Low Income Dental Care

Most people from time to time have been frustrated by the rising cost of most dental procedures.  Yet, many of us, realizing how important dental care is, simply gather together our resources and simply endure the costs.  However, for people with limited financial resources these costs can actually be the cause of them avoiding trips to the dentist altogether.  People who are on limited incomes are therefore susceptible to tooth decay and other problems that can arise as a result of poor dental care.  For these people there are resources that can help them handle the costs of visiting the dentists.  One of those alternatives is dental health plans.  By using a dental health plan, patients can pay an annual fee which grants them access to a nationwide network of qualified dental professionals whose services they can use at a reduced rate.  Access to these professionals thus adds affordability and convenience to what would otherwise be an arduous effort to seek out dental care.dental-care

With the use of dental plans, members have access to procedures as routine as cleanings and x-rays to more complicated procedures such as crowns, root canal surgery, dental implants and various dental emergency services.  In other words, every procedure that insurance would cover, plan participants also enjoy.  Finally, while dental plan coverage is not the same as dental insurance, it does help low income patients with the rising cost of visiting the dentist.  At Family Dental Health Plans we are proud to help patients who are income limited gain access to high quality dental care at prices that aren’t prohibitive.

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How Early should You start Teaching Kids to Brush?

One of the most daunting challenges parent face in raising their children is instilling in them good habits while trying to make sure that they do not develop bad ones. brush This is especially true of habits that affect their health.  But many of the tools parents need are already there as young children are often eager to learn and can’t help but imitate us.  Because of this, parents should take advantage of every opportunity they can to teach their children healthy dental habits.  But when exactly should you introduce your child to dental hygiene?  What is the right age to teach your child to brush and when should he or she be allowed to brush his/her own teeth?

Naturally, from the time a child’s first teeth begin emerge many dentist recommend that parents should begin to clean their children’s teeth themselves.  Some dentists recommend that parents should wait until three teeth in a row have come out.  The American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (ADP) recommend using a rice-sized amount of tooth paste for on a baby’s first teeth and a pea-sized amount on a 2 or 3 year-old’s teeth.  In either case, you should brush your child’s teeth twice a day so that he/she can learn to brush.  Dentists do not recommend that children brush their own teeth until after the age of 6 or 7 as they lack the coordination to do so properly.  Finally, impress upon your child the importance of maintaining healthy teeth and your child may develop habits that will last a lifetime.  Family Dental Health Plans help you reach Ameriplan dental providers who can give you more tips on developing health dental habits in your child.  Not only that, but Ameriplan providers are affordable as well.

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Dry Mouth and its Effects on Dental Health

One of the natural mechanisms the body has to protect teeth and the mouth in general is saliva.  Besides making food much easier to digest, saliva protects the teeth against decay by controlling bacteria and fungi in the mouth. dry mouth Moreover, saliva contains important elements that neutralize plaque acids and help repair early tooth damage.  For these reasons, and others, it is important that the body be able to produce sufficient amounts of this lubricant and digestive aid.  Unfortunately, there are times when not enough of this vital lubricant and digestive aid is produced by the body.  At times like these, some people suffer from a condition called xerostomia or “dry mouth” as it is commonly called.

There are several causes of dry mouth including certain medications, nerve damage, smoking or tobacco chewing and dehydration.  The symptoms of dry mouth – apart from a parched mouth – are frequent thirst, sores in the mouth, bad breath and hoarseness.  The main thing for people to remember who suffer from this condition that can lead to gingivitis and gum disease is that it can be treated by a number of methods. dry mouth remediesTreatment methods include chewing sugar-free gum, regular brushing, over-the-counter medications and drinking copiousness amounts of water.  Of course, the first step to treatment is diagnosis and here is where consulting with a dental professional is critical.  If you believe you have chronic dry mouth you should talk to your dentist so that he or she can find a cause to your condition and from there determine a course of treatment.  Family Dental Health Plans has a network of dentists that can help you with this condition and we have affordable dental plans to help you as well.  Take care of your teeth and they will take care of you.

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Summer Fruits and Your Teeth

Summer has finally arrived and brought with it a plethora of fruits that are just now coming into season.  This includes fruits such as apricots, blackberries, limes, grapefruit, strawberries, etc.  image-01But what many people don’t realize is that although not as dangerous to dental health as candy and certain other foods, some of these fruits can contribute to tooth decay.  Specifically, citrus fruits because they are acidic can erode enamel which makes teeth more susceptible to decay in the long term.  Citrus fruits can also irritate mouth sores making an already painful condition feel worse.  This is why experts recommend brushing, flossing or rinsing after eating these otherwise healthy fruits.

However, the news is not all bad when it comes to summer fruit and its impact on dental health.  For example, some studies show that orange juice has the least deleterious effect on dental health as well as the fact that it contains minerals and vitamins such as calcium and vitamin D that benefit teeth.  Moreover, crisp fruit – such as apples and pears – actually stimulates saliva production which reduces bacteria that are harmful to teeth.  Apples also contain malic acid which is a chemical used in many teeth whitening products.  Lastly, bananas which are chocked full of tooth friendly minerals such as potassium, magnesium and manganese also help to whiten teeth.  In short, while is it obvious that we should all avoid foods such as soda and candy, what is less obvious to some is that we should also maintain a stringent program of dental hygiene even when eating healthy foods.  Family Dental Health Plans can give you access to a network of dentists that can further educate you on how to establish and maintain healthy dental habits.

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Teeth Grinding and How it Affects Your Dental Health

bruxismPeople who adhere to a strict program of dental hygiene usually don’t expect too many surprises during their visits to the dentist.  They might still encounter the stray cavity or be in need of a cleaning but usually nothing more.  However, there is one thing that can sabotage even the most careful dental hygiene program.  That one thing is the habit some people have of grinding their teeth.  Medically the condition is called bruxism and it can result in fractured teeth, painful or loose teeth and jaw soreness.  Adults and children can both develop this habit but because children’s teeth are still growing the damage caused by this condition can be especially problematic.

Several things can cause teeth grinding including stress and anxiety and sleep disorders such as sleep apnea but the most likely causes are an abnormal bite that has gone uncorrected and crooked teeth.  Dentists can detect bruxism by examining your mouth for signs such as excessive wear on your teeth.  This is one of the many reasons it is important to schedule regular dental visits.  Fortunately, persons who have this habit can be fitted for a mouth guard to protect their teeth from the long term effects of bruxism.

Finally, according to the Massachusetts Dental Society approximately 50 to 96 percent of adults experience bruxism (tooth grinding), and children do so at a rate of about 15 percent.  At Family Dental Health Plans our affordable dental plans connect you with a network of dentists from all over the country that can help control bruxism and can also help restore, replace and strengthen your teeth.