Did you know if you don’t use your dental benefits by the end of this year, you could lose them? With a little under 2 months left in the year, this is your friendly reminder to use those dental benefits now before they run out! Every insurance plan is different and has different benefits, so call your insurance company or our office to figure out what specific benefits are included on your plan. If you haven’t been into our office lately, we also recommend that you make sure you’ve gotten your 2 yearly cleanings and have scheduled any necessary treatment – read further to learn more about dental benefits and how to make the most out of these last few months of 2019.
Preventative cleanings are fully covered by many insurance companies (not all insurance plans cover these cleanings, so call your insurance company to see if your plan includes them) – this usually includes 2 cleanings a year. If you have periodontal disease and require a deeper cleaning, they are not always covered in full, but there is usually some type of discount or amount taken off. If you have only gotten 1 cleaning this year, or none at all, you should definitely call our office and see if you still have unused benefits and schedule another appointment! Not only might you have benefits to cover the appointment, but it is also recommended to get your teeth cleaned twice a year to help prevent cavities and asses your oral health, so it’s very important to get these cleanings to have the healthiest smile possible. Also, by January 1st you could potentially lose whatever benefits you haven’t used, meaning if you haven’t gotten your biannual cleanings yet you should call ASAP to make sure you don’t miss out!
If you have unscheduled treatment, call and set up an appointment to get it done as soon as possible as well. Not only will your dental pain get worse without treatment (which could lead to a larger and more invasive treatment plan), but also you may still have benefits left in your yearly maximum to put towards treatments– if you don’t use it you will lose it! This money does not roll over and may expire January 1 for many insurance plans, so contact our office to figure out what benefits you have left and how to maximize them. Many times, our Doctors are able to help “stage” treatment for you so that you can start back up again in January when benefits renew. We are always here to help you achieve the best oral health possible.
Appointments fill up very quickly during this busy time of the year, so call as soon as possible to make sure you get in before December 31st. We look forward to seeing you soon! Contact us at 859-442-8200
Happy Halloween! Even though we are a dentist’s office (sugar, candy, cavities, oh no!) we actually love Halloween time! So, instead of discussing the hazards of candy and the potential for cavities, we are going to provide a list of some healthy treat options to pass out on Halloween! We will include some sugar free options and also some healthier alternatives to hard, chewy sticky candy so that you can have the healthiest Halloween possible this year!
1. TOYS! – most kids love toys. While everyone else is passing out the same 10 types of candy, at your door mix it up. Kids love slime, sticky hands, bouncy balls and temporary tattoos. This will keep children busy, won’t get them all hyper from sugar and will last more than one day! Dentists and parents will thank you!
2. Snack Treats – this is always a fun treat I loved to receive, like spooky shaped pretzels, gold fish, snack bars and crackers. These treats are fun because kids can take them to school in their lunch box and they’re a healthy alternative to sticky, sugary, gooey candy.
3. Coupons – I know when I was younger Frisch’s Big Boys and Wendys used to have coupon booklets that people could buy and pass out on Halloween. What a great idea! I’d much rather have a Wendy’s Frosty than a Laffy Taffy anyway!
4. Candy with Xylitol – many companies have started making ‘healthy candy’ with xylitol and low sugar. Xylitol actually cleans children’s teeth instead of causing cavities, and the low sugar content will prevent hyper children on “sugar-highs”. At our office we purchase Dr. Scholl’s candy – a line of sugar-free, Xylitol candies that you can buy on Amazon including everything from lollipops to chocolate and they taste amazing!
5. Candy – if you can’t break from tradition and love candy, we have some tips for how you can make it healthy. First of all, look for candies with real fruit juice that have no added sugar, these are much better than artificial sugar-packed treats. Candies with nuts or nut-butters are a great idea and tend to be healthier, although with so many nut allergies you have to be careful with this and provide nut-free options too. Another option would be to opt for dark chocolate instead of regular chocolate – dark chocolate has been found to have more nutrients and benefits than regular chocolate.
No matter what you pass out, we wish you and your family a Happy Halloween and encourage you to brush and floss your teeth very well for the next few weeks to prevent cavities and don’t forget to schedule your biannual cleaning with our office to ensure your smile is healthy and cavity-free! Call our office at 859-442-8200; the end of the year is filling up fast!
September 29this officially one of our favorite days – it’s National Coffee Day! You may be wondering why your dental office cares enough about coffee to write a blog on it – well let us be the first to tell you that this delicious drink has a “dark side” when it comes to dental health.
The Bright Side
Let’s start out with the positives. It improves your energy! Coffee contains caffeine, which is usually why we all drink it – to get a boost of energy in the morning. Coffee also improves your metabolism, meaning it may be able to help with weight loss, and it contains many beneficial, essential nutrients, including Vitamin B2, B3 and B5, manganese and potassium. It can also lower your risk for certain diseases and is extremely high in antioxidants. So, what’s the problem? Keep reading to find out.
The Dark Side
From a dental standpoint, one of the most negative downfalls of coffee is that it stains your teeth! One cup a day will cause your teeth to gradually yellow because minerals in coffee stick to your teeth and cause them to darken. Coffee is also considered a mildly acidic drink; when you drink it and it sticks to your teeth it can actually erode away your enamel and create cavities. Of course it also causes stinky coffee breath, which isn’t very pleasant.
Avoiding the Downfalls
The best way to avoid the downfalls of coffee is to never drink it – unfortunately many of us rely on this drink in the morning to start our day right and quitting it is not an option. So, here are some tips for those coffee-addicted people like most of us. The first tip is simple – drink coffee through a straw. Drinking coffee through a straw will ensure that the coffee barely even touches your front teeth, preventing staining and not allowing as much bacteria to build up. Another tip is to drink water during/after you drink coffee. This will help rinse away extra bacteria and liquid that can cause staining and cavities. Chewing sugar free gum after coffee can help prevent bad breath and also clean some of the bacteria from the teeth too. Also, it is best to avoid brushing your teeth right after you drink coffee. Since coffee is acidic, if you brush your teeth directly after your coffee you will be scrubbing the acid into your teeth and actually causing more damage than helping them!
Go out and get yourself a special cup of coffee this year on National Coffee Day, and follow these tips to protect yourself from damage all year! If you feel as though you are experiencing some negative effects from coffee-drinking, call our office and schedule an appointment! Our thorough dentists can help treat existing decay, protect your teeth from cavities, and we offer a variety of whitening treatments to reverse the yellowing effect of coffee as well! Visit our website at www.dentalblu.com to see a list of our whitening options, or call our office at 859-442-8200!
We can’t believe it is already August and back to school time! Whether your child started kindergarten today, or you’re an empty nester and just sent your kids off to college, this blog has all the tips on how to protect your children’s dental health during the new school year!
One of the most important tips for keeping your children’s mouths healthy during the school year is keeping an eye on what they are eating every day! If you send your child to school with a lunch box full of gummies, juice, cookies and other sugary snacks it is not so good for their teeth (or their health in general). The sugar that they consume during lunch or snack time will sit on your children’s teeth all day at school, and since most kids don’t brush their teeth until after dinner, this sugar sticks and stays around all day, creating an acidic environment in your child’s mouth that ultimately will create cavities. One of the best tips is very simple: send your child to school with healthy food and a water bottle.Most people do not get enough water on a daily basis, so besides all of the other benefits water provides to our bodies, water will help wash away some of sticky sugar sitting on your kids teeth to protect them from cavities. While juice is a tasty drink it is also packed full of sugar, so try to avoid juice boxes at lunchtime and stick to water! We also recommend filling your child’s lunchbox with healthy snacks – protein, fruits, veggies, grains, and nuts, and limiting their sugar intake to protect their teeth. But, we know that every once and awhile a Fruit Roll-Up is a perfect treat, so make sure your child is drinking water along with their treats to protect their teeth!
While we would love to see every child take a toothbrush and toothpaste to school and brush their teeth after lunch and snacks, we understand that this is not usually practical. So, make sure that they are at least brushing their teeth very well in the morning and at night time with a fluoride toothpaste, and flossing once a day as well. Not only will this ward off bad breath but it’s also important to wash away sugar and residue from the day’s food. Additionally, if your child eats a lot of treats at school for a birthday or holiday party, it’s best to encourage them to brush their teeth once more when they are home from school so that the sugar doesn’t sit on their teeth all day.
Another great tip is to make sure that your child has had their dental cleanings and gotten any recommended treatment done! Usually we recommend that children come in 2 times a year, and some of the busiest times of the year at the dentist office are fall, winter and spring break when children are available to come in for cleanings. Make sure to schedule these cleanings as soon as possible ensure there is room in the schedule for all your kid’s cleanings and possible needed treatment.
Following these tips we can all have a healthy August and new school year!
Lip balm is much more than just a fruity-scented, lip plumper – this moisturizing balm should be used year round, ESPECIALLY if you are planning to lay out in the sun or go to the beach this year! This month’s blog post is dedicated to the importance of protecting your lips through the use of lip balm!
Why We Care About Lips:
Lips are important for eating, talking, kissing, protecting your teeth and soft tissue, and more. Lips are actually just a continuation of your skin – they are slightly different than other parts of skin in that they don’t have hair follicles or sebaceous glands, the glands that secrete oils to keep your skin hydrated. Since lips don’t have a way of regulating oil, saliva is the only fluid moisturizing your lips - this is why they get dry and chapped easily. Lips also don’t produce much melanin, or the component in your skin that allows it to tan in the sunlight. Melanin protects your skin from UV rays so without it our lips are extremely susceptible to damage from the sun, which is why they are so important to protect!
Damaging Your Lips:
Sun can be very damaging to your lips due to the lack of melanin. Sun will cause unprotected lips to become dry and flaky, which can lead to cracked and bleeding lips or even infected sores that can spread to other parts of your mouth and soft tissue. If you suffer from cold sores, the sun makes it more likely that a cold sore will pop up. Another hazard that comes from not wearing protective lip balm is the potential for cancer of the lips. Since the skin on lips is extremely thin and there is not much protection from sun damage, lip cancer is not uncommon. Do yourself a favor and wear lip balm (with SPF) to protect yourself from the dangers of sun-damaged lips!
Lip Balm Requirements
Most commonly the ingredient that does all the moisturizing in lip balm is Vitamin E, but there are various other ingredients that can do the trick. There are also many different kinds of lip balms – ones that are made with natural ingredients, beeswax, honey, mint scented ones and fruity ones, ones that tingle, ones that plump, and ones that are tinted a certain color – but the most important thing to look for in your lip balm is that it contains SPF to protect your lips from harmful UV rays. Other than containing SPF, most of the other lip balm ingredients and unique features are purely preference!
At Dental Blu, Dr. Depp and Dr. Arlinghaus do an oral cancer visual screening at each Recare appointment and exam. Make sure to protect your lips this summer, and be sure to make your dentist aware of any suspicious areas on your lips or in your mouth.
Call our office to make an appointment – 859-442-8200
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