Don’t Let Dental Your Dental Benefits Go To Waste

As we approach the end of the year, we want to share a tip that can help your family take full advantage of your remaining dental insurance benefits before they expire.

Fall is one of the most fun and busiest times of the year. Most parents are still adjusting to “back to school” routines. There are tons of fun activities from fall sports to pumpkin picking and, of course, preparing for the holiday season. So, why schedule a visit to your children’s dentist, especially if you or you little ones aren’t experiencing any oral problems?

Did you know that if you don’t use your dental insurance benefits this year, you lose them? It’s true – dental insurance benefits don’t roll over to the following year. If you don’t use them, you lose them!

Call us now to schedule a dental appointment for a professional dental cleaning or any dental care you may have been putting off before your benefits expire. Because so many of our patients realize this last minute, November and December appointment slots fill up very quickly. We’ll be happy to discuss your remaining benefits and answer any questions you may have.

How To Be Prepared For A Dental Emergency

Everyone hopes they will never find themselves in any sort of situation requiring emergency assistance, but knowing what to do is an important life and tooth saving tool.  The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry has a few tips if you happen to find yourself in a dental emergency:

When a Baby Tooth is knocked out: Immediately contact your pediatric dentist.  Because of the potential for damage to permanent teeth, a baby tooth should never be replanted.

When a permanent tooth is knocked out. Find the tooth and gently rise it in cool water – never scrub or clean with soap, then replace the tooth in the socket and hold it there with clean gauze or a wash cloth.

  • If you cannot replace the tooth in the socket, place the tooth in a container of cold milk, saliva, or water.
  • Contact your pediatric dentist immediately, and seek their services. The faster you act, the greater the likelihood of saving the tooth.

When a tooth is chipped. Contact your child’s dentist immediately, quick action can save the tooth, reduces the need for extensive treatment, and prevents infection.

  • Rise the mouth with water and apply a cold compress to reduce swelling (if the lip was injured).
  • Place any tooth fragments into cold milk or water.

Dental injuries can be prevented by following these simple suggestions.  

  • Children participating in sports should always wear a mouth guard and other protective gear.
  • Always use seat belts and car seats.
  • Child-proof your home to reduce the risk of fall and electrical injuries.
  • Schedule regular check-ups with your family dentist.

Back To School Tips To Keep Your Student Smiling

Back to school season, for many, is an exciting time – a fresh start to a new school year. This is the perfect time to schedule your child’s dental check up. As you check off your shopping lists for school supplies and clothes, make sure to add a visit to your family dentist and also a time to review your dental hygiene routine at home with your child. This will not only help your child start his school year on a positive note, but can help ensure he stays on track all year long.

Benefit to Starting the School Year with a Dental Check-Up

  • Allows your children’s dentist to examine your child’s teeth for decay/cavities, ensure proper growth and provide helpful tips to maintain a healthy smile all year long.
  • Decreases risk for additional dental issues requiring additional treatment. The American Dental Association says, “prevention and early detection can help avoid pain, trouble eating, difficulty speaking and school absences”.
  • Gives your child confidence to start their school year with a healthy and bright smile.

How to Maintain a Healthy Smile Throughout the School Year

  • When shopping for new school supplies, include new dental hygiene supplies (let your child pick their favorite color or design)
  • Brush and floss at least two (2) times a day. (Make it fun by adding a favorite song or game to the routine)
  • Pack healthy snacks that help protect teeth against cavities (i.e. cheese, apples, carrots, celery)
  • Replace sugary drinks with good old fashion water
  • When participating in organized sports, make sure your child wears a properly fitting mouth guard
  • Schedule routine check-ups every six (6) months

Remember, in order to ensure your child has a happy and healthy school year, we all must work together. See you at your next visit.

Common Mistakes Parents Make With Their Childs Teeth

A parent’s primary focus is to make sure their child is healthy and safe. When it comes to keeping their baby’s oral health, developing good hygiene habits at an early age is key. It’s no secret that brushing daily and visiting the dentist regularly is very important.  However, there are a few common mistakes parents may not be aware of that can be harmful to their child’s teeth.

Delaying Visits to the Dentist

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends visiting the dentist within the first year. Baby teeth are very important in a child’s development as they are like spacers for their permanent teeth. Visiting the dentist even before their first tooth comes in will help identify any issues and allow your child to become comfortable visiting the dentist early on.  Regular visits are important at any age as it allows your family dentist to examine for any potential issues and also do a thorough cleaning to remove excess plaque that regular brushing can miss.

Prolonged Use of Sippy Cups and Baby Bottles

Sipping juice or even milk for long periods can lead to tooth decay because the gums and teeth are exposed to sugar and bacteria for long periods.  Bottles at bedtime are especially harmful as there is not enough saliva produced during sleep to wash away sugar and acid.  It is best to have your child finish their drink then brush and rinse before bedtime. For babies you can wipe their gums and teeth with a wash cloth.

Not Brushing With Their Child

Although toddlers love to exercise their independence, when it comes to brushing children’s dentist recommended parents supervise them until they can do it properly on their own. This is a great time to show them how to brush properly and also brush after them to make sure it’s done thoroughly.  It may take some creativity to get them to comply so try making it fun with music or by taking turns brushing each other’s teeth.

Maximize Your Dental Benefits Before December 31st

Did you know unused dental coverage does not roll over into the New Year? Most insurance policies allow for a maximum dollar amount of coverage each year. If you do not use the entire amount allotted to you, you lose the unused portion.

There is still time to schedule an appointment with your family dentist to make sure you take advantage of any unused coverage for 2014. Whether you need an exam, cleaning or dental treatment, don’t let that coverage go to waste.

Other reasons to schedule an end of the year appointment with your dentist are:

  • Your deductible (out-of-pocket expense before health insurance starts to pay the bills) will reset at the start of the year. If you’ve already satisfied your deductible, now is the perfect time to get those last-minute treatments.
  • Funds in most Flexible Spending or Health Savings Accounts also forfeit at the end of the year. These are benefits you have paid for so make sure to use them!

Take care of any dental treatments now. Dental issues not only worsen but become more costly the longer they go untreated.

Let us help you maximize your insurance benefits and make sure you enter the New Year with a healthy smile. Call us now to schedule an appointment!