Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Nail Biting - Much Worse Than A Bad Habit

Are you a nail biter? Do you know someone who is? If so, this is something you may want to pay attention to!! Nail biting is actually considered by some psychologists and physicians to be a form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder(OCD). Here are some fast facts about nail biting that you may not know:
  • It is estimated that as many as 40% of teens and 30% of adults may be compulsive nail biters.
  • It is considered to be a nervous disorder, and even an indication of anxiety and passive aggression.
  • It is (in some cases) also hereditary!
  • Thumb sucking and lip biting fall into the same catagory.
The effects of nail biting on the teeth and gums is a serious issue. Long term, it can weaken the structure of your teeth and cause them to loosen, chip or crack. It can also cause misalignment. Bacteria lives under your fingernails, and it is introduced into your mouth when you bite your nails, carrying the possibility of viruses like E-Coli, influenza, the common cold and other diseases that we can't even pronounce... Think about it...whatever you've touched recently may still be lurking around under your nails. Ugh! In addition to that, constant nail biting can cause permanent damage to your nails and nailbed. There are topical applications that have proven useful for kids who are nail biters, but it isn't really effective for teens and adults. Therapy is useful, but expensive. For most, it is a very hard habit to break but have faith....it can be done!
Ladies, you may benefit most from this remedy...switch to acrylic nails and manicures that include polish and artwork! I have personally known people who have successfully grown out their nails by doing this. It works!

As always, Keep Smiling!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Are Dentist Online Reviews Really Accurate?

Tonight, while monitoring the 24 phone line, I received a call from a member who wanted to inform me that he was not going to renew his plan. I assume, by the annoyance in his voice, that he was just hoping to voice his concern to the voicemail system instead of me. So I asked him why he was choosing to not continue with our plan and the response I got seem to set me back a little. He said "ALL of the dentist on your plan suck, I looked all of them up online and everyone of them had nothing but bad reviews" and then proceeded to tell me how we should take the time to check out our dentists before we just put them on the plan. Trying to avoid sounding defensive, I explained our credentialing procedures to him and how we visit our dentists every 4-6 weeks, but he didn't care. In fact, I was informed that I should "Actually do some research online and look them up, because that's what everyone else does" and the hung up on me. Now, I am not writing this blog to complain about an annoyed customer who bothered me at 1:00am. I am writing this blog address the issue of online reviews. Now, I am nowhere near naive to believe that this particular person actually went and looked up all  300+ dentists on the plan and checked for online reviews, but apparently the few that he did look at had nothing but bad reviews and that was enough for him to classify that all dentist on our plan..."suck". (Side note.. the dentist on our plan are the same ones that take all of the major insurances too).

So this leads me to the question.. Are dentist online reviews really accurate? I have no doubt that the legitimate reviews whether negative or positive is a true indication of how that a customer feels. However, the majority of the reviews out there on all of the major sites are very one sided, mostly negative and most likely posted at the time that their emotions are running high. Furthermore, if/when the situation is resolved, the review is rarely removed or updated to reflect the positive outcome.
Let me give you an example. I read this review on Yelp! that was posted by a patient, for a dentist that is in our network. The patient is not a member of our plan. The review, verbatim, went something like this:

(1 STAR) "I went to Dr _____ today. I waited 20 minutes to be seen. Then they wanted to shoot all of these xrays. I just had xrays taken a year ago. Then the dentist looked in my mouth for less then 5 minutes and told me I have 4 cavities. I brush my teeth 3x per day. I don't have cavities. Don't go to this guy, he is just trying to rip you off".

Now, if I judged by just reading this review I would probably never step foot in this dentist's office. However, I happen to know this dentist personally and I know a few things about dentistry. So my interpretation of this review goes like this:

A 15-20 minute wait in a dental office is pretty standard. If the xrays are a year old, then yes they are going to want to shoot more. A lot can happen to your mouth in 1 year. The dentist really doesn't need to take more that 5 minutes to examine your mouth because with the advancement in xray technology, he can see more on the screen and plus he knows what he is looking for. Lastly, I don't care if you brush your teeth 6x per day, cavities happen. Furthermore, there is not a lot of money in fillings, so I doubt he was trying to rip you off.

Online reviews are not always what they seem. The power of the internet and the ability to post any inane thought about a business for any reason with no recourse from the company is an unfair advantage to consumer and one that can hurt a business. Restaurants have closed because of reviews that were posted by people who couldn't correctly boil an egg, yet they are expert enough to review about the lack of seasoning in their spaghetti. At Savon, we once had daughter a former member tag us in a tweet saying "Don't get this plan, they are very rude and unprofessional". Now the actual story goes, that this young lady called the office, yelled, screamed and cursed at one of our team members and was not given the refund that she wanted for a plan that wasn't even hers. In return, we get the negative review for this young lady's rudeness. Was it fair to us? No it wasn't. In the interest of professionalism we declined to respond to her tweet.

My point is this. There is a saying in life that goes like this: "You can't please everyone". Unfortunately, it is the ones that you can't please that will go write a review and bash you for it. That is the main reason why you see reviews that are generally negative. Even more so when it comes to a dentist office. I have never read a review that says "She cleaned my teeth really good". The majority of them are negative and more so if the dentist recommended work because then that patient is being told something that they do not want to hear.

Ladies and Gentleman, I STRONGLY advise everyone to check out the dental center that you want to go to. I am in no way trying to deter you from doing so. However, if your method for doing so is by looking at the 2 or 3 reviews that they have on yelp, then you are not getting enough information to make an educated decision. There are so many more places that you can check. The Arizona Board Of Dental Examiners, The Better Business Bureau, Health Grades and the American Dental Association just to name a few. Wherever you go to check them out, just make sure that you are giving them a fair chance.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Bad Breath Warning Signs

Do you suffer from chronic bad breath? If you do please don't ignore your bad breath, it could be a warning sign of illnesses such as:


  • Liver Disease - This can cause extremely bad breath, even after brushing. 
  • Dry Mouth - Dryness of the mouth can be caused by diabetes, leaving you thirsty no matter how much you have drank and can cause bad breath.
  • Mouth Sores - Besides the fact mouth sores are painful they can stink up your mouth. This is because the bacteria that are attacking your gums, tongue or cheek are also pumping out bad smelling compounds as a byproduct of their digestion. *If you notice these sores are not going away, this could be a sign of oral cancer.
  • Gingivitis - Bacteria from bad gums will migrate to other parts of the mouth, including the tongue which is the culprit of about 90% of bad breath.
If you are or know someone who is battling chronic bad breath let them know there may be some underlying illness and have them visit both their dentist and primary physician so they can get to the bottom of the problem.



Thursday, December 17, 2015

Diabetes and Gum Disease: Some Important Facts

Many people don't know there is even a relation between diabetes and gum disease.  The truth is, diabetes has an effect on the entire body, including the teeth and gums and conversely, serious gum disease (inflammation) can make diabetes difficult to control.  It's a vicious cycle.   Uncontrolled blood sugar can make a diabetic more susceptible to gingivitis. Gingivitis is a precursor to periodontitis, which is more serious and can affect the soft tissue of the gums and cause bone loss.  Any inflammation in the body can make diabetes difficult to control and anyone who is diabetic knows that inflammation is hard to cure if your blood sugar is high, which is why it is important to take steps aimed at prevention, including oral health!

See your dentist regularly for cleanings and exams. Let him know if you have any signs of gum disease such as swelling or bleeding of the gums, and that you are diabetic. Did you know that if you are perio involved, having intensive periodontal cleanings may help to lower your A1C? Don't put off that exam! Always brush and floss at least twice per day.  Using antibacterial oral products such as toothpaste and mouthwash may also be beneficial.

Remember, prevention is always the best plan.

Keep smiling!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Want Whiter Teeth?

Brush Less! Sounds crazy right? A recent study by the American Dental Association (ADA) showed many people believed you need to brush after every meal to keep your teeth white. The American Dental Association recommends you only brush twice a day. Why? When you brush your teeth after every meal or snack you are damaging the enamel on your teeth. 

If you feel the need to brush your teeth, try chewing on a piece of sugar free gum. Chewing gum helps increase saliva flow, which protects teeth.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Holiday Dental Emergencies: An Ounce of Prevention

Ok, so in reality, no one can actually plan for a toothache. It generally presents as a surprise; completely unplanned,  robbing us of a wonderful holiday experience or a weekend trip or even a couple of nights of good sleep.  The best thing is always prevention but in some cases, things happen and you find yourself in need of a dentist, pronto!  And worse,  it's 6PM on Christmas Eve.  I'm not going to lie, if that is the case then you are in a bit of a spot. Your option at that point is probably the ER.   But a little bit of advance planning can save you a lot of pain, both physical and financial.  Here are some of my best ideas for preventing those holiday dental emergencies.
  • Plan a cleaning and exam sometime in late November or December.  Chances are an exam will reveal any potential problems and you can ward them off with early treatment. 
  • Check with your dentist's office (just a quick phone call) and find out what their holiday hours will be.  You never know if you or a family member will have a dental emergency. 
  • Always call your dentist's office at the first sign of a problem.  Even if they are closed, they may be on call or have an answering service and if nothing else, he/she can get you an antibiotic if necessary.  If the dentist is unavailable, however, the ER may still be your only option.
  • If you have a problem tooth and it's been nagging you for weeks but you just haven't had the time to go to the dentist....now is the time. Don't put it off.  Generally, the way they see it at the dentist's office is that "A lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on our part".  Not cool, but seriously, you should get it fixed ASAP!  
It happens.  Life, that is. Inasmuch as no one can plan for a toothache caused by the occasional loss of a filling or crown or a cracked tooth, prevention can go a long way toward not having your holiday ruined by tooth pain.  Take the extra time this season and get that exam you've been putting off!  You'll likely be glad you did.  

Keep smiling! 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Can Sugar Free Things Still Damage Your Teeth?

You may think that since your soda's, energy drinks and candy bar's say "sugar -free" that they are automatically better for your teeth. Sorry to say but according to recent research, they can still damage your teeth.

Australian researchers tested 23 sugar free and sugar containing products such as sports drinks and so on. They found that even if they say sugar free, the acidic additives and low pH  levels still harm the teeth.

According to Eric Reynolds the CEO of the Oral Health Cooperative Research Center at Melbourne University said his colleagues and himself found most soft and sports drinks caused dental enamel to soften by 30-50 percent. Both by sugar free and sugar containing drinks and flavored mineral waters caused measurable loss of tooth surface.

Remember cutting down on your sugar intake isn't always good for your teeth! Always check the list of  acidic ingredients on drinks before you buy! Knowing what to look for can end up saving your teeth and smile!

Click here to see Mr. Reynolds tips on how to protect your teeth!


Monday, December 7, 2015

Dental Patients: Don't Be Afraid To Ask Questions

Just about everyday I get a call from one of our members that has questions about the work that dentist recommended. It is not that they are necessarily questioning the work that has been advised, more times than not it is a case where the patient is confused as to what the dentist wants to do. More times that not my response is "Have you asked your dentist about this?". Surprisingly, the majority of the time the answer is "no". After a while, it started to make me wonder what the apprehension is to ask to the dentist, so I started to ask about it. Here are some of the reason that I have been given.

1. I don't want to offend the dentist.
2. I don't want to make the think I am questioning his ability.
3. I don't want to waste the dentist's time.
4. I was too embarrassed

These are just a few of the ones that I have heard. Whatever your reason is for not asking questions it is something that I would strongly advise that you overcome and just ask the questions. It is no different than when you are talking to your general doctor. When you are discussing whatever treatment that they want to do, I am willing to bet that the majority of you ask questions and explore options. It no different with dental work. The work that is being done to your mouth is important to your health and at times can be a rather large investment. Ultimately the decision of what treatment is performed is up to you and there is no better decision than and informed decision.

I am confident that I can speak for the dentist when I say that they prefer that you ask the questions. I have never heard of a dentist getting offended by it, nor have I heard of a dentist complaining that it is a waste of their time. You can ask for questions without questioning their ability and there is nothing to be embarrassed about. Dentists do not expect you to know every term and everything thing involved in your treatment plan. Also, I have learned over the years that dentists themselves are more comfortable working on a patient that has a clear understanding of what is being done.

So again, don't be afraid to ask your dentists questions. They know better than anyone else what the actual condition of your dental health is.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

VIDEO BLOG: New Video From Santa!

Don't miss out on the great items that Santa left in his bag for you. You can ONLY see them at www.SavonDentalPlan.com. Check out this video where tells you all about it!



Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Could Diet Soda Be As Bad For Your Teeth As Sugary Soda?

The answer is yes!  In fact, diet sodas contain artificial chemicals and acids that can be bad for the body altogether, as well as your teeth.  We all know that sugary drinks such as soda and fruit blends can be harmful to the enamel on teeth, but studies have shown that diet soda and it's acidic additives such as phosphoric, tartaric and citric acids can be equally as harmful.

For prevention of tooth erosion, limit your intake of acidic beverages (these include soda, diet soda, fruit juices and citrus juices..) If you are going to drink them, it is best to do it with a meal, then rinse or brush shortly afterward. According to research, Tap Water (typically fluoridated) Root Beer, Coffee and Black Tea are among the better choices for acidic drinks..  Milk is also a good choice. The compounds in these drinks are less harmful than other, more acidic drinks. Also, the routine of brushing your teeth twice per day with an enamel strengthening toothpaste can help ward off erosion.

It's really all about moderation and common sense.  Obviously if you drink a dozen diet drinks in a day, or sip fruit drinks like lemonade and grapefruit juice all day, you're going to damage your teeth over time!  Just be smart about your choices and you'll keep that pearly smile for many years to come.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Member Question - Blood Thinners And My Dental Procedure?

Member's Question:
“I am in my 70's and I have been on blood thinners for a few years now.  I have been going to the same dentist for quite sometime and have only needed cleanings and minor fillings.  The last time I went in, he decided that I needed to have a tooth extracted but would not do it at this visit because of the blood thinners.  If they can do all of the other work, why can't they just pull the tooth?”

Savon's Answer:
You are taking blood thinning drugs (antiplatelet or anticoagulant) to maintain the consistency of blood and prevent blood clotting.  These make the blood thin enough to flow through fine vessels and this reduced consistency can be dangerous in case of deep wounds or surgeries.

For dental procedures that do not involve cutting — like fillings, whitening, or cleaning — it is relatively safer for you to continue using blood thinners than to give up the medication completely.  That’s because, there are a number of local measures (like using gauze) which can be applied to control bleeding.

Sometimes, patients using blood thinners need major dental surgery or procedure like implantation, extraction, or root canal.  As always, the benefits and potential risks of stopping the blood thinners must be analyzed and weighed.  Dentists might require conducting a series of blood tests to determine the consistency of the blood, and prescribe some pre-treatment medication to the patient.

Although it is very rare in dentistry to cause critical or life threatening complexities, it is important to inform the dentist about blood thinners before going for a dental procedure.  Not only about anticoagulant medications, but you should also discuss with the dentists about every medicine you are taking.  While people using anticoagulant medications can have dental work, dentists recommend patients to share their health record with them.

(the content of this blog was originally posted in our December 2015 newsletter in the article "Here's Your Answer")

Monday, November 30, 2015

Member Question: Why is my dentist no longer taking the plan?

Questions From Our Members

This question has been asked by several members:

I've been going to a dentist on the plan for awhile now and I have always been happy there.  I got this letter in the mail from Savon saying that my dentist has decided to quit participating in the plan.  Why did they decide to quit and what can or should I do?

Savon’s Answer

There are a number of reasons that dental facilities discontinue their participation in a dental plan:

Greed:  The plan has sent them a lot of patients and now they feel they can make more money off the same patients if they drop the plan.

Compliancy:  The dental office feels that they have built such a good rapport with their patients that even if they drop the plan that the patient is on, the patient(s) will stay with the dental office and pay the higher price.

Plan fees are too low:  The fees that the plan allows the facility to charge its members are so low that the dental office is losing money treating the plan members.

Not enough usage:  The plan simply does not send the dental facility enough patients to make it worth participating any longer.

Other reasons:

-The facility has started its own “in house” plan.

-The facility was sold and the new doctor does not wish to participate.

-The patients that the plan sends to a facility are only interested in the “free” services that the plan offers.

In most cases the bottom line is greed.  One dental office that recently discontinued participation simply stated that:

“We don’t need the plan anymore.  We can give your members a 25% discount off our own fee.  They will stay with us because they are comfortable with us and we’ll make more money.”

Savon Dental Plan strives to maintain a fair and balanced Schedule of Benefits.  Every preferred provider is given an opportunity to give us their input as we adjust the Schedule of Benefits.  Every dental facility on this plan has passed a very strict credentialing process.  Each facility is monitored for complaints on a regular basis by our Director of Provider Relations and most of the facilities are visited every 6 to 8 weeks by our field liaison.

The only way to combat greed and compliancy is to refuse to accept it.  If enough members choose a new dental facility, it will hit the old dental facility where it hurts the most, in the schedule and in the wallet.  The moral here is:  You don’t have to stay with that facility and pay higher prices for the exact same quality treatment that you will receive at any other dental facility that participates on Savon Dental Plan.

If you have received one of these letters and have any questions, concerns or need help in selecting a new dental facility, please call our Customer Care Center at 800-809-3494. Our office hours are Monday thru Thursday 9am to 4pm m.s.t. and Friday 9am to Noon.  Our phones are monitored live after hours and on weekends and holidays.

(the content of this blog was originally posted in our November 2015 Newsletter in the article "Here's Your Answer")

Video Blog: Santa Came Savon Dental Plan!


So I was shooting a video to help promote our Savon Online Store and the wonderful things that we have available there when all of the sudden Santa walked through the door. He came by and dropped is bag off at our office and he left something in it for you! Check out what he left at SavonDentalPlan.com

Here is the videos of his visit!


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Is Your Thanksgiving Feast Good For Your Teeth?

Thanksgiving is right around the corner! While you are enjoying that wonder feast, I'm pretty the last thing on your mind is, if these delicious foods are good for your teeth. RIGHT??

The following information is brought to you by the American Dental Association (ADA).

  • Turkey
    • Good: Turkey is packed with proteins.
    • Bad: Turkey get stuck in between your teeth, so make sure to floss!
    • Mouth Healthy: Yes, Eat up!!
  • Cranberry Sauce
    • Good: It's Tasty.
    • Bad: This is sticky, acidic and can temporarily stain teeth.
    • Mouth Healthy: If eaten alone, No. Due to the sweetness and acidity, this should be eaten with other foods.
  • Yams
    • Good: Rich in Vitamins A and C.
    • Bad: Candied yams call for marshmallows which can damage teeth since it tends to stay on your teeth longer.
    • Mouth Healthy: If candied, enjoy in moderation and drink plenty of water to help wash way food particles.
  • Green Bean Casserole
    • Good: Green beans, mushrooms and onions are healthy.
    • Bad: Tends to be stick and they been may get stuck in the teeth.
    • Mouth Healthy: Yes, Dig in.
  • Mashed Potatoes
    • Good: Potatoes contain Vitamin C, B6 and Potassium.
    • Bad: Starchy, and cavity causing bacteria loves the sugar that makes starch.
    • Mouth Healthy: If covered with gravy, No. The health benefits are diminished to some extend .
  • Pumpkin Pie
    • Good: Pumpkins contain Vitamin A, which helps keep your gums healthy and builds the hard outer shell of the teeth.
    • Bad: Contains added sugar plus whatever whipped topping you are using.
    • Mouth Healthy: This is usually a once a year treat so dish it out after dinner!
On Thanksgiving Day, try to avoid foods that contain excess sugar as much as you can, do not snack often. Try to brush your teeth in between snacking and sugary deserts. Consider using a mouth rinse that has fluoride in it and remember to see your dentist on a regular basis.






Thursday, November 19, 2015

There Is Natural Help For Receding Gums!

Do you suffer from receding gums?  You're not alone. A good percentage of the population does.  The problem is that the dental procedures to fix the problem are expensive and can be painful. If you're like me, I try to cut costs and remedy many problems by myself. I've found that the internet is a useful tool!  

Receding gums can be caused by many different things.  Brushing too hard, grinding your teeth, gingivitis, periodontal disease and even heredity can contribute.  But, take heart! There are things you can do at home to prevent and even help slow the process.  The following are some home remedy ideas that I've gathered from the web:

  • Oil pulling -       Sesame oil is an anti-inflammatory and may possibly heal cavities!                                       Coconut oil cleans the mouth of harmful bacteria and is said to aid in the                              regrowth of gum tissue.
  • Clove oil -         Used as a mouth rinse it is an excellent disinfectant and has anti-                                            inflammatory properties.  It is also widely known to temporarily reduce                                  the pain of a toothache.
  • Green Tea    -   More as a preventative: Drink a cup every morning to help remove                                        bacteria and free radicals which can cause gingivitis. 
  • Aloe Vera Gel - You can actually brush your teeth with this for a healing benefit or mix it                                 with water as a mouth rinse.  Probably one of the better options, in my                                   opinion.  
Please note: Prevention is always the best way to go and it is always recommended that you see a dentist at the first sign of a problem!  

Keep Smiling!   

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Prepping Children For The Dentist

Have a young child that needs to visit the dentist, but worried how they will handle the visit?

Preparation is the best method when it comes to going to the dentist.

Here are a few tips on preparing your child for their first trip:

  • Choose a dentist wisely - Seek out dentist that will fit your child's needs. You may want to consider a periodontist (pediatric dentist) these dentist specialize in children dentistry and usually their offices are very inviting to children such as they have games while waiting, a theme throughout the office. etc.
  • Let them observe - Take your child to one of your dental appointments and let them watch. The best observation is a dental cleaning!
  • Sunglasses - This will help keep the bright out of there eyes and allow them to keep their eyes open to reduce anxiety.
  • Trust the staff - This is not the first time they have worked with children, they will have tricks up there sleeve to help make the experience go smoothly. 
Always remember that the office staff wants you to have a great experience!

Friday, November 13, 2015

So What Exactly Are Teeth Made Of?

We take our teeth for granted, really. It's just something we're born to have and other than the occasional maintenance or a throbbing toothache, we don't really think about what's in a tooth!  In case you ever wondered, here it is! 

Our teeth are meant to be permanent structures. They are made up of four things;

1. Enamel - This is the hard white outer coating of your tooth.
2. Dentine - This is just inside the enamel. It's a yellow bone (connected to your jaw bone) that has nerves inside it. 
3. Pupil - At the center of your tooth, the pulp contains important blood vessels and nerves.
4. Cementum - This is what covers the root of your tooth (the part of the tooth that is below the skin), and a periodontal ligament attaches the cementum to the jawbone.

Did you know the enamel in your teeth is the hardest stuff in your body? Even more so than your bones. And when you get a cavity it is actually a hole in the enamel that leaves the dentin exposed. The pupil is the main message center to the brain. This is what tells your tooth to ache when the cavity gets too deep! 

Now you know!  

Keep smiling! 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

How Forensic Dentistry Works.

I personally find it amazing how a forensic dentist can identify a person just by using dental records.

The deceased people who are most often identified through dental records are those who were victims of fires, this is do to the fact that the tooth enamel is hardest substance of the human body and can sustain temperatures of more than 2,000 degrees. Teeth that have been through this kind of heat can be very fragile and could shrink but if used carefully they can still be used in identification.

To identify a person the forensic dentist needs a copy of the deceased persons dental records. In case of multiple people the forensic dentist receives a list of possible dental records and compares them to the teeth in hopes to find a match. A forensic dentist that is working on a corps were the teeth are still in tacked requires them to work in the morgue. The best way to compare teeth is through X-Rays, but sometimes those aren't available, so notation on the members charts can also tell the dentist if they are a match.

Identifying a person without any dental records can be very difficult but things such as broken teeth, missing teeth or anything that may be recognizable by family and friends can be helpful. Also things about a persons lifestyle can be helpful in determining the deceased person such as if they smoked a pipe or was a bagpipe player they will have a distinctive wear pattern.

In addition to dental records, the forensic dentist can pull DNA from the pulp located in the center of the tooth. Unlike the enamel, the pulp can become damaged.

Dental Identification is often the last resort in trying to identify a deceased person.


*Information was found here

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Could Your Toothache Really Be an Earache or Something Else?

Yes, it can! Did you know that toothaches can have a variety of causes and not all are actual dental events?
Impacted wisdom teeth can cause ear pain and ringing in the ears, but in contrast, an ear infection can feel like a toothache. Also, sinusitis and pressure in the nasal cavities and the air passages of the cheek bones can cause pain in the jawbone that may feel like a toothache. Many people do not know that angina pain and some heart ailments can also cause jaw pain and/or tooth pain as well. Occasionally, toothaches are caused by nerve ailments and neuralgia. TMJ (temporomandibular joint dysfunction) can also cause chronic pain that is not related to a toothache. It's never a bad idea to check with a doctor as well as a dentist in the event of unexplained tooth pain. It's all in the diagnosis!

Keep Smiling!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Eating Disorders And Oral Health

Many Americans are affected by eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia and binge eating. It is often the pain and discomfort related to dental complications that first causes patients to consult with a health professional. Dentists are often the first health professionals to observe signs and symptoms of eating disorders.

Anorexia-Involves an extreme fear of weight gain or a dread of becoming “fat” even though these individuals are markedly underweight.

Bulimia-Discrete periods of overeating (binge eating) which may occur several times a week or at its most severe, several times a day. This leads to self-vomiting.

Binge Eating-Binge eating may involve rapid consumption of large amounts of food with a sense of loss of control. Feelings of guilt and shame may lead to repeated episodes of binge eating.

Eating disorders that may include frequent vomiting and may result in nutritional deficiencies can also affect oral health. Salivary glands may become enlarged. Lips are often red, dry and cracked. Lesions may appear on oral soft tissues which may also bleed easily. There may be changes in the color, shape and length of teeth. Teeth may become sensitive to hot and cold foods.

Monday, November 2, 2015

November Newlsetter

Another great way to see what's going on here at Savon Dental Plan is by reading our Monthly Newsletter! This month's issue includes:


Be sure to check it out by clicking on one of the topics above or by clicking here
This newsletter is also available in an email and mail out format. You can sign up to receive our monthly newsletter at by clicking here.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Did You Know...


  • If you don't floss you miss cleaning 40% of the tooth surface.
  • Dentist recommend keeping your toothbrush at least six feet away from the toilet to avoid airborne particles.
  • If you are right handed, you tend to chew food on the right side of your mouth. If your left handed you tend to chew on the left side of your mouth.
  • The greater the amount of time food remains in the mouth, the greater chance of decay.
  • In 200 AD, the Romans used a mixture of bones, eggshells, oyster shells and honey to clean their teeth. 
  • You are supposed to replace your after get sick.
  • Your teeth are unique, just like your finger prints. This is why dental records sometimes are used to identify human remains. 
  • Your tooth enamel is the hardest part of your body.
  • You make 10,000 gallons of spit in a lifetime.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Periodontal Disease & Prevention

According to the American Academy of Periodontology, approximately 64.7 Million American Adults have periodontitis which is the more advanced form of periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease is higher in men than women:
  • Men 56.4%
  • Women 38.4% 

 Stages of periodontal disease:
  1. Plaque builds up around tooth, which causes gingivitis (also known as gum disease).
  2. Gingivitis - Gums become red, swollen and bleed easily. Early stages of gingivitis can be reversed with improved oral hygiene.
  3. Periodontal Pockets - Gums become infected and pull away from the teeth forming spaces called" pockets".
  4. Periodontitis - Irreversible. Causes gum recession, deeper pockets and bone loss. Eventually teeth will become lose and my need to be removed.
Below are some tips on how to prevent periodontal disease:
  •  Brush teeth two times a day.
  • Floss at least one daily.
  • Visit your dentist every six months for a regular routine exam and cleaning.
  • Avoid smoking and smokeless tobacco.
  • Eat a well balanced diet.
*The American Academy of Periodontology recommends that everyone should receive a comprehensive periodontal evaluation on an annual basis. 


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Ringing in the Ears - Could It Be TMJ?

Ringing in the ears (tinnitus) is a common affliction in many people, but since it is a symptom and not a disease it can be tricky to find it's source.  It could be caused by medications, long term exposure to loud noises, high blood pressure, even sinus infections.  It can be mild or severe, even debilitating to some, causing sleep disorders and a disruption of your daily life. One or both ears can be affected and some degree of hearing loss is generally present.

If your doctor has ruled out all of the above causes, consider seeing your dentist to check for TMJ problems.  The jawbone is a load bearing joint, and might I add,  one of the most important in the body.  If you notice popping sensations when you chew or that you are having difficulty opening your mouth, have soreness in the mornings, headaches and aching of the jaw throughout the day, ask to be screened for this disorder. Although TMJ isn't the most common cause, it may turn out to be the root cause of your tinnitus.

There is no cure for tinnitus, but the symptoms can be treated.  Hearing aids can be effective for those with severe hearing loss.  Tiny sound generators that fit behind or inside the earlobe can be helpful by providing a distracting sound (aka white noise) that masks the noise and minimizes it's severity.  Additionally, doctors have prescribed anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications with some success.  There is no reason to suffer anymore!  Contact your dentist and get screened for TMJ.

Keep Smiling!

Monday, October 19, 2015

To Disinfect or Not - A Toothbrush Dilemma

It's that time of year again, you know, when viruses abound in the form of head colds, flu, bronchitis, stomach viruses...your kids bring it home from school, it's prevalent in the workplace, grocery stores, etc. When we or someone around us is sick, we tend to reach for that can of Lysol spray or the bottle of bleach and disinfect everything from our doorknobs to our computer keyboards and even the telephone receiver!  But....what about our toothbrushes? Unfortunately, there is no clear answer to that.  Research differs on the subject.  Some healthcare providers suggest that you boil your toothbrush or rinse it in a bleach solution and then with clear water, or even replace it.  Others will tell you that there is no need because you cannot reinfect yourself with the same virus over and over as your antibodies will prevent it.  Hmmmm.....not so sure I believe that. but to be clear, I am no doctor!

So, who to believe? Personally, I trust my own instincts. To prevent illness from spreading in my household or workplace I will disinfect everything I can imagine that may have have a hint of a virus.  Now, this is a personal thing and others may not feel that way but I prefer to err on the side of caution, and my "phobia" has served me pretty well over the years!  Follow your instincts.  If you think it will help to disinfect your toothbrush then do it, if for no other reason than your own piece of mind!

Stay Healthy and Keep Smiling!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

5 Reason To Choose A Dental Plan Over Dental Insurance

When it comes to choosing dental coverage there are many options out there. Find the one that is best for you can be confusing and frustrating. As insurance companies are now starting to jump on the dental train, finding quality dental coverage requires more and more research. Here's a tip, Do not rule out dental plans. Dental plans have been providing affordable quality dental coverage longer than most of the major insurance companies who have recently started selling it as a stand alone policy.

Here are 5 reasons that you should choose a dental plan over dental insurance.

1. More Consistent Coverage: Unlike dental insurance, a dental plan does not require a preauthorization to get dental work done. So you do not have to worry about a claim being denied.

2.  No Deductible or Coverage Caps: With a dental plan, you do not have to worry about meeting a deductible before your coverage kicks in. Also a dental plan does not have a coverage cap. So you do not have to worry about only being covered for a certain dollar amount per year.

3. No Waiting Periods: If you need a root canal today because you are in pain, insurance will cover it if it past their "waiting period". With a dental plan, you do not have to worry about it. There is no waiting period so you can get the work you need done as when need to have it done.

4. Immediate Coverage: With a dental plan, you get the coverage you are paying for right away. In some cases you can even sign while you are in the dental office and be covered for that visit. You do not have to pay for it now and get the coverage later.

5. Pre-Existing Conditions Covered: This is important for this of you who have had dental work done in the past. With a dental plan, if you have any pre-existing conditions, they are covered as well.

If you would like to know what dental coverage is out there and what the differences are between them you can check them out on our website by clicking here.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Burning Mouth Syndrome (BMS)

According to the Mayo Clinic this is a medical term  for on going burning of the mouth without an obvious cause. This discomfort your entire mouth. Burning mouth syndrome appears suddenly and can be sever as it can scald your mouth.

Unfortunately, no one really knows what causes BMS quite yet but its believed to be some form of neuropathic pain, meaning the fibers in the mouth are functioning abnormally and transmitting pain despite the fact that there is no painful stimulus.

BMS has several different patterns of recurrence, it may occur everyday, or come and go.

Symptoms of BMS may include:

  • Burning sensation though out entire mouth.
  • Dry mouth with increased thirst.
  • Taste changes - metallic tasting.
  • Loss of appetite. 

BMS can be painful and frustrating. With the help of your doctor and dentist they can usually find a treatment plan that is right for you. 

In the mean time you can try to relief buy avoiding any irritating substances like mouthwash, acid foods etc. Suck on ice chips (chewing is bad for your teeth). Brush your teeth with baking soda rather than toothpaste. 
* Remember these are just some suggestions until the professionals find the right treatment for you*

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Benefits of Digital X-rays

Technology is such a wonderful thing!  We've definitely come a long way in the advancement of diagnostics and diagnostic tools in both the medical field and the dental field.  Some may ask what the benefit is of digital x-rays vs. traditional x-rays.  Well, in terms of preventive care,  the difference is huge!  The following are some points of interest regarding digital x-ray machines.

     ~ The images produced by a digital machine are a much higher quality.
     ~ The images can be adjusted so that the doctor can see imperfections in the teeth early in            the diagnostic process.
     ~ There is significantly less radiation with a digital x-ray, which limits your exposure.
     ~ There is no chemical developer involved .
     ~  The images can be transferred from one office to another via email, saving time for the                doctor and the patient.

On the flip side,  the only real negative aspect to this is the cost of the machine, which falls on the dentist. A digital x-ray machine is very expensive.  Consequently, many practitioners do not have them available as yet.  More and more, however,  it is becoming a regular fixture in dental offices throughout the US.  Ask your dentist if digital x-rays are part of their routine.  It's a better option all the way around!

Keep Smiling!!!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Some Useful Ideas For Ordinary Toothpaste

It's a regular staple in every household and it has useful qualities that you might not have imagined!  Definitely a money-saver if you're on a tight budget.

There are many uses for it, aside from just cleaning and whitening your teeth.

Here is a list of useful ideas:

~Use it to scrub and whiten yellowed fingernails.
~Use it to buff out scratches on cell phone screens and watch crystals.
~Fill in nail holes when you don't have any patching compound or spackle around the house.
~Use it as a paste to clean and polish silver or brass.
~Use it to clean and shine piano keys.
~Use it to eliminate the haze that builds up on your headlights. Apply, let sit for a minute and        buff!
~Shine and polish your jewelry.
~Apply to bug bites to stop the itch.
~Apply to bruises to help them fade faster.
~Apply to skin blemishes to help them shrink and heal faster.
~Prevents fogging of mirrors.
~Helps exfoliate rough skin and cleans dirt and tar off of your feet.
~Removes water rings from wooden surfaces.

I'm sure there are more ideas out there.  Feel free to chime in with your own remedies!

Keep Smiling!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Keeping Canine Teeth Healthy!

Not all bones and chew toys are healthy for your fur baby!

The best treats and toys are large enough so they don't become a choking hazard.

Below are recommended treats and toys to keep your pups teeth healthy:


  • Rubber toys - The smooth surfaces offer flexibility when chewed.
  • Fresh produce - Seedless apple slices and raw carrots provide both vitamins and chewing entertainment.
  • Dental treats - Chews that are infused with medications to keep the pets teeth clean and healthy.
  • Pressed pork hide - Pig based chews are high in protein, low in fat and easily digestible. Bonus its softer than cow rawhide.


To help maintain a healthy mouth visit your veterinarian for a full dental exam!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Tooth Tattoos?

Yes, this is a real!

Teeth tattoos are a new "growing trend".

This growing trend is called "tatteeth" and the catch is you can only get this done if you need a dental crown.Your dentist will take an impression of the tooth that needs to be fitted for a crown then they will send it to the lab were you can add a design. This is not cheap and can cost somewhere between $75.00 to $200.00.

Although this trend might seem new, the first tattoo on a tooth was nearly 20 years ago at Suburbia Dental Laboratory in Bloomfield, Connecticut.



Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Oral Art - An Old But New Practice in Self-Expression

Oral modification goes back further than recorded history. Vikings, Mayans, West African Tribes (to name a few) used various methods of oral modification to identify themselves, to distinguish class, tribe,seniority, religion, coming of age, etc... Whether it be sharpening of teeth, adorning teeth with jewels, splitting tongues or piercings, all of these have roots deep in our history.

Now days, it's not unusual to see people covered in tattoos, body piercings, sporting diamond covered "Grills" or bejeweled pearly whites. Some even go as far as to have horns anchored to their skulls and have lip and tongue tattoos.

Through the ages, self expression has taken a leap from the modest 20's where even showing a shoulder was inappropriate, to a world where the more bizarre one can be, the better. But is it better? Individualism and self expression are rights that should not be taken away from anyone. But with the rise in popularity of body modification in general and people doing it because it's "cool", the concern is that it is taking away from the cultural and historical aspect of the trend. 

That said, 200 years from now this newer trend will be historic, and historians will study it as a culture....
What are your thoughts on the subject?

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Alignment Problems To Watch For In Children

When your children are the age of six to eight you will want pay close attention to the alignment of their teeth.

If you notice any of the following problems, you will want to talk to an orthodontist about orthodontic treatment.

Excessive spacing: Usually happens with abnormal growth of the jawbone.
Crowding: This is when the jaw is too small to accommodate permanent teeth.
Under-bite: When the lower jaw grows larger than the upper jaw.
Over-bite: When the upper jaw grows larger than the lower jaw.
Open-bite: When the teeth are  unable to make physical contact for a proper bite.
Cross-bite: When the upper teeth close inside the lower teeth.
Over-jet (protruding): Teeth that are too far forward commonly known as "buckteeth". 

If these problems are left untreated they can result in tooth decay, gum disease, headaches and ear aches, as well as speaking, biting or chewing problems. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Baby Teeth May Be Worth More Than The Tooth Fairy Can Offer!!!

It just might be the case! Researchers have discovered that baby teeth contain a rich supply of stem cells inside the nerve tissue found in exfoliated baby teeth!

There are laboratories that harvest these potentially life saving cells from the baby teeth and store them for future use. The stem cells obtained are the child's own tissue, so they can be used later on, behalf of the donor, to treat maladies such as, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases, juvenile diabetes, spinal cord injury, and even cancer and heart disease without any fear of tissue incompatibility or transmission of infection from another donor.

To learn more about this invaluable information, please visit http://www.bioeden.com

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Improve Your Dental Health By Eating These Superfoods!

These foods are not magic foods that will instantly fight of gum disease or tooth decay but these foods contain the right properties to promote better dental health in the long run.


  1. Raw Milk - Teeth need calcium to remain strong and healthy, so try almond milk. Almond milk contains about the same concentration of calcium as regular milk and aren't hundreds of adverse conditions associated with it. The Vitamin D can also help rebuild the enamel.
  2. Apples - Eating apples helps the production of saliva. When saliva is produced it actually helps the prevention of cavities.
  3. Mushrooms - Mushrooms are packed with vitamin D , which helps rebuild the enamel in your teeth.
  4. Oranges - Oranges are naturally acidic, which can work by acting as a brush for your teeth. The vitamins and calcium content in this fruit push away harmful microbes and reduce your rate of tooth decay.
  5. Nuts - These are packed will all sorts of good stuff to maintain overall health and teeth. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Dangers of Abscessed Teeth - Don't Take a Chance

Of all of the dental problems one can have, abscesses are among the most dangerous and unpredictable. Often times, people will let tooth pain go for a lengthy period of time and will not see a dentist until their pain is severe and an abscess has developed. Other times, an abscess can develop seemingly overnight. In rarer instances, an abscess can be growing under a tooth without the patient suffering severe pain and the only symptoms may be too subtle to notice by the untrained eye.... The danger in letting an abscess go untreated is that serious complications can arise. The following list should make someone sit up and pay attention!

If left untreated, abscesses can cause:

1. Loss of the tooth
2. Fever, chills
3. Spread of infection to jawbone (serious infection can cause disfigurement)
4. Spread of infection to brain, heart or lungs (extremely dangerous, can cause death!)
5. Excessive swelling leading to blockage of airway or inability to eat or drink

You cannot be too careful with a toothache, or even a twinge...it can lead to an abscess.
If you or anyone you know has a toothache, don't let it progress to an abscess! If dental care is not immediately available, go to an urgent care center or the ER for treatment! Abscesses can become life threatening!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Dental Emergency

Don't let panic take over your dental emergency. 

Here is your guide to coping with tooth troubles:

  • Toothache -
    • First Aid: 
      • Rinse with salt water.
      • Apply a cold compress.
    • Follow up care: See your dentist if you experience persistent pain.
  • Lost filling - 
    •  First Aid: Patch the gap with sugarless gum or OTC dental cement.
    • Follow up care: See dentist right way for filling replacement.
  • Fully dislodged tooth - 
    • First aid:
      •  Rinse the tooth and try to place it back in the socket.
      •  Alternatively store the tooth in a glass of milk.
      • See Dentist immediately.
    • Follow up care: 
      • After the tooth is reattached follow your dentists after care instructions. 
      • Explore replacement options, if needed.
      • Always were a mouth guard while playing sports. 
  • Partially dislodged tooth -  
    • First aid:
      • Apply a cold compress for pain relief.
      • See dentist immediately.
    • Follow up care: 
      • Follow dentist after care instructions.
      • Use OTC pain medication if needed.
  •  Abscess - 
    • First aid: Rinse with warm salt water multiple times a day.
    • Follow up care: Take prescribed antibiotics.


 
The above health material is provided as an information service.  It should not be used for diagnostic purposes nor is it intended to take the place of the important relationship between you and your dentist.


















Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Coconut Oil As Toothpaste For Dogs?

Yes, Coconut oil is effective and safe your your dog. Although brushing your dogs teeth with the coconut oil  would be the best method, but your dog will still get some oral health benefits just from licking a small amount of the oil.

Below are some reasons to use coconut oil as a toothpaste for your pet and yourself:

  • No harmful chemicals -  Conventional toothpastes have an antibacterial chemical called Triclosan, which has been linked to endocrine disruption. Endocrine disruption can cause major health issues such as cancers, preterm/low birth weight in babies.
  • Effective against cavity causing bacteria - Massaging coconut oil into the gums daily significantly helps reduce decay causing bacteria as well as plaque.
  • Inexpensive - Unlike conventional toothpaste that can be expensive, one jar of coconut oil will last months because you only use a small amount.
Other health benefits your dog receives from coconut oil:
  • Improves skin and coat - When you are brushing your dogs teeth or letting them lick the coconut oil you are improving the look and feel of your dogs coat.
  • Provides energy and helps dogs lose weight - Coconut oil promotes a healthy metabolism, while increasing a dog's energy and promoting healthy joints.
  • Aids in digestion - Coconut oil may help with soothing your dogs digestive system while increasing nutrient absorption.
Many vets are starting to recommend using coconut oil on a regular bases since its an excellent source of nutrients, which keeps your dog in good health!

The recommended dose of coconut oil is 1 teaspoon per 10 - 30 pounds. When starting use 1/4 the recommended dosage and build up to the recommended level over 3-4 weeks. If hurried right away you may notice flu-like symptoms.

Monday, August 10, 2015

2 Dentists - 2 Different Treatment Plans. Which one is right?

This is a question that is fielded a lot here at the Savon headquarters. A member will call in after going to dentist, getting a treatment plan of what that dentist would like to do, then going to to another dentist for a second opinion and getting another treatment plan of what that dentist would like to do. The 2 dentist's treatment plan do not match, so they ask us "Which one is right"?

Here is my answer: BOTH OF THEM! Before you start hyperventilating, hear me out.

First and foremost, at Savon Dental Plan, we are not dentists and we do not have access to your dental charts, x-rays, records and or treatment plans. (unless you provide them to us). So therefore we are in no position at all to tell you if a dentist is right or wrong and we are not in any position to be able to tell the dentist what to do or not to do as it pertains to your treatment.

What I can tell you is this. When a dentist, (DMD or DDS) issues a diagnosis and prepares a treatment plan, they are doing so based on what they saw during your examination and from reviewing your x-rays. This diagnosis is based on their professional opinion and the treatment plan is laid out based on how they feel is the best way to handle your dental issue. It is also partially based on their level of comfortability in performing such procedures and the long term durability of the treatment. Believe it or not, the last thing any dentist wants is to have to work on the same tooth for the same issue over and over again.

The key word here is "professional opinion". Which is why when you go for a "second opinion" it is, in most cases, different from the one that you had before. Every dentist sees things differently. Every dentist has a different treatment preference. Some dentists are more aggressive in their diagnosis others are more conservative in their diagnosis. This in no way makes either dentist right or wrong. This in no way makes one dentist a "rip-off" and the other one a "cheap-skate". This in no way means that one dentist is "over-diagnosing" and the other is "under diagnosing". It simply means that both dentists made a diagnosis based on the professional dental opinion that is backed up by their years of schooling and experience.

So that leads us to a 2nd Question, "How do I know which one to go with"?.  

My answer: It is up to you!  If you have obtained a treatment plan from more than one dentist, then you should sit down with them side by side and compare them. Try to refrain from looking just solely at the cost, (although I fully understand that cost is big factor). However, more importantly, look at what each dentist would like to do, talk to the dental center if you have any questions, and them make the decision that you feel is best for you. The more educated you are about what each dentist wants to do, the better prepared you are to make a comfortable decision. Ultimately it is your mouth, your teeth, your smile and you are the one that is effected by the outcome of the treatment. So take the time to compare and make good educated decision.

Remember: "Be True To Your Teeth, Or They Will Be False To You" -Soupy Sales (Comedian)

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Mastic Gum - A Natural Remedy For Oral Health

Mastic has been used in Greek medicine going as far back as 2500 years ago! This very versatile plant has an abundance of uses in medicine, but for the purpose of this article we'll focus on its benefits in oral health.

Mastic is a chewy, gum resin that comes from the bark of the Mastic Tree. It is evergreen in nature.  It has a somewhat bitter (at first) taste with a hint of Cedar or Pine, and when chewed, it has a wealth of antibacterial, antimicrobial and antiviral properties that can benefit the gums and teeth.

We all know of the benefits of chewing plain (sugar free) gum...it helps to remove food particles between teeth, increases salivation and freshens breath, but chewing Mastic Gum, specifically, has been said to reduce the formation of plaque, relieves inflammation (gingivitis) around the gums, kills bad bacteria, freshens the breath, whitens teeth and as an added benefit, it's firm, chewy consistency actually exercises the jaw muscles!  It has even been known to be effective against the Herpes Simplex virus that causes cold sores and mouth sores.

You can buy Mastic Gum in Health Food Stores.  It is marketed online as well, and comes in supplement (capsule) form as well as the chewing gum.  It is a bit pricey, but by the reviews I've read, it may be well worth the price!

The qualities of Mastic Gum go so much further than just for use in oral hygiene.  For more information on its amazing qualities, just search for "Mastic Gum" on the web.  It's an interesting topic!

Keep Smiling!


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Apple A Day Won't Keep The Dentist Away

We all know the saying "An apple a day will keep the doctor away".

But your dentist might disagree - its been reveled that apples are bad for your teeth just like sweets and sugary drinks.

Truth, apples are a healthy choice when it comes to nutrients for your body. However, when it comes to your teeth, the amount of acid in an apple can give carbonated beverages a run for its money.

So why are apples becoming unhealthy for your teeth? According to a study, cross-breeding apples to come up with newer, more delicious apples has lead to a raised sugar content of 50%. The average apple contains roughly 4 teaspoons of sugar. So between the high sugar content and the natural acid in apples your teeth are getting a double dose of enamel erosion which can lead to tooth decay.

Maintaining a healthy mouth is very important, see your dentist every 6 mouths for regular check ups and cleanings.



Information found here.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

There are Natural Ways to Clean Your Dentures!

Many products made for cleaning dentures can be expensive and harsh.  If your dentures have metal parts, some commercial denture cleaners can cause them to corrode over time.  Here is a short list of inexpensive, reliable (old time, tried and true) products that you can use to clean, disinfect and even help remove tartar from your false teeth! (Yes, even false teeth can get a buildup of tartar over time, cultivating an unhealthy array of germs and bacteria.)

Here goes!:

1. BAKING SODA.  Make a paste with a little bit of the soda and water and use your denture brush to clean your dentures.  It will freshen, too.

2. VINEGAR.  Use equal parts of vinegar and water and soak your dentures for 20-30 minutes. This will also help to remove tartar buildup.

3. HYDROGEN PEROXIDE.  This is especially useful for disinfecting.  Soak in a 3% or 6% solution (the usual strength sold in stores) for approximately 30 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with water.

Now, there were a couple of other suggestions that I found online that I didn't think were particularly useful; that is, they were not things that I would personally try for cleaning something that you would put in your mouth! Someone on another website suggested a bleach/water solution for disinfecting and a teaspoon of Calgon water softener added for removing tartar. Of course you would need to rinse your dentures especially well so as not to get the bleach solution in your mouth. Hmmm...I don't know...  To me, that falls into the same catagory as fixing your dentures with super glue.  What do you think?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Dental Insurance And Seniors

Retiring? You might want to visit the dentist before your dental insurance disappears, that's right... medicare does not offer routine dental care or complex procedures unless its required to protect your general health.

Most of the 65 plus population is paying for their own dental work out of pocket, which means many have only seen the dentist once in two - five years.

So why don't seniors get dental insurance rather than paying out of pocket? This is because dental care is conspicuously absent from health care coverage for older adults.

Seniors need to look into stand alone dental plans, these plans can offer:
  • Low membership rates - Annually or monthly.
  • Better Benefits with no yearly maximum.
  • Better Savings - Set Fee Schedule makes budgeting easy!
  • No Exclusions- Ever.
  • Immediate coverage- No waiting periods on ANY procedures.
  • Includes coverage for cosmetic dentistry.

What are you waiting for? Don't even bother wasting your money with dental insurance or paying out of pocket.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Veneers - A Cosmetic Solution?

Let's face it. This is the age of what I like to call "instant gratification".  More and more, we prefer simpler, easier methods to just about everything concerning our daily lives, so why not dentistry, right?  Fortunately for us, the dental industry has done a fantastic job of keeping up with our demands!
Many adults would like to enhance or correct their bite and smile but don't have the patience for braces; or, are embarrassed at the prospect of wearing braces for an extended period of time. There may be a solution in the form of Cosmetic Veneers! Veneers can cover gaps, discolored or slightly misaligned teeth and give you a brighter and overall uniform look to your smile, often in just a few visits to the dentist. The drawback, if there has to be one, is that they can be costly, though not as much as implants and possibly even cheaper than braces! Keep in mind that for severely misaligned or decayed teeth, veneers may not be a good option. There are some things that just need to be fixed by conventional means.

If you think you might be a candidate, check with your dentist. He or she will advise you if Veneers are an option for you.

Keep Smiling!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Suffer From Dry Mouth?

We all need saliva to moisten and cleanse our mouths and digest food. Saliva also prevents infections by controlling bacteria and fungi in the mouth.

Many people suffer from dry mouth which can be caused by multiple things such as:\
  • Certain medications
  • Infections such as AIDS/HIV
  • Dehydration
  • Tobacco use
  • Alcohol use
  • Eating sugary snacks and drinks
The best way to cure dry mouth is to do something right away when your discover the problem.

Below are some tips on how to manage dry mouth:
  • Drink extra amount of water
  • Chew sugarless gum or suck on sugarless hard candies to help production of saliva.
  • Use a humidifier at night
  • Use oral moisturizers - can be found at your local pharmacy
If you have tried the following above and haven't noticed any improvements, alert your doctor and dentist right away!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Foods That Increase Your Dental Health

When you think of healthy food you often think about heart health and weight loss. Rarely is dental health thrown into the mix. However, there are foods out there that can increase and promote good dental health. It is common knowledge that food with whole grains, fruits, veggies, lean meat and low fat dairy food are all good for dental health. However, some may be better than others. Here are some of the ones that come highly recommended from dentists, chefs and food lovers alike!

1. Cheese or Milk - Low fat
2. Cashews
3. Peas
4. Apples
5. Celery
6. Carrots
7. Dry Beans
8. Raw Onion - just do something about the onion breath
9. Skinless Poultry or Fish
10. Wasabi - Sushi lovers REJOICE!

These are just some. I am sure that there are a lot more out there. As always, consult with your doctor before changing your diet!


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

What Is Leukoplakia?

Leukoplakia (loo-koh-play-key-uh) are thick, whitish patches that form on the inside of the cheeks, gums or tongue, these patches are caused by excess cell growth and are common among tobacco users. Other causes include rough, uneven teeth and improperly fitted dentures.

If you notice these white patches, make an appointment with your dentist to get an oral exam. If the patches look suspicious your dentist will most likely do a biopsy, taking a small tissue sample and send it to a pathologist for testing. The goal is to rule out oral cancer!

Treatment begins with removing the factors that contribute to the lesion: quit using tobacco, replace improperly fitted dentures, etc.

*Remember if you notice something out of the ordinary, see your dentist immediately, don't wait because then it might be to late.

Monday, July 6, 2015

The Negativity Surrounding Dental Plans Is Unjustified!

I was reading an article on dailyfinance.com titled "How to Save on Dental Insurance" that was written by the Savings Experiment Staff. The article itself was fantastic. As I was reading it I was very pleased with their evaluation of dental plans or "Dental Price Clubs" as they called them. The information that they gave about dental plan was on point. They touched on things like no deductibles, no waiting periods and larger discount on major procedures than insurance offers.

The article alone did not inspire me to write this blog. The inspiration comes from comments that readers left on the article. These were some of the most disturbing comments from people that I have read in regards to an industry that I am personally so passionate about. I could not believe the mis-conceptions that are out there about dental plans and the negativity that some people have about them. Some of the people, who mind you, have probably never joined one or accurately researched them. They just hear the word "plan" or "club" and automatically put us in a lower class of businesses.

So I have decided that instead of commenting back to defend our industry and causing the hatred to be cast upon me while spending the next month going back and forth with them; I would just write a blog to address the "concerns" that they so graciously and delicately voiced.

One commenter stated "...These plans offer the worst of the worst dentist in the area"
Another one said "Caution before you sign up...you will have drive 50 miles to find a dentist"
Another one said "You get what you pay for, if you go cheap are you asking for trouble"

These comments are very far from the truth, especially when it comes to our plan, Savon. In fact, the dentist that accept our plan are the same dentists that accept the insurance that people pay almost triple for and that doesn't cover even close to what we do. At Savon, if we do not have dentist in your area, we will let you know up upfront. Transparency is really important to us. We go the extra mile to make sure that everyone that signs up has full knowledge of us and how our plan works.

Here is are some facts about the dentists that accept Savon Dental Plan.

  1. Each Dental Center and Dentist goes through an extensive credentialing process before they are authorized to see a Savon Dental Plan member. This process can be be seen on our website by clicking here.

  2. We have a ranking on all of our dentists. This ranking is from the dentist and it classifies their level of comfortability on different categories of dental work. This allows us to be able to match the member with a dentist that can handle their needs.

  3. We constantly solicit feedback from our members on their dentist. Whether it is on the phone when they call in, or through our "Nominate Your Dentist" program, we are always seeking feedback on the dentist that our members go to. This allows us to be proactive in addressing any concerns or praising a center for extraordinary work!

  4. Any Dental Center that is found to be giving our members "sub-par" dental work is removed from our plan.

  5. A "spot check" is done on our dental centers by Savon Dental Plan Team Members. We get our dental work done at these dental offices too, as Savon members. When we go in, the dental center does not know that we are Savon employees, they just think we are another member. This gives us a first hand experience on how our members are treated.

  6. A Savon Representative visits our dental centers personally every 4-6 weeks. This is different then the "spot check". This allows us to keep a great business relationship with each one of our providers. It also allows us to communicate with our providers about any changes to our plan as well as handle any problems that may arise.
These are just a few of the ways that we at Savon Dental Plan go above and beyond to make sure that you as a member are getting the best quality dental care possible. We strive everyday to make sure that they only thing discounted at dental office is the price. We take this issue very seriously.

To everyone out there that has the misconception that dental plans are sub-par, have the bottom of the barrell dentists, and is not worth it, I say this! Research it, try it! Research Us, Try Us! Call any dentist that accepts are plan and ASK them about us! I am willing to bet that your opinion will change when you realize how much you will actually save at the dental office and how great the care is that you will receive.

Oh yeah..one last thing,.. to the "dentist" that commented on the article and said that "every dentist hates these plans and only joins to get the patients". If what you are saying is true, then why is it that dentist referring their current patients to us is one of the biggest sources of new members that our plan has? Hmmm.. something to think about there!

Again... all I ask that you research it or try it before you knock it!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Is Painless Dentistry a Possibility?

With laser dentistry, it is.  Imagine showing up for your dental visit and having NO anxiety...no fear of what is sure to come, no needles, no numbness when you leave that prevents you from having that fantastic lunch you were planning...good dream, huh? Nope friends, this one is a reality and it is already in use and available. Technologically, the field of dentistry has made unbelievable advances in the way of patient comfort and now, in the form of treatment without anesthetic.
I read today about a system available called Waterlase that combines a mixture of water and laser and can virtually eliminate the need for anesthetic for a number of dental procedures including cavities, root canals, repairs to the gums and jawbone and more!  The benefits to this promising system are limitless. Why haven't I heard of this before?! Honestly,  I have no doubt that in a short period of time we will be seeing laser dental therapy become the norm at the dentist's office around every corner.

I read about this fascinating advancement HERE. I will note that the one thing that is not really mentioned on the site is the cost, and of course, as with anything new, you will likely pay a little more in the short run but it's a sure bet the benefits of painless dentistry will  far outweigh the cost.  Just my opinion, of course.

Keep Smiling!!


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Essential Oils - Taking Care Of Your Mouth

Essential Oils are fantastic for helping to keep your teeth and gums healthy and strong!

The benefits of essential oils are far more than aromatic, they have amazing therapeutic and healing qualities.

Which oils are best for a healthy mouth?
  • Peppermint  and spearmint - They both contain antiseptic oils, which help treat pain. They both are effective in treating bad breath.
  • Cinnamon - This has been used for its medicinal properties, specifically its antifungal, antibacterial properties. Research has shown that cinnamon oils has the greatest antimicrobial potency against the bacterias which causes tooth decay and gum disease.
  • Eucalyptus - This is a germicide that has been reported to help fight plaque build up, gingivitis and prevent cavities.
There are many more essential oils that help keep your mouth in tip-top shape such as: lemon oil, myrrh oil, rosemary oil, clove oil.

How to use essential oils?

After you brush your teeth, add a few drops of the oil to your brush and gently brush the teeth and gums. Rinse and spit out * DO NOT SWALLOW*. 


Remember this does not replace seeing your dentist on a regular basis!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

What Does Your Tongue Say About You?

What do you know about your tongue other than it lets you taste your food and helps you swallow?

Your tongue can give you a glimpse into your overall health!

Below are some irregularities you may find on tongue that may indicate serious medical conditions:
  • White patches - If you notice this discoloration, it may be an overgrowth of yeast or thrush. You are at a higher risk developing this if you are taking antibiotics, on chemotherapy or on medical steroids.
  • Redness - This Rosy color goes hand in hand with a sore throat or scarlet fever. This is usually associated with a high fever which can be treated with antibiotics. A red/shiny tongue can also be caused by vitamin deficiency in folic acid, B-12 or iron.
  • Black and hairy - Don't Panic... this is sometimes caused by antibiotic use,diabetes, and if you are receiving chemotherapy.
Even if you don't have any irregularities yet, always check your tongue on a daily bases when you brush your teeth. if you notice any discolorations, lumps, sores or pain you should contact your primary physician or your dentist right away!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Sinusitis And Tooth Pain

When you get the occasional cold or suffer from seasonal allergies its important to understand that your teeth have "neighbors", such as your sinuses, which can mimic a toothache or cause jaw pain. At this point there is no need to panic.

There are several sinuses that are located in the human head, but which one is causing you pain? Maxillary sinuses.

Maxillary sinuses are located near the nose, below the cheek, above the teeth on both sides of the nose. A sinus infection in this area can cause headaches, weakness, fevers, chills and upper tooth and jaw pain. This is due to the proximity of the nerve roots from your teeth to the maxillary sinus, which if infected can be inflamed. The inflammation can cause irritation to the nerve roots which can cause pain to the teeth. - Info here

Maxillary sinusitis can be treated many different ways:
  • Using a humidifier to moisten the air.
  • Using nasal sprays.
  • Taking oral medications such as sudafed.
  • Taking antibiotics provided by a doctor.
If you continue to have a toothache or jaw pain after your cold/allergies have went away contact your dentist immediately.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Hyperdontia and Hypodontia - What Do These Terms Mean?

In terms of abnormalities of the mouth, these two conditions are probably among the most unusual, however, they are not rare.  Both are genetic, and each have their own specific causes. The normal number of teeth per individual is 20 primary (or baby) teeth, and 32 permanent (or adult) teeth.

Hypodontia - a condition characterized by missing adult teeth, as in wisdom teeth or molars that simply do not appear in the normal course of development. is often associated with children born with various syndromes or genetic conditions such as Cerebral Palsy or Down's syndrome.  It can be treated in adulthood by placing implants or bridges, as tolerated by the patient.

Hyperdontia -the condition of having too many teeth,  is often associated with children who may have been born with Gardner Syndrome (extremely rare)  or Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. These extras can manifest as a single extra tooth or an entire second set (or even more). Supernumerary teeth (teeth in excess of the normal number) can be treated by extractions, usually as they appear.

If your child is developing teeth and you notice anything out of the ordinary regarding the number of teeth or, if there are baby teeth that are not coming out in the normal course of development, see your dentist.  Often, baby teeth will remain in tact because there are no permanent teeth behind them. Your dentist will be able to tell with an x-ray.  Your best treatment is to know and have a plan in place ahead of time.

As always, keep smiling!
 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Botox For Teeth Grinding?

We all have heard of people getting botox to "better" their appearance and so on, but botox to minimize teeth grinding?

Teeth grinding also known as bruxism is when people grind or clench their teeth. Over time clenching or grinding can damage the teeth and can cause other oral health complications.

So why are people using botox to help this problem? Botox paralyzes the masseter muscle causing the muscle to weaken and it alleviates most of the tension, maximizing the dulling of the molars.

The procedure can take about ten-twenty minutes by injecting a small does of botox into the masseter muscles (muscles the moves the jaw). This treatment can last around three to four months.

Although this is not a cure for bruxism, it helps you by getting a good nights sleep, stops pain and headaches and can improve your quality of life!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

What is baby bottle tooth decay?

Baby bottle tooth decay is tooth decay in infants and very young children that is often referred to bottle rot.

What causes baby bottle tooth decay?
 
Decay happens when sweetened liquids cling to the child's teeth for a long period of time. There are many factors which can cause decay. Common causes are; when the child is put to bed with a bottle or when a bottle is used to calm fussy children.

Another important thing that causes tooth decay and no parent really thinks about is passing cavity-causing bacteria from them to their child. This bacteria is passed through saliva, so sharing feeding spoons or licking pacifiers to clean them, the bacteria was just passed to your child.

Ways to prevent tooth decay:

  • After each feeding, wipe your child's gums with a damp wash cloth if they don't have teeth.
  • Try no to share saliva through common feedings, etc.
  • If your child has teeth brush them gently with a child toothbrush and a pea sized smear of fluoride toothpaste.
  • Try to avoid filling the bottle with sugary drinks, stick to formula.
  • Try to avoid sending your child to bed with a bottle.
  • Encourage your child to drink from a cup by their 1st birthday.

Keep smiling :)

*Information found  here