Happy Thanksgiving: Holiday Teeth Tips

Thanksgiving is one of the most popular food-related holidays of the year! Here is some Turkey Day trivia to share with family and friends around the table, along with tips for making it a mouth-healthy celebration.

1. The average person in the U.S. eats 16-18 pounds of turkey annually. In addition, each year 280 million turkeys are sold in the U.S. at Thanksgiving time. That is a lot of turkey! Make sure you balance the turkey with choices from all of the important food groups for better nutrition, including fruits and vegetables.  Crispy fruits and veggies help remove plaque from your teeth to prevent cavities.

2. The pilgrims did not eat pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes or cranberries at the first Thanksgiving feast. Today these foods are on tables across the country. Did you know that researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center found that cranberry juice strengthens teeth, making it hard for bacteria to cling to them? Oral biologist Hyun (Michel) Koo, D.D.S, Ph.D. and his team discovered evidence that cranberry juice prevents glucan, the building block of plaque, from forming.

3.  The pilgrims ate with knives, spoons, and their fingers because they didn’t use forks. They didn’t use toothbrushes or dental floss either. After your Thanksgiving dinner, be sure to brush your teeth thoroughly with a soft bristled toothbrush with a non-slip handle and flexible neck.  Always clean your toothbrush after brushing. Also floss carefully to remove food from between teeth. According to the American Dental Association (ADA) you should floss your teeth at least once a day. If you have a hard time reaching your back molars, don’t give up. Unfortunately that is where most decay occurs. Instead, try a wooden or plastic floss holder or a pre-threaded dental pick.

4. The day after Thanksgiving is Black Friday, which marks the beginning of the traditional Christmas shopping season. Consider purchasing one of the many dental products on the market for keeping your smile clean and white. For example, an electric toothbrush may encourage a child (or adult!) to brush more often as well as more thoroughly. A water flosser or air flosser device can help people embrace flossing. Does a child in your family play a contact sport? Buy them a custom mouthguard to protect their teeth. The ADA says that of all the mouth injuries that occur each year, 1/3 of them may be sports-related. A custom mouthguard can protect against lost or broken teeth, fractured crowns and facial injuries.

5. Many families gather around the table so that each person can name something they are thankful for on Thanksgiving Day. It is a special tradition that brings people together. Be grateful for good oral health this Thanksgiving and all year round. The best way to have a healthy mouth is to take great care of it. Make sure you see the dentist for regular exams and cleanings. That gives your dentist the opportunity to identify issues when they are easy to treat.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Original Source: https://www.craigarmstrongdds.com/cleanings-and-prevention/happy-thanksgiving-holiday-teeth-tips/

Health Benefits: Use Them or Lose Them

Delaying dental treatment means risking more extensive treatment later on. Did you know that you can save hundreds of dollars by taking advantage of your dental benefits and/or flexible savings account right now? Most plans run out at the end of the year and any unused benefits disappear. Here are three reasons why you should maximize your insurance benefits and schedule your dental appointments today!

  1. Dental Coverage: Dental exams and cleanings are essential for good oral health. Fortunately, most dental policies cover these routine services so that you don’t have to pay out of pocket. The cost for these visits is built into your dental policy, for which you pay a monthly premium. If you don’t see your dentist on a regular basis, not only do you waste the money you paid for your policy, you risk your oral health.
  2. Yearly Insurance Maximums: When you sign up for dental insurance, the company sets a yearly maximum. The company will not pay out benefits that exceed this amount. Most plans have a yearly maximum of $1,000, although the figure may vary. The benefit does not roll over. If you don’t use the full amount within the calendar year, the benefit is lost.
  3. Insurance Deductibles: The deductible is what you have to pay the dentist before your insurance benefits kick in.  Deductible amounts vary depending on your plan. Most people meet their deductible by this time of year and can take advantage of all of their benefits. However, if you already met your deductible and put off dental work until next year, you will have to start all over again.
  4. Flexible Savings Accounts: Flexible savings accounts (FSA) and healthcare savings accounts (HSA) are tax-advantaged financial accounts set up through employers. Employees can elect to have a portion of their earnings set aside for qualifying expenses, including dental expenses. There is a limit to the amount of money which can be rolled over into the next year. Instead of losing this money, consider all the ways you can use it for your dental care.

How to Use Your Benefits

There are many ways to use your dental insurance and FSA benefits. Take care of dental issues before they become serious and require comprehensive treatment. Benefits can cover the following:

  • Preventative care: Schedule preventative services such as exams, cleanings, sealants or fluoride treatments.
  • Restorations: See your dentist for restorations, including amalgam or composite fillings, root canals, crowns or dentures.
  • Dental supplies: Pay for denture adhesives, oral pain relief products like Orajel and Anbesol, and analgesics such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen. You can even pay for smoking cessation supplies to drastically reduce the chance of developing oral cancer.

It’s important to book your appointments early because dental offices get very busy at the end of the year. Contact your dentist right away to make sure you get in so that you don’t lose any of your 2014 benefits. The sooner you call, the easier it will be to schedule a visit!

Original Source: https://www.craigarmstrongdds.com/cleanings-and-prevention/health-benefits-use-lose/