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Creating a Balanced Diet for Healthy Teeth

We know by now that consuming too many sugary sodas, candy, fruit drinks and non-nutritious snacks can increase risk of tooth decay. But a common misconception is that going on a “diet” will fix this problem. We hear the word “diet” and think healthy, but this isn’t always the case. On the contrary, there are also down-sides to restrictive, extreme diets as they interfere with vitamin absorption and can weaken your teeth.

So, what’s a concerned patient to do? Read on to see how your diet is affecting your teeth and why a well-balanced diet will better support healthy teeth and gums.

As many people are already aware, having a poor diet can increase risk of gum disease. This is because too many carbohydrates and excessive sugar will increase production of plaque that will break down tooth enamel. Basically, when bacteria come into contact with sugar in the mouth, acid is produced that attacks the teeth. This will eventually lead to tooth decay and cavities. Yes, tooth decay is very common, but it is also very preventable. Click here to learn more about tooth decay and how to brush properly.

Watching your nutrition and consuming a well-balanced diet helps to make sure your body, and teeth, maintain health and wellness. We recommend choosing a variety of nutritious foods like raw vegetables, yogurt, fruit, cheese, complete protein sources and whole grains. Another helpful tip is to read food labels. Check for foods that are high in added sugars and try to only eat these in moderation.

Now let’s talk about diets. Low carb, no carb, low fat, whatever it may be, many Americans are turning to diets, thinking that this is a healthier option for their bodies. But have you thought how prolonged, extreme diets are really effecting your teeth? Think about it, if your eating habits continually lack certain nutrients, it actually becomes increasingly difficult for your mouth to resist infection. This can contribute to gum disease, tooth loss and possibly cause the disease to progress more rapidly.

Other problems become more apparent on certain diets. For example, on a low fat diet, you can start disrupting the absorption of Vitamin A, D, E and K. This will also impair the absorption of calcium, which can weaken your teeth and bones. Also, when on an extreme low carb diet, your breath can start to smell like acetone, which is a sign that your body is using fat instead of carbohydrates for energy. Learn more about beating bad breath here.

And lastly, on a low calorie diet, your body becomes deprived of minerals and vitamins. Missing out on these necessary nutrients can soften your enamel, weaken your jaw bone and make your gums more vulnerable to gum disease.

Bottom line is, before you start a new diet, it’s important to take into consideration how it will affect your oral health. It may not seem like it now, but depriving your body of needed nutrients can be detrimental to your future health. Instead, a balanced diet, rich in nutrients is always recommended to ensure proper health and overall wellness.

If you need more information, a good place to start is by scheduling a visit with your dentist. And if you haven’t signed up for a Dental Select plan yet, take a look at our current offerings here.

Discount Vision

Enrolled on Dental? Save Big on Discount Vision.

We know you are already enjoying your dental benefits, but are you taking advantage of your vision discounts too? With every Dental Select Dental Plan, you will receive the EyeMed Discount Vision Plan automatically – and for no cost.

So how do you redeem your vision discounts?

That’s easy. First, look up a participating EyeMed vision provider here. Then at your appointment, let your provider’s office know that you are enrolled on the EyeMed Discount plan and they will verify your benefits for you. Once your appointment is finished, you’ll receive instant discounts off your services. That’s it. No claims to file, just instant discounts.

The Discount Vision plan is not an insured plan, but rather a program that provides discounts when you use participating providers. And finding a vision provider, won’t be an issue. With access to more than 22,000 locations nationwide, the EyeMed Vision Network will surely have you covered.

This includes major optical networks like:

  • LensCrafters
  • Target Optical
  • Sears Optical
  • JC Penney Optical
  • Most Pearle Vision locations.

With no waiting periods, vision discounts are available the day you enroll on your dental plan. EyeMed Discount Vision also includes unlimited usage, meaning you can go as often as you’d like. And with brand name frames included in your benefits, you know you are getting top quality products. Did we mention there are also discounts on laser correction surgery and convenient features like ordering contacts online? These are just a few more reasons why you should jump at this opportunity to take care of your vision needs.

Want to learn more about the discounts available to you? Check out the plan summary here.

Holiday Hours

Dental Select is thankful for all of our customers and wishes you a great Thanksgiving! Our staff will be released early as of 3:00PM MST today for last minute grocery shopping. We will also be closed Thursday and Friday for the holidays, but normal business hours will resume next week! Happy holidays!

Happy Halloween Hours!

Dental Select wishes you a FANG-TASTIC all Hallows Eve! All our Ghouls and Goblins will be released early to carve out time to enjoy family spooktaculars as of 2:30 MST today. We will all return for normal business hours when the sun rises.



Dental Select Names Mark Coyne as Vice President of Business Development

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — February 4, 2015— Dental Select today announced the appointment of Mark Coyne as Vice President of Business Development.  As Dental Select finalizes its nationwide expansion and gains entrance into international markets, Coyne will be responsible for planning and implementing business strategies, launching new products and technologies, and national network expansion.


Thomas Nehren Joins Dental Select as Director of Marketing

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – January 28, 2015 – Dental Select is pleased to announce the appointment of Thomas Nehren as Director of Marketing. In this new position, Nehren will be responsible for the strategic direction of brand development and positioning, as well as translating corporate objectives into marketing strategies that drive revenue.




SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — January 8, 2015— Dental Select recently announced the appointment of James Gilbride into the role of Chief Technology Officer. In this new capacity, Gilbride will guide and direct the technological vision for Dental Select by implementing new innovative systems and solutions that focus on the customer experience.

Gilbride will provide executive leadership, overseeing all technical aspects to help achieve company-wide objectives of producing innovative, technology-based solutions for current and future product lines. Reporting directly to President and CEO Brent Williams, Gilbride will be responsible for the management of research and development, for new and existing technologies at Dental Select. This position introduces a “new level of customer service that has never been achieved in the dental industry, including a brand new, enhanced customer portal experience,” said Williams.

“Our top priority at Dental Select is enhancing the customer experience,” stated Williams. “With focus on innovation and technology, we are continually working to simplify insurance for our clients while striving to revolutionize the benefit industry. I am confident that James has the skills and leadership experience to accomplish this goal.”

Gilbride most recently served as Vice President of Technology and has been with Dental Select since 2004. Bringing more than 15 years of Information Technology experience, Gilbride has held several leadership positions in a wide range of industries. Gilbride also serves as the Director of Information Technology for Sealants for Smiles, a 501(c)(3) oral health program sponsored by Dental Select.



Senior Dental Health in Numbers

Despite advanced research and advancements in the dental industry, oral health issues remain one of the most significant challenges faced by seniors today. An estimated 70% of seniors (ages 65 and older) experience gum disease, while only 47% of all adults have gum disease. Seniors also have higher tooth decay rates when comparing to children. Tooth decay and gum disease are the most frequent causes of tooth loss. Although the rate of tooth loss is actually declining, about a quarter of America’s seniors are missing all of their natural teeth.

Oral cancers (mouth, throat and tongue) are primarily diagnosed in the elderly. The American Cancer Society reports about 31,000 cases a year, 7,400 of these cases resulting in death. The average age for these cancers is 62 years old.

Senior dental health can be complicated, as older adults may suffer from several issues at once. Some of the most common problems that seniors experience from poor dental health include: darkened teeth from thinning tooth enamel, dry mouth (medication and disease side effect), diminished sense of taste, root decay from exposure to acids, gum disease, tooth loss, denture-induced stomatitis and thrush.[1]

Several reasons can contribute to inadequate dental care in older Americans. Often, seniors have more difficulty accessing care to prevent and control diseases than do younger adults or children. Many senior Americans do not have dental insurance and lack of dental insurance coverage affects treatment choices and the ability to seek clinical care. Consequently, senior Americans with the poorest oral health are those without insurance benefits. Taking medications, wearing dentures and other general health conditions are a few other factors that seniors face.[2]


Some of the most common problems from poor dental health include: darkened teeth, dry mouth, diminished sense of taste, root decay, gum disease, tooth loss, stomatitis and thrush.”


With proper care and regular check-ups, your teeth can last a lifetime. No matter your age, it is never too late to start caring for your oral health. Many seniors are at risk for a number of health problems; however, tooth loss is not necessarily an inevitable consequence of aging, but is actually the result of preventable oral disease. Learn how proper oral health is vital to living a healthy life.

Dental Select offers senior plans that are tailored to fit your dental needs.  To learn more, click here.




[1] Friedman, Michael: “Dental Care for Seniors.” WebMD. May 22, 2014. <>

[2] “Oral Health for Older Americans.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. July 10, 2013. < s/adult_oral_health/adult_older.htm>


Dental Select Names Mike Nelson As Chief Underwriting Officer

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — September 2, 2014— Dental Select is pleased to announce that Mike Nelson has been promoted to Chief Underwriting Officer. In this new capacity, Mike will provide underwriting leadership and risk management expertise to all the company’s current and future lines of business in multiple markets.

Reporting directly to CEO Brent Williams, Nelson will be responsible for managing profitable underwriting risk while the company continues its rapid premium growth and market expansion.

“Mike has a long standing record of maintaining stability while positioning Dental Select for future growth,” announced Brent Williams, President and CEO of Dental Select. “He brings many years of experience and proficiency, particularly here at Dental Select. His considerable knowledge and leadership in Underwriting will be an important part of new opportunities for us.”

Mike brings 20 years of experience in the health industry including 10 at Dental Select. Nelson is a graduate from the University of Utah with a Bachelor of Social Science, a major in Economics and a minor in Mathematics. Additional credentials in the benefit industry include passing examinations administered by the Society of Actuaries. His positions of tenure include Actuarial Analyst for an international actuarial firm, Senior and Lead Underwriter for a large medical insurance carrier and Senior Account Analyst for a large Insurance Agency in Utah.

The Link between Oral Health and Overall Health

As we grow into senior years, dental well-being is often an overlooked component of general health. In truth, dental health is linked and fundamental to the rest of your body’s functions. Mouth complications can cause immediate problems like oral pain, trouble speaking, and difficulty eating and swallowing. Additionally, research has shown a strong association between poor dental health and other serious conditions, including: heart disease, diabetes, mouth cancer, pneumonia and stroke. [1] Understanding the connection between dental hygiene and overall health is the first step to protecting yourself from conditions and diseases.


Research has shown a strong association between poor dental health and other serious conditions, including: heart disease, diabetes, mouth cancer, pneumonia and stroke.


Senior Health Tips

Practicing good dental hygiene habits, you can stay healthy, happy and improve your quality of life. Here are some tips that you can start doing right away.

  • – Brush with fluoride toothpaste. Brush twice a day. Use a circular motion, a soft bristle brush and take time along the gum line.
  • – Floss once a day. If you experience difficulty with arthritis pain, ask someone for help.
  • – Visit the dentist regularly. Schedule your appropriate cleanings and exams.
  • – Use an antibacterial mouth rinse. This will help reduce bacteria that can cause decay.
  • – Clean dentures daily. Be sure to use a with denture specific cleaner.
  • – Remove dentures every night. At least one every 24 hours to keep lining healthy.
  • – Drink water with fluoride.
  • – Quit smoking.
  • – Caregivers should reinforce hygiene routines. For those who are unable to perform oral care activities independently.


Dry Mouth Tips

Many seniors take prescriptions and over the counter drugs, several of which can cause dry mouth, also known as xerostomia. Dry mouth can have a negative impact on oral health due to the reduction of saliva flow.  Saliva contains essential antimicrobial components that help rebuild tooth enamel. Saliva can also prevent infections by controlling bacteria in the mouth. With many seniors experiencing frequent dry mouth, they are placed at a higher risk of oral disease and infections, including: gingivitis, tooth decay and thrush.

If you are experiencing dry mouth, learn what you can do to help stay more comfortable and minimize your risk of oral complications.

  • – Use over the counter spray, mouthwash, or artificial saliva substitute.
  • – Consult physician to alter medication dosage.
  • – Drink plenty of water.
  • – Use sugar free gum and lozenges.
  • – Avoid coffee, alcohol, soft drinks, acidic juices.
  • – Use fluoride gel treatment


Dental Select offers senior plans that are tailored to fit your dental needs.  To learn more, click here.




[1] “Healthy Mouth, Healthy Body.” American Dental Association. April 2006. <>