist or specialist near you, you can search for one here to get started.

Flossing tips

5 Tips for Better Flossing

We’ve already established that despite controversial news, flossing should still be incorporated into your daily oral care routine. But we know that sometimes, flossing can be tricky. That’s why we are sharing our five favorite tips to help your flossing become easier and more effective:

1). Use a good amount of floss so that you can hold it correctly. Don’t skimp – you’ll need at least 18 inches of floss.

2). Tighten the floss by holding it between your thumb and index fingers and use an up and down motion to guide it between your teeth.

3). As you hold firmly against the tooth, curve around the base making a “C” shape to go gently below the gum-line. Don’t force it, as you may accidently bruise or cut your gums.

4). For cleanliness, use fresh sections of floss as you go.

5). If it’s difficult, use a tool like floss picks or interdental brushes. These can be especially helpful for older or younger people who have a hard time flossing correctly.

Have questions about your flossing routine? Schedule an appointment with your dentist. Find a dentist near you here.

Mouthwash

Should You Be Using Mouthwash?

Q: Should I Be Using Mouthwash?

A: Mouthwash, also called mouthrinse, can be a great addition to your oral care routine. Traditionally, mouthwashes have been used to help reduce bad breath. However, only some types of mouthwash can help reduce the risk of cavities and gum disease. Whichever type you choose, mouthwash should not replace daily brushing and flossing. If you are unsure, schedule an appointment with your dentist to find out their recommendation.

 

Q: What type of mouthwash should I buy?

A: There are two types of mouthwash: cosmetic and therapeutic. Therapeutic mouthwash is available over the counter and by prescription. This type has active ingredients that can help control plaque, gum disease and tooth decay. Cosmetic mouthwash can help mask bad breath (halitosis) temporarily, but will not reduce risk of gum disease or tooth decay. Typically, flavoring agents will only last for a few hours.

 

Q: Can children use mouthwash?

A: Children under the age of six, should not use mouthwash. Swallowing mouth wash should be avoided as it can cause vomiting and intoxication.

 

Q: What are the benefits to using therapeutic vs cosmetic mouthwash?

A: Using the right type of therapeutic mouthwash can reduce plaque and gingivitis, prevent tooth decay and freshen breath as cosmetic mouthwash will only have temporary results to reduce bad breath.

 

Schedule an appointment with your dentist to see if you need a mouthwash and what type to use. Still need to look for a dentist in your area? Search for one here.

affordable dental plans

5 Ways a Dental Plan Will Save You Money

You visit the dentist, only to find out that your major tooth ache is a major problem. And without dental insurance, you start to sweat a little as you weren’t prepared to cover the procedure costs on your own. Sound familiar? Well, this doesn’t have to be the case. With affordable dental plans available, there’s no need to find yourself in this situation.

Besides, there are more ways than one that a dental plan will save you money. Want to learn how? Here are our top five:

  1. Lower costs. We have negotiated rates with our contracted dentists, meaning you can expect lower costs from our highly credentialed providers – every time.

 

  1. Preventative services are covered. This means, that your exams and cleanings are taken care of, 100 percent.

 

  1. Avoid costly problems. With preventive care available through your dental plan, routine services will help keep expensive procedures and issues at bay.

 

  1. Pay less out of pocket. And if you do need a procedure (big or small), you can feel confident knowing you won’t be responsible for the entire bill.

 

  1. Extra benefits. Dental Select plans come with added benefits, with things like discount vision and cosmetic discounts included.

 

To learn more about our available dental plans, click here.

New Year, New You

Need help picking a healthy New Year’s resolution? Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. Here are 10 New Year’s resolutions that you’ll definitely want to steal.

1. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Eating a well-balanced diet, rich in fruits and vegetables will not only keep you healthy, but will decrease your risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease.

2. Start exercising. Don’t feel like exercise has to be all or nothing. It’s good to start in small doses. Try working out a few times a week for 20-30 minute sessions. Once that’s easy, you can build up duration and frequency from there. Remember, exercising can be as simple as walking through the park.

3. Quit smoking. There is no time like the present to kick that tobacco habit. You already know of the dangers smoking has on your teeth and overall health, so what better way to ring in 2018 than to be completely smoke free.

4. Get cooking. Make it a goal to cut back on fast food and cook more meals in your kitchen. By doing so, you’ll have more control over the nutritional value in every meal.

5. Power down devices. Decrease your stress levels and increase quality time with your family by putting away your devices. Set aside a time each day where you and your family turn off phones, computers and tablets. It doesn’t have to be a long period of time – try 20 minutes or maybe while you eat dinner.

6. Do a little Spring cleaning. That’s right, get out your mop and broom a little early this year. With cold and flu season upon us, now is a perfect time to tidy-up, disinfect and get rid of the things you don’t need. After all, a clean, germ-free house will keep illnesses at bay and brighten anyone’s day.

7. Make a dentist appointment. Overdue for an exam? Make an effort to see your dentist at least twice this year. Exams and cleanings are recommended every 6 months.

8. Floss more. Set a goal to floss once a day. Keep floss in multiple places like your car or desk, to give you less chance of forgetting.

9. Sleep more. Staying up too late? Get back on a better sleeping schedule by hitting the sack earlier. Try getting at least 7 hours of sleep a night so you can start your day refreshed and rested.

10. Drink more water. Opt for drinking water when you can as juice and soda will leave unwanted sugar on your teeth. Water cleans your mouth by washing away residue, helps with dry mouth and will keep you hydrated throughout the day.

Baby teeth

5 Tips for Baby Teeth Removal

Does your child have a baby tooth that’s loose? You might be surprised that the old “string on the doorknob” trick, isn’t recommended. That, as well as many other creative methods, can lead to extreme pain and agony. Not to mention, pulling baby teeth too early can cause significant bleeding and vulnerability to infection. So what’s a parent to do? Don’t fret – we can help. So go ahead and remove the string from the doorknob and read these five guidelines for wiggly baby teeth:

 

1 Make sure it’s loose first. If It’s just slightly loose, it’s best to leave the tooth alone. Once it becomes wigglier (when the root dissolves), have your child wiggle the tooth (not pulling or twisting, just back and forth motions).

 

2Try numbing first. To avoid some discomfort, you can first use ice cubes or a popsicle on their gums.

 

3 – Ask your child if they want to do it themselves. Children will know their own pain tolerance, and sometimes it’s best if they pull out their own tooth. This will help reduce the amount of pain and likeliness that a tooth comes out too early – this of course depends on age too.

 

4 – Only help if necessary. Assuming there is no pain and that the tooth is ready, you can use a piece of tissue to firmly grasp and pull the tooth.

 

5 – Ask your dentist. If you aren’t sure, it doesn’t hurt to consult with your dentist first as they will know the best course of action for your child.

 

Still looking for the right dentist for your child? Check our dentist search here.

vision health

Your Eyes Are What You Eat

Yes, it may be true. Eating a diet rich in certain nutrients may help support vision health and keep major age-related issues at an arm’s length (and no, we’re not just talking about carrots). How you ask? Vitamins and minerals from particular foods can reduce your risk of macular degeneration (impaired vision caused by deterioration of the retina), cataracts (cloudy areas in the eye lens) and other age-related vision issues. Luckily, we already know some of the best food sources –  so you can start loading up your plate right away. It’s one of the easiest ways you can begin protecting your vision now for the years to come.

Here are five surprising foods that may help keep your eyes healthy and your vision sharp:

  1. Green leafy vegetables
    • Leafy greens, like spinach, kale and collards, contain certain antioxidants that can lower risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration.
  2. Egg yolks
    • Egg yolk contains antioxidants (luetin and zeaxanthin) and as zinc, both of which can reduce cataract and macular degeneration risk.
  3. Fatty fish
    • Fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel are all rich in DHA. When DHA is low, it can be linked to dry eye syndrome. DHA may also be important to retinal health.
  4. Vitamin C
    • Which can be found in oranges, berries or other citrus fruits. Vitamin C can reduce risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.
  5. Almonds
    • Rich in vitamin E, which can slow macular degeneration.

And if you want to find more food sources for healthy vision, check out this list here. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/top-foods-to-help-protect-your-vision

5 Ways Your Company Saves with Insured Vision

Have you given much thought to adding a vision insurance plan to your company’s benefits? Perhaps you felt it was too expensive, or simply not worth it. That’s where we come in. You may not be aware that with all of our EyeMed vision plans, not only will your employees receive affordable benefits and a consistently easy member experience, but they will automatically receive additional discounts – many of which sets us apart from our competitors. Here are 5 ways your employees will save with an insured vision plan through Dental Select: 

  1. Discounts on Additional Eyewear Purchases

After your employees use their eyewear benefit, they don’t need to stop there. Each insured vision plan includes 40 percent off any additional purchases of complete pairs of eyeglasses. And with no limit on this discount, employees can receive endless discounts on additional in-network purchases.

  1. Discounts on Lens Options

With a fixed schedule of lens options, employees will receive significant savings on the most popular options including: UV coating, tint, standard scratch-resistant and standard polycarbonate. All vision providers are contracted to these discounts, meaning your employees will know exactly what balance they are responsible for ahead of time.

  1. Discounts on Out-of-Pocket Amounts

If employees happen to exceed their original allowance, no problem. They will receive 30 percent off frame allowance balances and 15 percent off any conventional contact lens allowance balance. It’s just another way to protect members from large balance billing.

  1. Consistency of Discounts

All participating provider locations contracted to the EyeMed Vision Network have accepted your company’s plan. Meaning your benefits will be consistent with discounted pricing, wherever your employees go. And with access to more than 22,000 locations nationwide, your employees will have no problem picking a vision provider that works for them.

  1. LASIK and PRK Discount

If your employees would like to receive LASIK or PRK, there’s a discount for that too. Members will receive 15 percent off of the retail price of these procedures.

 

So go ahead, take the plunge and give your employees the option to select an insured vision plan. Learn more here.

10 Tips for Overcoming Fear at the Dentist

Do you regularly get nervous before your dentist appointment? You are not alone. Visiting the dentist can be stressful for many people and mild fear is common. The good news is, that dental appointments are never as bad as they seem and there are effective ways to manage your anxiety. So as your next appointment approaches, keep these tips in mind to help overcome fear of the dentist: 

  1. Meet your dentist first. Before any treatment takes place, ask to meet your dentist in person. Dental offices are usually more than willing to schedule consultations.

 

  1. Schedule an early appointment. Get your appointment done first thing in the morning to help eliminate the chance of stewing over it all day.

 

  1. Talk to your dentist about it. Be upfront and honest about anxiety at your appointment. Have your dentist explain everything beforehand and ask him to speak out loud as he is performing tasks.

 

  1. Use a signal to stop. Before you begin, agree on a sign that you can use to stop if things get too uncomfortable.

 

  1. Bring a family member. Feel free to bring along a close friend or family member; a good support system can go a long way.

 

  1. Listen to headphones. Most offices supply these, but bring your favorite pair of earbuds just in case. Listen to some relaxing music or a podcast to help time move quickly.

 

  1. Consider meditation. Distract your mind by concentrating on deep breaths or repeat a calming mantra in your head.

 

  1. Picture yourself elsewhere. Drift away to your favorite relaxing place. Think of the sounds of the ocean, the view from a picturesque mountaintop or the cool breeze among of quiet field of flowers.

 

  1. Hold something. Release tension by bringing along stress ball or something soft to squeeze.

 

  1. Close your eyes. Try to relax by closing your eyes. Maybe even bring your own sunglasses if it helps you stay comfortable.