Thursday, July 9, 2020

Teach Children How To Brush And Floss!

This is a fun but messy activity to teach your young children how to brush and floss correctly!


All you will need is:
  • Rubber glove
  • Peanut butter
  • Dental Floss
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
Have an adult put on the glove, have someone or yourself put some peanut butter between your fingers (make sure you get it all the way down). Tighten your fingers together (your fingers represent the teeth and the peanut butter is the food that gets trapped). With your fingers still tightly together and extended, have your child use the toothbrush and toothpaste to try and remove the peanut butter. Once they are finished brushing have them try and remove the peanut butter using the floss.

This will help your child understand that brushing simply can't reach all the places between your teeth and that dental floss does a much better job at removing food!

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Who Should Extract My Wisdom Teeth, General Dentist or Specialist?

I recently had a member call and ask me if they were required to go to a specialist to get their wisdom teeth removed. As usual my first question to them was "have you seen your regular dentist and asked them about it?". They told me that they had not yet visited the regular dentist but wanted to save money on 2 visits if they were referred to a specialist.
To answer the base question, the answer is NO. Some general dentists can and will pull your wisdom teeth, if they are comfortable and equipped to do so. My advise was, and always has been, to let your general dentist make that call. Wisdom teeth are more tricky than wise. They can cause you problems or pain especially if they are coming in crooked. In some cases they grow in at an awkward angle and push on your back molars, causing pain and ultimately affecting the healthy growth of the other teeth. In most cases such as that, a specialist would likely be involved. However, if the wisdom teeth are growing in straight and with no issues, then it is possible that your general dentist, if equipped and comfortable with doing so, would be able to extract the wisdom teeth for you.
How the wisdom teeth are growing in can easily be identified through x-rays. If regular check-up and x-rays are taken then the chances of early diagnosis of how the growth pattern of the wisdom teeth is increased.
So in short, (and this applies to any procedure), always check with your general dentist first! Let them make the call to refer you to specialist or not. This, in the long run, can save you a lot of money, time and effort.
If you are a member of our dental plan, please make sure that the specialist that you are visiting is indeed in our network of specialists.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Question From Our Member

Questions From Our Members

R. Hammond of Denver, CO. asks: 

“I have developed a ringing in my ears and after several tests, my doctor told me to see my dentist and get check out.  Is there a dental condition that can cause this?”

Savon’s Answer

What you have is a condition known as ‘Tinnitus.’  It´s a condition that causes distracting tones when the person isn´t talking or listening to something.  Yes, this ringing can also be a symptom of a dental condition called, ‘TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder.’  Because afflictions of the jaw can affect hearing, TMJ can result in tinnitus for some people.

We strongly suggest that you follow your doctor´s advice and visit your dentist as soon as possible.

The original post is in our July 2020 Newsletter!

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

What is Dental Sleep Medicine?

By definition, according to the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine,  Dental Sleep Medicine is an area of practice that focuses on the management of sleep-related breathing disorders, including snoring and obstructive sleep apnea, through the use of oral appliance therapy and/or upper airway surgery.

More and more dentists are entering into this field of treatment.  The way it works is this: A qualified physician diagnoses the condition through a series of studies done on the patient,  then the dentist provides treatment; ( i.e. usually a custom fitted oral device, worn during sleep and designed to keep the airway open by supporting the jaw and tongue.)

A loved one may notice heavy snoring or interrupted breathing patterns that can happen many times during the sleep cycle, however, if you live alone the following signs could be an indication that you may need to be checked out:

                  Mild to heavy daytime sleepiness
                  Morning headaches
                  Depression
                  Decreased libido
                  Inability to concentrate

Additionally, if you are overweight  you may have a higher risk for sleep apnea.  Essentially, through oxygen deprivation and lack of refreshing sleep, this disorder can wreak havoc on your body over time. It can put you at risk for high blood pressure, stroke and even heart attack, not to mention the risk of sudden death while sleeping due to the closing of the airway.

Many people have this disorder and are unaware of the danger it poses.  It is effectively a silent killer.  If you think you or a loved one may have this, contact your healthcare provider and arrange for a screening.  It could save your life!

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Smoking Causes More Than Bad Breath

Quitting smoking isn't easy, but there is another reason why you should make the effort to quite. Smoking causes more than just bad breath, it can lead to oral cancer - which includes the mouth, throat, salivary glands, tongue, and lips.

Early signs of oral cancer include lumps, red or white patches inside the mouth, difficulty chewing, swallowing numbness in the mouth, thickening of the cheeks, and voice changes.

Oral cancer's top risk factor is tobacco whether its from smoking or chewing.

To help prevent oral cancer you should visit your dentist regularly for check-ups, and keep up on your oral routine at home by brushing and flossing daily.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Your Dental Visit - An Exercise in Patience

We've all heard (and are tired of hearing) the term "new normal".  It is an unfortunate but inevitable circumstance of the COVID-19 pandemic. Doctors and dentists have had to rearrange their scheduling, their staff and their sanitation practices to be in compliance with the FDA, ADA & others.  Here are some things you might expect when you visit the dentist for the first time since the pandemic began:
  • Longer wait times for appointments, especially routine appointments
  • You will probably need to wear a mask until you are in the chair
  • Dr.'s and staff will be wearing extra protection
  • You may not be able to have another person present for your visit
  • Expect to have your temperature checked 
  • Expect to be asked to wait in your car until your appointment time.
While many of you will just be expecting a routine exam and cleaning, many others have waited for months for root canals, crowns and fillings. It is likely that they will hold priority, so for routine care, you may have to wait for a couple of months.  
Of course, your patience is appreciated!  Try to be understanding of the delays and remember that this is not the fault of the dentist or his/her staff.  

Keep Smiling!

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Natural Ways To Heal Canker Sores

We all know how uncomfortable and painful canker sores can be.  I'm sure you have tried Orajel and Canker-X to help heal the pain but have you tried any natural remedies? 

Listed below are some natural remedies to help heal those painful sores:
  • Alum Powder (kitchen spice) - Place a small amount of alum directly on the sore, allow it to sit for 1 minute then spit out. *Do not swallow*
  • Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) - Soak a cotton ball in ACV and apply it to the sore.
  • Vitamin E - Open a vitamin E casual and apply directly to the sore.
  • Aloe Vera - Put some fresh aloe Vera juice on the sore 3-4 times a day.
Hopefully, with the help of these, you will get some relief from the pain and discomfort.

To help prevent canker sores you should brush your teeth after every meal and floss twice a day to keep your mouth free of food particles that trigger these painful sores.

If you still end up with a canker sore, use a soft toothbrush such as a perio-toothbrush to prevent irritation while brushing and avoid toothpaste and mouth rinses that contain sodium lauryl sulfate.