Category: Individuals

Electric toothbrushes

Manual vs Electric Toothbrushes: Pros and Cons

Now that we know the many benefits that brushing can provide, what kind of brush do you choose? Manual or electric? Although a manual toothbrush is sufficient to effectively clean your teeth, you may find the benefits of an electric toothbrush enticing. Let’s cover the pros and cons of using an electric toothbrush to help you decide what’s best to use.

Electric Toothbrush Pros

Powerful Cleaning Movements: Several thousand movements per minute versus a few hundred with manual brushing. This may lead to more plaque removal.

Easy to Use: Almost takes the guesswork out of brushing technique. Can be ideal for children or those who have a hard time using their hands.

Individualized: Choose the brush head and technology that works for you. With many different pulsating or rotating brush-head options, you may provide a more effective cleaning for your situation. For example, those with braces may benefit from an electric toothbrush to clean in and around metal parts of the mouth.

Features: With features like an automatic timer or shut off, you won’t have to keep track of how long to brush.

Electric Toothbrush Cons

Expensive: Instead of paying a couple of dollars for a manual toothbrush, you can find yourself spending $100 or more on an electric. Replacement part costs can also add up quickly.

Too relaxed: Some people tend to get a little too comfortable with their electric toothbrush (not brushing regularly) knowing that their brush is more powerful. It is recommended to still brush at least twice a day.

Bigger, bulkier: Takes up more space to store in bathroom or when traveling.

Teeth whitening

10 Teeth Whitening Tips

 Brush Up Your Confidence

A sparkling, white smile can make a lasting impression and boost your confidence.  Yes, we all long for a whiter, brighter smile. So bid farewell to yellow, stained teeth because here are 10 teeth whitening tip to keep you smiling for days.

Follow These Steps For a Brighter Smile:

1) Schedule a professional in-office treatment.
Laser or light activated bleaching can give some of the best and fastest results. Ask your dentist for options and pricing.

2) Use an at-home treatment.
Over the counter bleaching products, like whitening strips, are an easy and affordable option. Ingredients will be similar to those used in a professional setting, just at lower concentration levels.

3) Use teeth whitening toothpaste.
Unlike bleach products, whitening pastes will use polish ingredients to remove stains that are close to the surface.

4) Eat saliva triggering foods.
Think of crunchy produce like celery, carrots and apples as they will help with saliva production. More saliva means less debris on your teeth.

5) Quit smoking.
You already know the dangers of smoking, and it’s one of the worst ways to stain your teeth. Tobacco penetrates tooth enamel and is nearly impossible to remove by only brushing.

6) Minimize foods and drinks that stain your teeth.
Coffee, red juices and red wine are just some of the foods and drinks that can discolor teeth.

7) Rinse after every meal.
After every meal, especially after the foods and drinks listed above, rinse out your mouth with a glass of water or mouth wash. This is the easiest way to give your teeth a quick cleaning.

8) Floss every day.
Once a day is all it takes to get rid of bacteria between your teeth and help keep them white. It’s just another reason why flossing is important.

9) Brush twice a day.
Brushing properly helps prevent stains by removing plaque, especially on the surface of the teeth.

10) Visit your dentist.
Schedule your next dental exam and cleaning. The tools your dentist uses can effectively remove many teeth stains.

Easter Candy

The Worst Easter Candy for Your Teeth

By now, you’ve probably seen your local grocery store stocking up the holiday aisle with Easter goods. And everyone knows that Easter is one of the best holidays for the most horrible substance for your teeth. Yes, you guessed it – candy. Easter candy is loaded with sugar, which is obviously not ideal for keeping your mouth healthy. But have you ever wondered which types of candy is actually the most damaging to your teeth? For fun, we thought we’d share the worst candy types for your teeth. So as you dive into your Easter treat stash this year, choose wisely and keep your toothbrush close by. Here they are:

1). Sticky Candy:

Sticky or gooey candy sticks to your teeth (no surprise there) and creeps into tiny crevices near your gums. Because it’s hard to remove, the sugar is harder to wash off and in turn, stays on your teeth longer. So take caution with things like taffy, tootsie rolls and caramels as these are some of the worst offenders for growing bacteria.

2). Hard Candy:

Hard candy, like lollipops, stay in your mouth for a longer period of time. And the longer it’s in your mouth, the more you are exposed to harm. When choosing to snack on candy like this, it’s best to actually brush or floss right after to minimize potential damage. But beware, hard candy can also break your teeth (ouch).

3). Sour Candy:

All sour candy is acidic. The acid can damage your teeth, cause enamel to erode and make them more prone to chipped teeth, broken teeth and cavities. Again, it’s best to rinse, floss or brush right after eating sour candy to avoid dental problems down the road.

Looking for some alternatives? We actually recommend sticking to chocolate (in moderation of course), sugar free candy and candy with nuts. Some say that dark chocolate contains antioxidants that can help with the effects of tooth decay, while nuts can break up the sugary consistency. But whatever you choose, be sure to brush and floss after.

Enjoy your holiday and have a Happy Easter.

Dentist Out of Network? Here’s How to Refer Them

Choosing a dentist can be as difficult as choosing a life-long companion. We know it’s an important decision and a pretty big commitment. That’s why we keep things simple by letting you select or change your dentist – anytime you’d like. And, in the event that your first-choice of dentists hasn’t signed up with us yet, you can nominate them to join.

Our already strong network of more than 200,000 dentist locations experiences growth yearly.  And because we strive to have top-ranked dental providers in every area, we welcome any suggestions for new dentists. Contracting with Dental Select is an easy process that can take as little as two weeks. So do you know of a great dentist that is missing from our network? We encourage you to refer them. Here’s how to get started.


1. Visit our member page

2. Click on the refer a provider form

3. Enter your name and phone number

4. Enter the dentist’s name that you’d like us to contact, plus their address and phone number

5. Hit submit


All referrals are handled immediately, and the more information that is included on the referral form, the faster processing will be. Next, a Dental Select representative will personally contact their office for more information. After we collect the information we need, including their contract with us, we can enter them into our system. Please be aware that there are instances where a dentist chooses to not join a network.

For status updates, please feel free to check with your dentist or by calling a Dental Select representative at 800-999-9789.

8 Eye-Strain Tips for Computer Workers

Do you stare at a computer screen for a good portion of your day? As many Americans work in an office-related setting, vision problems related to eye-strain are becoming more and more common.

Computer workers can have fatigue, headaches, eye twitches, eye redness and can lead to decreased productivity. Before these symptoms start negatively impacting you and your work, here is what you can do to help:


1. Minimize the glare – consider getting an anti-reflective screen and check for any reflections that show up on your screen.

2. Adjust the text size – enhancing the text size is one of the easiest ways you can give your eyes a break.

3. Check your monitor – older computer screens can be harder on the eyes. Consider using a flat LED screen if possible. Otherwise, try to choose one with a higher resolution.

4. Stop and blink – it sounds silly, but take breaks to stop and blink your eyes frequently. Also, it may be handy to keep eye drops (artificial tears) on hand. Especially if you suffer from dry eyes.

5. Look away – another simple one, but take several rests from looking at your screen. Staring at something up close can be fatiguing, try focusing on something far away in the distance for 20 seconds at a time.

6. Check your lighting – having lights that are too bright around your computer only contributes to the problem. Aim for ambient light that is far from harsh, and try to minimize fluorescent lighting around you.

7. Invest in protective eyewear – computer glasses are designed for workers who are in front of screens for long periods of time. Consider buying a pair for the greatest comfort at your computer.

8. Get an eye exam – be sure to have an annual eye exam and express any vision concerns to your eye care provider.

Signs Your Pre-School Aged Child May Have A Vision Problem

Preschool age is a critical time for any child to develop and learn. According to the American Public Health Association, 10% of young children have eye problems. The hard part is, getting early treatment as children this age will usually not express a vision problem verbally. Therefore, it’s important for parents to watch for any signs of vision problems, which can include:


– Sitting close to the TV to see

– Holding a book to close to eyes

– Light sensitivity

– Poor eye-hand-body coordination

– Avoiding hands on activities like coloring or puzzles

– Squinting eyes or tilting head when looking at objects

– Frequently eye-rubbing

– Shorter than normal attention span

– Turning of an eye (in or out)


If any these signs are present and there is a concern, then contacting an eye care provider for a comprehensive vision exam is recommended.

New Year, New You

With 2017 approaching, what better way to start the New Year with a healthier version of 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 2017 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.

Want a Healthy Mouth? You’ll Have to Stop Smoking First.

It’s not new news that smoking and other tobacco products can lead to advanced gum disease. In fact, half of gum disease in smokers is caused by smoking, meaning tobacco plays a huge role in its development. Tobacco products can also increase the speed of which gum disease advances. So if you smoke, your dental issues will likely continue to get worse. This is because smokers have deep gum pockets and advanced bone loss when compared to nonsmokers. In short, not only does smoking increase the chance that you will experience periodontal disease, but it’s important to treat early as its severity will develop in a shorter amount of time.

So what is gum disease anyway? Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a bacterial infection that damages gums and destroys the jawbone. Caused by bacteria growth, gum disease starts by forming pockets around the teeth. Initial symptoms include swollen, red and tender gums. As plaque continues to form, soft tissue and bone will start breaking down. The gums will keep pulling away from the teeth, the pockets will deepen and then the supporting structures will be destroyed. At this point tooth pain, loose teeth and even tooth loss is expected.

But it doesn’t stop there. Smoking and other tobacco products bring a multitude of other oral problems, including:
• Bad breath
• Stained teeth (tooth discoloration), including tongue
• Inflammation
• Plaque and tartar build up
• Bone jaw loss
• White patches in mouth (leukoplakia)
• Tooth loss
• Slow healing inside mouth
• Dulled sense of taste and smell
• Difficulties in correcting cosmetic dental problems
• Low success rate of dental implant procedures
• Increased risk of oral cancer
• Advanced gum disease

Generally, gum disease is treatable. Treatment usually includes professional cleaning while advanced cases require surgery. But without quitting smoking first, it’s nearly impossible to treat. Your dentist’s office is a good place to turn for help. Schedule an appointment to find out more about quitting assistance. Once there, you can ask for more information on the dangers that tobacco has on your oral health.

How To Brush Your Teeth


It’s important to know the proper technique of brushing your teeth to effectively remove plaque and prevent periodontal disease, gingivitis, and other serious oral conditions.

To brush your teeth, you first need to choose a soft bristle brush that is an appropriate size for your mouth. If the brush is too big to reach the back of your mouth, choose a smaller head. Next, grab your timer and set for 2 minutes. Yes, two whole minutes! Then follow these easy steps:
1. Use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste, one that contains fluoride.

2. Tilt the brush at a 45-degree angle against the gum line, then use a sweeping motion away from the gums.

3. Use short gentle strokes, using back and forth motions. Also, include the gum line and back areas around all your teeth.

4. Go along the inner, outer surfaces of the teeth. Next, go along the chewing surfaces of the teeth. Be sure to spend enough time to thoroughly clean each section.

5. Be sure to gently brush your tongue too. This will keep your breath fresh.
By following these simple steps, you will increase the likelihood of good oral health and a bright smile.

Self-Test: Signs You May Have a Vision Problem


Think you may need vision correction? You may be right – vision problems are probably more common than you think. According to the Vision Impact Institute, about 60 percent of the world needs some sort of vision correction. So while you are scheduling your next vision check-up, take this self-test to see if you could be in the market for new glasses or contacts soon.

Ask yourself the following questions:

1- Do you have blurry vision?

Let’s test this one. Check to see if you can recognize objects up close and far away. Does it look fuzzy up close? Or is the object blurry when placed 10 feet away? If you answer yes, you may be developing near or farsightedness. Schedule an eye exam with your vision provider to be sure.

2- Do you have trouble adjusting from dark to light?

Try this out: Turn off the light and stay in a dark room for a few minutes. Then, turn on the light. Do you feel like it takes longer than usual to adjust to bright lights? If so, it could mean your eye muscles are weakening. This is a common problem with aging and can be checked out by your vision provider.

3- Do you having trouble reading on a screen (computer, phone, tablet)?

After a long day of working, do you notice difficulty reading on your computer or phone? This may be a sign of farsightedness. Test yourself by reading the same thing at a distance each day. If it worsens, you may need vision correction.

4- Do you experience eye strain and fatigue?

Do you have blurry vision? Are you squinting? Do your eyes feel tired? At some point, almost everyone’s eyes experience some sort of eye fatigue. Try giving your eyes a long period of rest and recovery. If it doesn’t remedy on its own, it may be a sign that you need vision correction.

5- Do you get headaches often?

If you have unexplainable headaches, it may be a sign of overworked eye muscles. Specifically, the mechanism that helps the cornea and lens focus could be failing. Because of this, the small eye muscles start to work harder. Usually this can be remedied with vision correction. Talk to your vision provider to see if this is the cause of your headaches.

Most of these first issues are fixed easily after an easy evaluation with your provider. But sometimes, vision problems can be a sign of something more serious. If you answer yes to any of the next questions below, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment right away. These are problems your ophthalmologist will want to address immediately.

– Do you ever get wavy vision?

– Can you no longer see objects at night?

– Are you experiencing double vision?

– Do you see halos around objects?

– Do you feel pressure around the eyes (or are they bulging?)

– Do you have excessive tearing?

– Do you have a sudden decrease vision?

– Do your eyes have prolonged, unusual redness?

Again, as a precaution, an eye exam is recommended to understand the cause of any of these questions. Search for a vision provider near you today. Find A Provider

Not enrolled on a fully insured vision plan? As a reminder, if you are signed up for a Dental Select dental plan, you are automatically eligible to receive EyeMed vision discounts at no extra cost. Vision Discounts