Wednesday, February 24, 2016

A New Age Toothbrush called Blizzident: Is This Thing For Real?

Well you've got to give it to technology on this's about time they came up with an improvement on the ordinary toothbrush! Do you fight for time in the morning to brush your teeth? Does that 3 minutes or so make you late to work everyday? Are you afraid you weren't thorough enough? Then this is the toothbrush for you! Not only is this a new way to go about brushing, but it's a super time-saver as well! I have to admit the design is pure genius. Apparently, it is a custom made appliance that molds perfectly to the shape of your teeth, with little soft bristles added so that when you place it in your mouth, by simply biting and grinding you can clean your teeth thoroughly in....(what?) 6 seconds! That's right!
  I will say that it looks a little like a creature from the ocean...(a sea anemone is what came to mind when I viewed the picture.) All in all I think it may take awhile for this to catch on, but it is kind of a refreshing idea. Kids would probably love it. Watch your pets though...they may mistake it for a toy. Ewwww....
Now, I did check out the cost, and this thing is pricey at $339 and it requires a visit or two to the dentist for impressions. According to their website it needs to be replaced once a year, though the replacement cost is only listed at $179.

If you'd like to find out more about Blizzident, I found this link online. Interesting stuff.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Corrective Jaw Surgery

Corrective Jaw Surgery (Orthognathic Surgery) is preformed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. This surgery is to help correct a overbite, under-bite, or misaligned teeth. This surgery can also improve facial appearance. Your Orthodontist will determine if you will need this surgery. 

The procedure:
After about 1-2 years of orthodontic treatment, This may only take 1-3 hours to complete. Both your orthodontist and Oral surgeon will be in the room for the procedure. This will take place at the hospital under anesthesia. You may have to stay overnight, but usually released the next day.

After surgery you can expect pain, swelling, bruising, minor bleeding. You will be able to speak, drink, eat immediately because you will not have your jaws wired shut! Doctors will recommend blended food for 2 weeks and then gradually work to solid foods..

Initial Orthodontic treatment (braces/retainer) usually cost around $2,000-$5,000. Corrective Jaw Surgery usually cost around $20,000 -$30,000. You may want to check to see if your insurance will cover this procedure.

*Many people go through this surgery just to change their facial appearance... Would you?

To read more click here!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

You've heard of Swimmers Ear, but what about Swimmers Teeth?

For those of us in the southwest, swimming season starts early, as it has again this year.  We're in the 90's in Arizona....and it's only February!  With that in mind I thought it was a good time for a repost of this article on Swimmer's Teeth.

Yes, it's true! Swimmers teeth is an actual condition also known as "swimmers calculus."

Mostly common in competitive swimmers, "swimmers teeth" refers to a dark yellow/brown coloring mainly on the front teeth. This is actually made of deposits quite like the tartar or plaque everyone gets, but is darker and more difficult to remove.

Swimmers teeth is actually caused by the amount of time spent in the pool. Pool water contains chemical additives that make the water have a higher pH than saliva. This causes the proteins in saliva to break down causing dark stains on the teeth. It is said that this condition is most common in people who spend more than six hours a week in the pool.

The good news is that this is not permanent, just unattractive. Regular brushing won't help, but your dentist can completely remove it. Proper oral hygiene and regular preventative treatments will help keep the problem under control.

If you or your kids swim competitively or spend a great amount of time in the pool, schedule a late summer visit to the dentist to brighten your smile.  You'll be glad you did.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Power Of Aloe And Dental Health

Did you know Aloe Vera has a tremendous healing effect on your overall dental health?

The Aloe Vera plant holds a thick liquid substance in its leaves that are packed with vitamin B12, magnesium, copper, zinc and many many more important ingredients.

Aloe is so powerful that it is now being used in many oral care products such as tooth gels due to its anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties, mouthwashes and even dental floss.

Below are some common dental issues that Aloe can help with:

  • Gingivitis - This is a common disorder caused by inflammation of gum tissue that surrounds the teeth. As plaque accumulates on and around the teeth, it produces enzymes and toxins causing the inflammation which than can lead to tooth decay. Aloe kills gingivitis causing bacteria and acts as a powerful anti-septic for gum pockets where its difficult to reach when brushing.
  • Bad breath - The anti-inflammation and anti-bacterial qualities of Aloe work as a natural remedy for bad breath.
  • Stomatitis - Many denture wearers develop the oral condition known as denture stomatits, this can occur from leaving dentures in the mouth while sleeping as well as smoking or vitamin A deficiency. Candida Albicans fungus is one of the causes of stomatitis. Aloe has anti-fungal properties that can be effective in fighting the disease.
As you can see Aloe can fight gum disease, heal inflammations and disinfect. 

Remember maintaining good oral care is very important throughout your lifetime!

Information was found here!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Cost of Dentistry-A Different Perspective

Having worked in the dental benefit industry for 23 years, one of the most common reasons I've encountered for people to avoid seeing a dentist is the expense. Let's face it, dentistry is costly, and the cost just keeps rising. Well, I came across a website that offers some dental trivia facts and it really put things into perspective with regard to affordability.
I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!


*The average amount of money spent each year on DENTISTRY is $50 Billion.

Now, compare that to:

*The average amount of money spent on PET FOOD each year, which is also $50 Billion!

*The average amount of money spent each year on HAIR CARE - $100 Billion!

*The average spent on legal GAMBLING each year - a staggering $300 Billion!!!

It would seem that we really have no excuse to put off a visit to the dentist, based on these facts!

Keep Smiling!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Infant Oral Health Care Tips

Infant oral care is important from the beginning.

Most babies don't start getting teeth until they are around six months old but its a great idea to get in the habit of cleaning their mouth as soon as possible. This will make it easier on the parent in the long run.

Below are some tips on infant oral care:

  • Wipe the gums after every feeding with a soft cloth.
  • Massage the gums and teeth with slight pressure when teething.
  • Brush with a silicone finger brush once the teeth have erupted.
  • Once the teeth have erupted, cut down on night feedings.
  • Start on finger-foods around eight - nine months.
  • Encourage drinking from a open tumbler around ten months.
  • Stop bottle feeding by age one.
It is recommended from the child to see the dentist for the first time when their first tooth has erupted or by their first birthday.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Member Question: Fee Schedules Per State

Questions From Our Members

E. Brighton of Boston MA. asks: 

I live part of the year in Arizona and the other part of the year in Massachusetts.  I have noticed that Schedule of Benefits changes from State to State, can you explain why.

Savon’s Answer

Great Question!  The Schedule of Benefits are broken up into 8 zones.  Zone 1 is Arizona only.  The main reason for that is Arizona is our corporate headquarters.  The rest of the states are in zones 2 through 8.

What zone each state is placed in is determined using the U.S. Census Bureau economic indicators.  The higher the per capita income is for a state the higher the zone is and visa versa.  Alaska, for example is in zone 8 while Arkansas is in zone 2.

Please keep in mind that our mission statement is:  "To provide quality and timely dental care at a price that is fair and reasonable to the member and the dentist".

We understand that the cost of living is higher is some states than it is in others but the income level, for the most part, is also higher in these states.

Using the zone system is the best way to make sure that our members are saving as much as possible while making sure that our providers are not losing money by being in our network.

If you would like to see what zone each state is in please visit our Member Center and click on the PDF Schedule of Benefits.

(the content of this blog was originally posted in our February 2016 Newsletter in the article "Here's Your Answer")

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Great Tongue Scraper Debate-Do You Really Need One?

A "tongue scraper" is exactly what it sounds like.  A tool used to literally scrape bacteria off of the tongue surface, it's supposed to remove the gunk and help keep your breath fresh.  They come in many styles, shapes and sizes and you can get them anywhere you can buy a tooth brush.  If you've never used one though, apparently you're not missing much.  I am personally a fan of the tongue scraper.  I like the extra clean feeling I get after using one, so this news came as a little bummer to me...

According to a study published in an issue of General Dentistry (a peer-reviewed dental journal), tongue scrapers only slightly reduces bad breath.  The most common reason for bad breath, believe it or not, is post-nasal drip.  It coats the back of your tongue causing what is called " oral malodor."  Tongue scrapers remove this mucousy layer quite well, however the results are only temporary.  But according to this study, using a toothbrush can get you the same temporary results, making the ever elusive "tongue scraper" seem not-so-special. 

That being said, one isn't better than the other, it really comes down to personal preference.  I, for instance, will be continuing to love my tongue scraper..  But for those of you who'd rather save the extra few bucks and use a toothbrush, you're in the clear.

Keep Smiling! 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Mistakes You Might Be Making When You Brush Your Teeth

Face it, majority of us do not take care of our teeth properly.

Below is a list of the most common mistakes people make while they are brushing.
  • Using the toothbrush to long - Have frayed or broken bristles? It's time to replace your toothbrush. The average life span of a toothbrush is about 3 months or after 200 uses.
  • Not brushing teeth long enough - Manual or electric brushing should be no less than two minutes. Anything less than two minutes doesn't give the fluoride in the toothpaste enough time to attach to the tooth enamel.
  • Rinsing your mouth with water after brushing - DO NOT rinse your mouth out after brushing. You can spit the toothpaste out, but the moment water enters the mix, it cuts down the efficiency of the fluoride. (Guilty)
  • Storing your toothbrush in the bathroom - We all do it, right? But you should consider storing your toothbrush someplace else like your nightstand. This is recommended because when you flush the toilet the contents of the toilet bowl are sprayed in all directions contaminating your toothbrush. Yuck!!
Although these are just a few of the mistakes we need to try and avoid while we are brushing, you can click here to get the full list.