Thursday, October 29, 2020

Halloween Candy You Should Be Careful Eating!

Halloween is just two days away! 

Every year dental offices across the country encounter a rush of patients experiencing Halloween candy related dental emergencies!! 

It's extremely common for patients to present themselves to the dental staff with crowns or bridges that have been pulled off, fillings that have been pulled out, teeth that have been chipped or cracked all by these delicious sweets we consume. 

Below are the most common offenders!

Top 5 Worst Culprits
(these are known to extricate crowns, bridges and fillings with ease)

  1. Sugar Daddy
  2. Milk Duds
  3. Dots
  4. Bit-O-Honey
  5. Good n' Plenty

Top 10 Accomplices

  1. Jolly Rancher
  2. Laffy Taffy
  3. Caramel
  4. Gummy Bears
  5. Toffee
  6. Tootsie Rolls
  7. Sugar Babies
  8. Now & Laters
  9. Super Bubble Gum/ Dubble Bubble Gum
  10. Slowpokes

There ya have it! For those of you who have any type of dental work done, watch out for these sneaky little candies...or you may find yourself in the dental chair bashfully blaming your missing filling on one of these sweet little criminals!

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Eggnog Could Be Just As Bad For Your Teeth As Soda!

 I can not express my heartbreak when I found this out. Eggnog is one my of favorite holiday traditions and drinks. So when I read that with the amount of sugar that is in it,  I was quite surprised.

It kind of goes along with my misconception of what eggnog is. I assumed that it is more like milk, thus being better for dental health. I know milk is good for your teeth, I know eggs are good for your teeth. Knowing that both of them are in eggnog, one can only assume that eggnog, too is good for your oral health. Logical assumption... right?

Well it turns out that all of the flavoring, add-ins and sugar that is used to make that unique holiday taste, is enough to offset the good that the milk and eggs provide!

Fear not though, my fellow eggnoggers! We can still savor the flavor and enjoy our favorite holiday drink. Just simply rinse out your mouth really good and/or brush your teeth after you drink and you will be good to go!

The Holiday season is almost upon us again, and with that in mind I thought this blog was worth a re-post.  Enjoy and Keep Smiling!  

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Your Dentist Said They Take Your Dental Plan... But Are They Authorized To?

This post was originally posted back in 2014, but I feel like it's extremely important for our members to understand.

We run into this a lot here at Savon Dental Plan. A valued member will call in and talk to us about their dentist only to hear the bad news from us that the dentist that they are going to is not credentialed with our office. We get the same response each time. "Our dentist said that they accept your plan." That may be the case. Most dental offices will agree to honor the plan in order to retain you as a member, but still, that does not mean that they are a credentialed provider for the plan.

The reasons that you want to make sure that the dentist or specialist you are going to are credentialed with your coverage plan are:
  1. They will have the most up to date fee schedule.
  2. They will be familiar with the plan and know what discounts are supposed to be given
  3. They will know what is covered and you will not be misinformed
  4. They will be able to verify your coverage via roster or phone call
  5. If you as a member has a problem with the pricing discount, the plan will be able to intervene and help you.
I can not stress this enough. Going to a dentist that is not credentialed with your plan puts you at financial risk! That dentist is under no obligation to give you the discounts or maybe charging you off of an out-dated fee schedule. So PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, make sure that whatever dentist you are seeing is authorized BY THE PLAN to take the plan that you have. 

To see a current list of Savon Dentists, click here!

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Is Toothpaste Really Necessary?

 The answer may surprise you!  The fact is, we really don't need toothpaste!  Here's why.

Some toothpastes contain polishing compounds (abrasives), some contain undesirable chemicals (such as sodium lauryl sulfate, a key ingredient in soap...yuk!) fluoride (we've all heard about the controversy there).  Still others contain a healthy balance of all of that and a desensitizing agent as well. Then there's peppermint, spearmint, wintergreen etc. for flavoring.
Trust me, you can do just as well with a drop of peppermint essential oil for a fresh mouth. Or even a dab of baking soda.   
When you consider all the unnecessary additives in a tube of toothpaste, one might conclude that it's better to do without.... but the fact is it really doesn't matter what you use, only how often you brush. All you need is a good toothbrush. You can brush with plain water after a meal, then floss and effectively get the germs off of your teeth!

The more natural things you can use the better, including baking soda, coconut oil and peppermint essential oil.  They're easier on the checkbook, and on the smile! 

Keep on smiling! 

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Are You Cleaning Your Electric Toothbrush?

 Most people brush their teeth, rinse off the toothbrush, place it back in its holder and hopefully replace it every 6 months.

Well, an electric toothbrush needs a little more TLC. It's still important to clean the head of the toothbrush after every use and replace it every 4-6 months. But, did you know that cleaning and caring for the electrical base is just as important?

Below are a few steps to keep your electric toothbrush kicking:

  • Unplug the base and wipe it down with a mild cleanser or bleach solution.
  • Using the same solution, dip a cotton swab (q-tip) in it and clean the area where the head attaches and around any buttons.
  • If there is excessive gunk build-up, use a toothpick to gently loosen it. 
  • Sanitize if possible. Sometimes electric toothbrushes come with a sanitizing machine, use it!
  • To ensure the best battery life, use the toothbrush until it dies. Then recharge it, and repeat the process. *keeping the toothbrush constantly plugged in, will eventually ruin the battery*

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

In-House Dental Plans - Sounds Good, But Is It?

There are many dental centers that now offer their own dental plan. This is a great concept for the dental office, but what is the benefit for the patient?  You may be surprised to learn that it can be very limited.

By providing a plan for their patients, the dental office can help the patient save money on their treatment plan. The office will then discount the fees based on their usual and customary rates (UCR). This may sound good for the patient, but when compared to an independent dental plan, the savings are not always significant.  Also, the coverage offered by that center in most cases does not extend past that office or corporation. Consequently, if a problem arises with quality of care or if the patient is unhappy with the dentist for any reason, they will have to forfeit their plan benefits to go to another facility.

If you are being lured into an in-house dental plan by your dental office, take the time to study your options.  Many facilities have jumped in to the ring of dental plan coverage but some have not done their homework; that is they may not be compliant with individual state law or insurance commission rules and regulations.   Make sure your savings are reasonable and that you have options when it comes to specialists and treatment guarantees.  

Keep smiling! 

Friday, October 9, 2020

Can I Be Charged A Covid-19 Fee?

Questions From Our Members

J. Garcia of Santa Fe, New Mexico asks: 

“When I finished my dental appointment and went to check out and pay my bill I noticed that I was being charged $15.00 for a COVID-19 surcharge.  Can you explain what this is, and what´s the difference between that and the normal Bio–Hazard Disposal Fee?”

Savon’s Answer

Dental centers, as a rule, have always maintained a clean and sterile environment.

The Bio–hazard fee that we have always allowed helped offset the relatively minor cost of the chemicals needed to sterilize the operatories.  With the new stricter government regulations for COVID-19 sterilization, the cost of the chemicals needed have sky-rocketed.

Most dental and medical facilities are now charging a COVID-19 surcharge to cover these additional costs.  Although it´s not popular with patients, this additional fee has been approved by the agencies that help control and regulate the medical industry.

The surcharge is not only showing up at medical facilities, you can also find it added to your bill at many restaurants.  It is our hope that this additional cost will go away at some point as we find our way back to “normal” life.  If it doesn´t go away then we will have no choice but to incorporate it into the Schedule of Benefits at some future point.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

The Ever-Growing Spectrum of The Dental Arts

 Technology is rapidly advancing, particularly in the dental industry. So, it is no surprise that dentists are branching out into other fields. Simple dental caries, bruxism, orthodontic malocclusion and misalignment of the jaw have long been treated by the dentist, while treatments for varying ailments such as sleep apnea, migraine headaches, ringing in the ears and even Tourette’s syndrome have always fallen into the purview of an MD or a medical specialist.  However, by advancement of technology, dentists are now able to integrate dental treatments for things like TMJ or structural Maxillofacial problems with the jaw into treatments for these ailments, among other things. 

Devices such as TMD splints, night orthotics and post-orthodontic appliances are proving to be useful for a variety of ailments.  It seems that misalignment of the jaw can contribute to a myriad of ailments...including sleep apnea, digestive issues, poor body posture, muscle spasms, decreased strength overall along with muscle aches and pains, to name just a few. 
If you suffer from any of these ailments, you might consider consulting with your dentist as well as your healthcare provider.  There may be a simple solution out there for you!

Keep Smiling!

Thursday, October 1, 2020

How often do you think about your taste buds?

 When your taking a bite of a big, juicy burger or sipping on a milkshake, you know one thing... It tastes good, right? Ever think about why that is?

Your tongue and the roof of your mouth are covered in thousands of these tiny little buds. When you eat, your saliva helps break down food. Your taste buds send little messages to your brain which tell you all kinds of information like whether or not the food tastes good, if it's hot, cold, sweet, sour, etc.

Taste buds are most important because they are play the biggest part in enjoying different foods and flavors. As a child, you would have been more sensitive to different foods because your taste buds were not only on your tongue, but on the roof and the sides of your mouth. As an adult, you may notice certain foods you were unable to eat as a child, taste better. This is because your taste buds are more centered to your tongue area and are now less sensitive.

Here are some facts about your taste buds:

-Buds that taste bitterness are located at the back of the tongue. Sour taste buds are located on either side of the tongue, with salty/sweet buds on the tip. The center of the tongue does not have many taste buds.

-Taste is the weakest of the 5 senses

- Girls have more taste buds than boys

-We have nearly 10,000 taste buds inside our mouths

Original post: September 29th 2008 by Moobiedoo