Category: Individuals


More Than a Pretty Smile: How Braces Keep Your Teeth Healthy

Just about everyone knows that braces can help accomplish straight, beautiful teeth. But did you know that orthodontic treatment can also improve the health of your teeth and gums? As a matter of fact, they can. So if you’ve been putting off orthodontic treatment, you may want to read on.

Here are three surprising ways that braces will keep you smiling from ear to ear.

1). Straight teeth are in general, healthier.

Think about it, when your teeth are lined up correctly and straight, they are easier to keep clean and maintain. And we all know that good oral hygiene leads to less dental problems.

2). Orthodontic treatment can create a better bite.

Fixing a bad bite (also known as malocclusion) will lead to more effective chewing and even better speech. However, a bad bite can lead to many problems including: tooth decay and gum disease, jaw problems, abnormal wear to enamel, speech problems and tooth loss.

3). Straight teeth are less likely to be injured.

If you have teeth that protrude or stick out, they are more susceptible to trauma. But properly aligned teeth can decrease risk of wear and tear from abrasive grinding.

And if you weren’t convinced just yet, did you know that Dental Select offers individual plans with orthodontic benefits? Check out our individual plan page for more details. Our co-insurance plus plan offers orthodontic coverage at 50% for children 18 and under and a 20% discount for adults. With proper care now, it may actually cost less than more serious dental issues that can develop down the road. And remember, treatment can begin at any age, although it’s ideal to begin orthodontic treatment in younger years.

Discount Dental

Is a Discount Dental Plan Right For You?

Discount dental plans are tailored to individuals and families who do not currently have dental insurance and are looking to save money on their dental care needs. A discount dental plan is not an insured plan. Instead, it’s more like a membership where you get instant access to savings on services like exams, cleanings, x-rays and crowns. After signing up, you’ll pay discounted amounts at each dental visit. Simply give your dentist’s office your personal information and they will call us to verify enrollment on your behalf.

So is a Discount Plan right for you?

Here are 8 reasons why our customers favor Dental Select’s Discount Plan:

  1. You’ll get instant access to benefits the day you sign up.
  2. It’s affordable. See our prices here.
  3. With no claims to file, discount plans are easy to use and hassle free.
  4. There are no waiting periods and no age restrictions, meaning everyone is accepted on the discount dental plan right away.
  5. Ability to add dependents, like children, grandchildren, parents and grandparents to the plan.
  6. You’ll have unlimited plan usage (no annual maximum) so get as much as you need out of your plan.
  7. You’ll receive discounts on orthodontics (for adults and children), discounts from contracted specialists, and discounts on teeth bleaching and cosmetics.
  8. Lastly, you’ll automatically be enrolled in our discount vision program through EyeMed at no additional cost.


Ready to sign up? Get started here.


Dental Plan

5 Reasons to Keep Your Stand-Alone Dental Plan

Thinking of embedding your dental plan with your medical plan? Sure it sounds easier –  maybe even more convenient, but sometimes the easy choice isn’t always the best choice. There is a lot of value in having a stand-alone dental plan. Here are our top five reasons you should keep your traditional dental plan:

1. Know Exactly What You’re Paying For

With a traditional dental plan, you see the true costs and services of your dental plan. There are no hidden costs, and it’s clear to see what benefits you are paying for and what you will receive. But when combining with medical, dental costs often become unclear. You don’t always know what you are paying for or if the price is fair.

2. Less Out of Pocket Costs

When including dental on your medical plan, you can expect to have a significantly higher deductible that will include dental. Sometimes this can be anywhere from $4,500 to $6,500.

3. Experience Fewer Network and Dentist Changes

Dental Select has one of the largest nationewide provider networks. Not only is switching carriers a hassle, but when switching to a medical plus a dental plan, there is a chance of losing current providers. Also, medical plans are more likely to change each year, which again may cause provider disruption.

4. Enjoy Richer Benefits

Stand-alone dental plans offer a greater range of benefits and services versus a medical plan that embeds dental. More benefits means much more value for you and your employees.

5. First-Rate Customer Experience

Dental Select has over 25 years as a sole dental administrator. When changing to a medical carrier, you sacrifice the knowledge, abilities and service of a true stand-alone dental administrator – something that we pride ourselves on offering.

Bad breath

10 Ways to Beat Bad Breath

No one likes bad breath. Not only is it unpleasant and embarrassing, but it usually means there’s a bigger problem inside your mouth. Causes for bad breath (also known as halitosis) can include: build-up of oral bacteria, dry mouth, gum disease and smoking. Although bad breath is a common problem among U.S. adults, it’s usually an easy fix. If you experience an ongoing odor inside your mouth, here are 10 steps you can take to beat it.


  1. Get serious about brushing and flossing.

Plaque that builds up on and between your teeth can easily collect bacteria. These bacteria multiply and give off unpleasant smells. So without daily brushing and flossing, bacteria will linger between your teeth and on your tongue. Already brushing two times a day? You don’t have to stop there. Feel free to brush more often to combat unpleasant odors and eliminate growing bacteria.

  1. Rinse and repeat.

Start using a good mouth wash every day. Choose a good product that gets to the source of the problem (you’ll need one that kills germs and adds extra protection from bacteria). Mouthwash is a good way to freshen your mouth if you need a quick fix – but don’t just mask the problem, make sure you also get to the root of the source.

  1. Stop smoking.

Bad breath is just one of the many problems that comes with smoking cigarettes. Smokers breath is difficult to eliminate unless you quit smoking altogether. Keep in mind that smoking will also stain teeth, possibly cause cancer and damage your gums.

  1. You are what you eat.

If you are worried about your breath, you may want to avoid certain foods before heading to a social setting. Onions and garlic are two foods to usually steer clear from.

  1. “Clean” foods equal clean teeth.

Did you know there are foods that can actually clean your teeth while you eat them? Think of crisp, fresh foods like apples, lettuce, cucumbers and carrots. These foods can naturally clean the teeth. Chewing raw parsley is another good option.

  1. Start scraping.

Scraping your tongue, that is. You can use your toothbrush or choose to invest in an actual tongue scraper. These are designed to clean your tongue and will effectively remove food debris, dead cells and smelly bacteria.

  1. Say no to gum disease.

It’s no surprise that gum disease will contribute to bad breath. The bacteria that lives at the base of diseased gums will create an odor and will continue to persist until healthy again. The best way to establish an oral care plan for gum disease is to see your dentist.

  1. Chew on this.

After a meal, try chewing a stick of gum to stimulate saliva. Saliva helps protect against acids, leftover food and sugars – all of which will contribute to bad breath.

  1. Drink up.

If you don’t make enough saliva, there’s a good chance that you will experience bad breath. Drink plenty of fluids, water preferably, throughout the day. Sugar free candy is another good way to moisten your mouth.

  1. Ask your dentist.

What better person to ask, then your dentist? If your bad breath continues, we recommend making an appointment with your dental provider.

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.