Dental resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions to Smile About

Did you know that the tradition of making New Year’s resolutions started with the Babylonians 4000 years ago? Since the Babylonian New Year coincided with the planting of new crops, their most common resolution was to return borrowed farm equipment. That’s probably not one of your resolutions, but there is something about that blank calendar or planner that makes the start of a new year a logical time for a fresh start.

Today the most common resolutions have to do with health issues such as losing weight, exercising more, or eating healthy. Here are four resolutions that will improve your dental health in the coming year. 

  • Schedule your dental checkup

    Even if you’re not having any dental problems, call your dentist at the first of the year to schedule an appointment. Use your new calendar or planner to record the date.

  • Commit to brushing and flossing

    Most of us brush twice a day but often neglect to make flossing part of our daily routine. Just as you keep your toothbrush easily accessible on the bathroom counter, put the floss where you will see it when you brush your teeth.

  • Reduce your sugar intake

    Reducing the amount of sugary foods and beverages you consume can reduce your risk for tooth decay. Start with easy substitutions like sugar-free gum and replace sodas with water. Add more dairy products and high-fiber foods to your diet. Your waistline will also benefit!

  •  Stop smoking

    Most of us know the health risks associated with smoking, but we may not be aware of the increased risk for gum disease. Use your new calendar to schedule healthy activities to help take your mind off the cravings. Enlist the help of your family and friends. Look forward to the day you can write “Tobacco Free” on your calendar!

Studies show that it can take thirty days before a new habit becomes routine so don’t give up.  Commit to these resolutions for your dental health one day at a time!

tooth illustration with text: dental insurance - use it or lose it!

Get the Most out of Your Dental Insurance!

Did you know dental insurance is typically “use it or lose it”? Most dental insurance plan benefits do not roll over at the end of the year, and many patients don’t get their money’s worth from their dental insurance because they let their unused benefits expire before the year is out.

The Bottom Line: 2015 is almost over so now is a great time to make sure you take advantage of all your dental benefits!

We want to help you get all that you deserve from your dental plan! If you’ve been putting off a check-up, cleaning or treatment, now is the perfect time to schedule an appointment and to maximize your dental benefits. As a courtesy to our patients, our team members are happy to check with your insurance provider and let you know about your dental coverage*.

Call us today to make an appointment, or use the button below to make an online appointment request.

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* Please note that the information we share from your insurance provider is an estimate only; your insurance provider makes the final determination on benefit amounts.

photo of gingerbread men and women smiling

3 Dental Tips to Keep You Smiling Through the Holidays

‘Tis the season for sweets and treats! By maintaining good oral health during the holiday season, you can keep your smile bright and give yourself one of the best gifts of all: healthy teeth!

Holiday parties and events often lead people to eat more sugary treats and beverages than usual. And with the hustle and bustle of the holidays, oral hygiene tends to suffer. If all you want this season is to keep your two front teeth, or all of your teeth for that matter, then check out our dental tips to keep you smiling.

1. Drink Water after Holiday Beverages

Whether red or white, the high acidity levels in wine can eat away at tooth enamel. For kiddos or anyone who doesn’t drink alcoholic beverages, the same goes for sweet holiday drinks like punch. Bacteria in plaque love to feed on residual sugars. To avoid damage, refrain from swishing sweet or acidic drinks around in your mouth, and drink water in between beverages to rinse your teeth of the sugar or acid. Cheers!

2. Go Easy on Sweet Treats

Tooth-decay-causing bacteria in the mouth thrive on the sugars found in candy canes, chocolate, and gingerbread cookies, increasing the likelihood of developing cavities. If you are not able to brush and floss after munching on sweets, drink water or chew a piece of gum with xylitol.

3. Be Mindful of Stress

Holiday anxiety can cause people to grind or clench their teeth, causing jaw pain, headaches, or chipping. Find ways to reduce your anxiety or talk to your dentist about a custom mouth guard to wear while sleeping.

Keep a healthy smile at the top of your wish list. Happy Holidays!

The Ultimate Guide to Dental Hygiene

“Numerous recent scientific studies indicate associations between oral health and a variety of general health conditions — including diabetes and heart disease.” (- American Dental Association)

Whoa! You probably know that brushing your teeth is a good idea, but many people don’t realize just how important dental hygiene is. Since October is National Dental Hygiene Month (#NDHM15), we thought there was no better time than now to spread the word and make sure you have this handy guide to keep your teeth and mouth in tip-top shape!

Ultimate Guide to Dental Hygiene infographic

 

So, to recap, for optimal dental hygiene, just remember:

  1. Brush Your Teeth Twice a Day
  2. Floss Daily
  3. Rinse With Mouthwash
  4. Chew Sugar-Free Gum After Meals

 

It’s that easy!

 

photo of man in suit relaxing barefoot at beach

4 Pro Tips for a Relaxing Dental Visit

A lot of people get nervous or scared about seeing their dentist. We understand and are sensitive to patients’ concerns, and want to make your dental visit as comfortable as possible. Next time you need a dental appointment, try one or more of these tips for making your experience a positive one.

1. Talk to your dentist and dental team.

Talking to us about your concerns is THE most important thing you can do. We’re here to help and want to make you comfortable!

If you’re a new patient… Would you like a tour of the office? Do you have questions you want to ask the dentist before you make a decision? Just let us know!

If you’re already a patient… Do you like extra time to ask a lot of questions? Or maybe you’d rather not hear certain details? Is there something specific you would like to have done or not done during your treatment? You can always ask for breaks during treatment by raising your hand if you’re unable to speak. Every person is different, so the more you can help us get to know you, the better we’ll be able to tailor your experience to your needs and preferences.

2. Ask us for extras!

Most of our offices have comfort items available for you, like protective eye wear, pillows for a sore neck, blankets if you tend to get chilly, and bottled water if you are thirsty. Many offices have TVs available for patients to watch during treatment, so if you’d rather have a movie on than a cooking show, just say the word. (If there is something you know you will want, call us in advance to make sure that it is available at the office you visit.)

3.  Make yourself comfortable when you come in.

Wear your most comfortable clothing. If you have a favorite sweatshirt or flannel pants, wear ’em. If it will help you relax, wear your soft flannel pajamas! We won’t judge you for what you wear- we’ll be totally jealous that you get to wear PJs. Many patients like to listen to music or other relaxing sounds like ocean waves when they come in, so feel free to bring your phone, iPod or other device if this might help you. Another trick for helping you stay comfortable is chapstick. Put some on when you come in, or ask us if you forgot yours. Need something to do with your hands? Try bringing along a stress ball. Finally, if you are concerned about soreness, ask your dentist if it would be okay to take an over-the-counter pain reliever before your appointment.

4. Talk to your dentist about sedation dentistry.

Most of our offices offer some form of sedation dentistry. Sedation options include nitrous oxide gas (laughing gas), medication to help you relax, and conscious IV sedation. The type of sedation that is best for you will depend on your unique needs, including your personal comfort level and treatment needed. If you think you might benefit from some kind of sedation, your dentist would be happy to talk about the options with you.

We have lots of ways to help our patients feel more comfortable with their treatment. The more comfortable you are, the better we can help you maintain your dental health, and your optimal health is our number one priority! If you’re due for a checkup or have other dental needs, just give us a call (<– click for a list of our offices and contact info!) or use the button below!

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illustration of tooth with text: older adults and oral health - take the quiz

Know What You Need to About Aging and Oral Health? Take this Quiz.

September is Healthy Aging Month! Summit Dental Health wants support adults living healthy lives as they age by making sure everyone knows what they should about oral health for older adults.

Ready to test your knowledge? True or False:

  1. Bacteria stick to both natural teeth and dentures.
  2. As we age, we enter a second cavity-prone stage in our lives.
  3. Research has shown links between oral health and health problems common to older adults, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and pneumonia.
  4. The average age of for people diagnosed with mouth cancers is 62.

 

How do you think you did? If you answered TRUE to each point above, then you got them all right! (Click on any point above to visit our sources.) Whether you aced the quiz or were tripped up by a few surprises, keep reading so you know the best steps to take to protect your teeth and mouth.

Brush Twice and Floss Every Day – Dentures Too!

 

This is one of the basics of oral health care at any age, and should be continued throughout your life. If you wear partial or full dentures, this also means brushing your dentures daily since bacteria in your mouth attaches to dentures as well as teeth. Be sure to use a cleaning product made for use with dentures; don’t use standard toothpaste or household cleaners! These can hurt your dentures and cause unnecessary expense if you have to replace damaged dentures.

Drink Plenty of Water

 

Many adults’ cavities are brought on by dry mouth. While dry mouth itself is not expected in typical aging, it is a side effect of hundreds of over-the-counter and prescription medications. Saliva does some important work in the mouth, including washing away bits of food, neutralizing acids in food and beverages, and providing defense against infection. When your mouth is too dry, you’re not producing enough saliva, and cavities can become more likely as a result. To combat dry mouth, drink lots of water, check with your family dentist about an oral rinse, or consider talking with your physician about possible medication alternatives.

Visit Your Dentist At Least Once a Year

 

Your local dentist can offer the best recommendation on how often to be seen for checkups, but at a minimum, you should be going once each year. Prevention and early detection are so important! The nerves in your teeth get smaller and less sensitive as you get older, and the decreased sensitivity means that you are less likely to feel pain from a cavity early in its existence. When you do feel pain, it is possible that the cavity may be too far gone and cause you to loose your tooth.  And remember the links shown between oral health and other health issues? Your dentist and dental team can help spot warning signs of other health problems, as well as perform oral cancer screenings. Last but not least, be sure to let your dentist know about any medications you are taking.

We want everyone to age happily and in good health! If you follow the steps above and maintain your oral health routine, you will be well on your way to ensuring a healthy mouth for a long time. Time for a visit? Just click below to request an appointment and any of our offices.

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(402)-799-1147
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