The Benefits and Applications of Laser Dentistry

A detailed list of the industrial and commercial uses for lasers today would fill volumes. Lasers are used in applications as varied as barcode readers, guidance systems, printers, holography, welding and of course medicine. However, one of the most promising applications for lasers is in the field of dentistry. Many dental organizations are recognizing the advantages of lasers and many dentists are now using lasers in their practice. Patients too, despite some popular misconceptions about the effectiveness of dental lasers, are now showing a clear preference for this kind of dentistry in any number of dental procedures. At Family Dental Health, we believe in staying abreast of the latest dental technologies which includes the use of CO2 laser for any number of procedures. Some of the benefits of laser dentistry include:

  • Lasers often reduce trauma to teeth: Because lasers are more precise than high speed drills, they are less prone to cause hairline cracks and fractures in the teeth. This kind of damage can often lead to future dental problems.
  • Less bleeding and swelling: Because lasers can be used more conservatively and more accurately than traditional surgical instruments, they produce little swelling or bleeding.
  • Lasers reduce the pain of drilling: Few things are more terrifying to dental patients than the drill and the pain that it can produce. Laser dentistry eliminates the need for drilling thus eliminating the psychological trauma that it can cause. Moreover, some laser treatments do not require anesthesia.
  • Appointments are shorter: We know that no one enjoys sitting in the dentist chair for hours while the dentist does his/her work. Our CO2 lasers often shorten the amount of time patients spend with us per session.

Applications

Lasers can be used in a number of dental procedures including but not limited to:

  • Viewing Tooth and Gum Tissues
  • Benign Tumor removal
  • Cold sore treatment
  • Nerve Regeneration
  • Teeth Whitening
  • Temporomandibular Joint Treatment

In short, we feel it is our obligation to educate patients on how lasers can benefit them. They are safe, effective and can be used in a variety of dental and periodontal procedures. Moreover, lasers have been used in dentistry since the 1960s. For this reason dental lasers are also affordable. Check out Ameriplan and find cheap dental insurance on our site that will help you gain access to this highly effective dental technology.

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The Top Foods for Healthy Teeth and Gums

Just as is the case with the rest of your body, the foods you eat have a great effect on your dental health. For example, we know that sweets can lead to cavities, etc. but healthy food can help maintain good tooth and gum health. Healthy foods that contain antioxidants and other nutrients help by strengthening the body’s defenses against bacteria and inflammation. This aids the teeth and gums as well. So in addition to brushing, flossing and taking regular trips to a dentist using one of our affordable dental plans, following the recommendations on this list may help you to have healthier teeth and gums.

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Garden Radish Fresh Food Healthy Vegetables

  • Fiber-Rich Fruits and Vegetables: High fiber foods such as apples, carrots, and celery help sustain good dental health in two ways. The first way is that the high water content contained in these foods helps clean and loosen plaque from the teeth. The second way they help is that they contain calcium and phosphates that help wash away bacteria.
  • Cheese and other dairy products: Not only are dairy products high in calcium, which is known to be good for bone and tooth health, they also contain the protein casein. Casein has been shown to decrease dental erosion in several studies.
  • Leafy Greens: Extra saliva is produced by your mouth when you eat leafy greens. Saliva is the mouth’s natural acid neutralizer. Examples of leafy greens include spinach, kale and lettuce.
  • Water: Good old h2o helps the body in countless ways not the least of which is that it washes away tooth-damaging bacteria and sugars left behind after eating.
  • Foods containing probiotics: There is some preliminary evidence which suggests that foods like yogurt, kombucha, sauerkraut, and miso may help to decrease harmful bacteria around your teeth and gums.
  • Seafood: Fish, especially fatty ones such as wild salmon and tuna, is rich in vitamin D. Vitamin D helps teeth by aiding them in the absorption of calcium and phosphate.
  • Garlic: Garlic contains allicin which is a strong antimicrobial. It helps fight against tooth decay and periodontal disease.
  • Sugarless Gum: Chewing sugarless gum after a meal – especially when a toothbrush and paste are not available – helps force the mouth to produce more sugar neutralizing saliva. Gum containing sugar is a no-no.

Finally, a well thought out dental health program includes trips to the dentists, flossing and brushing and consuming the above foods. You can begin your program by picking one of our affordable dentist plans and by choosing a provider from within our database of professionals.

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Bruxism in Children: Why it Happens and How to Stop it

According to The Journal of Dentistry for Children, about 38% of toddlers grind or clench their teeth at night. Although this fact is alarming to some, it does not surprise many parents who’ve heard strange, grinding noises coming from their toddler’s bedroom at night. This habit is known as bruxism, or teeth grinding, and although it usually stops at around six years of age for most children, it can sometimes continue unabated by time. The problem is that bruxism – when it continues as the child matures – can have a deleterious effect on his/her dental health. According to Mount Sinai Hospital, tooth grinding can wear down, chip, flatten and even fracture enamel. The long-term effect of tooth grinding can include tooth loss, headaches, and temporomandibular joint dysfunction.

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What Causes Bruxism in Children?

 

There is no established cause for tooth grinding but dentists have reached the consensus that these factors may play a role:

 

  • Pain from an illness such as ear infection.
  • Improper alignment of the top and bottom teeth (Malocclusions)
  • Anxiety, stress, anger, frustration or tension
  • Medications such as anti-depressants
  • Disorders such as sleep apnea

 

Prevention and Treatment

 

Any long term treatment for bruxism should only occur after a dentist has been consulted. However, some health professionals recommend the following to help control your child’s teeth grinding.

 

  • Having them avoid or cut back on foods and drinks that contain caffeine, such as colas and chocolate.
  • Not letting them chew on pencils or pens or anything that is not food.
  • Training them not to clench or grind their teeth by having them position their tongue between their teeth.
  • Teaching them to relax their jaw muscles at night by having them hold a warm washcloth against their cheek in front of their earlobe.

 

Finally, if you suspect that you or your child is suffering from bruxism you should consult your dentist in order to receive a complete diagnosis and treatment plan. Our low-income dental plans can put you in contact with a dental professional who will help you overcome this problem which can lead to more serious complications if untreated. Ameriplan providers are as convenient as a search on our website. One of them may recommend a night guard to be worn at night in order to treat bruxism.

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How to Choose the Right Dentist for You

Choosing a dentist is more complicated than simply choosing a health care provider at random. After all, you are entering into a long term relationship with someone who will play a significant role in you and your family’s dental health and well being. That is why even though we at Family Dental Health Plans can easily give you access to an extensive network of dental care providers through our website, it is up to you to choose the right specialist for your individual needs and circumstances. So how do you choose the right dental care provider for you and your family? Here are some considerations you may find useful in making this very important decision."dental plans"

 

  • Make sure they are convenient: Does he/she have convenient office hours? Is the office easy to get to from work or home? Does the dentist participate in your health plan? Is he/she flexible in the way he/she handles missed appointments and emergencies. Knowing these details can save you a lot of time and inconvenience.
  • Consider your unique needs: Each person’s dental needs are unique. Choose a professional whose specialty suits your situation. For example, a person suffering from gum disease or who needs dental implants or adult orthodontia should seek out specialists who practice in those fields.
  • Make sure they are American Dental Association (ADA) members: Members of the ADA abide by a code of ethics and professional conduct that is designed to ensure patient care and privacy.
  • Take a look around the office: After you’ve decided on a professional to use take a look around his/her office. Ask yourself if the office is comfortable. Check to see if the dentist and staff are neat and orderly. By making sure that the dentist and his staff are friendly and welcoming, you will ensure that your visits will be pleasant as well as productive.
  • Read online dentist reviews: Use the Internet to check out information about the practice’s staff, reviews, qualifications, etc.

In short, our low income dental plans come with providers that you can choose by location, specialty, etc., but the decision on which provider to use can be trickier than it seems. Just remember that this relationship that you are entering into is an important one and that simply because you are using one of our affordable dental plans does not mean that you have to settle for less.

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Manual vs. Powered Toothbrushes: Which is Best?

A good, quality toothbrush is one tool that is at the heart of any effective dental hygiene program. This fact is as basic as you can get. However, with the advent of the electric toothbrush – first invented by Dr. Phillippe Guy Woog in 1954 – the question of what kind of toothbrush to use has expanded beyond bristle type, shape etc. In fact, one of the most common questions dentists find the public asking is which kind of toothbrush is best manual or electric. Each has its advantages and disadvantages.

 

Manual toothbrushes

 

Invented back in 15th century China, the first toothbrush bore little resemblance to the kind that most of us use today. Instead of a sleek plastic implement that comes in a variety of colors and designs and was filled with soft to firm bristles, this early invention was made of coarse boar hair attached to bamboo or bone.

 

Pros

 

  • There are a variety of bristles, heads and styles to choose from.
  • They are relatively inexpensive.
  • No charging is needed.

 

Cons

 

  • They require more physical effort to use than electric toothbrushes.
  • They can be difficult to use for people with dexterity problems like arthritis, etc.

 

Electric toothbrushes

 

Although the electric toothbrush was first invented in the mid Twentieth Century, they only became popular in the 1990s. Like manual toothbrushes there are advantages and disadvantages to their use.

 

Pros

 

  • They are easy to use.
  • They are better at removing plaque and gingivitis.
  • Kids find them fun and easy to use.

 

Cons

 

  • They must be charged.
  • They cost more than a manual toothbrush.
  • They can be easy to break.

 

Finally, whichever kind of toothbrush you use be sure that it is ADA approved. Our low-income dental plans can put you in contact with a dental provider who will happily
answer any question you may have about the differences between the two kinds of brushes. Moreover, our Ameriplan Dental plan can save you up to 80% on some procedures.

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Strategies for Making Dental Hygiene fun for Kids

Make even the most mundane of life’s daily tasks seem like fun and you’ll have kids hooked. One of the most important of those daily rituals is tooth-brushing and oral care in general. The goal here is to make oral hygiene – which should be a part of all of our daily routines – a habit that will grow to become a lifelong practice in our children’s lives. Another motivation for finding ways to make oral hygiene more fun is that it reduces anxiety inducing trips to the dentist. At Family Health Dental Plans, where we have competitive discount dentist plans available, we would like to offer these helpful tips for making oral hygiene more fun for your kids.brush

  • Let your child pick their own dental tools: Nowadays, there are a variety of character-themed toothbrushes, holders and even flavored toothpastes on the market. Let your child pick his favorite and he/she will be more likely to use these tools regularly. Just make sure they are American Dental Association (A.D.A) approved before purchasing.
  • Brush and floss together: Small children in particular love mimicking their parents and spending time with them as well. Add further excitement to tooth-brushing and flossing by making up rhymes and songs about oral hygiene.
  • Create a fun reward system: Use gold stars on poster board to indicate your child’s adherence to their daily tooth brushing routine. You can supplement the gold stars with healthy snacks like apples, etc.
  • Read books and watch videos about teeth with your child: There are all kinds of profusely illustrated books available online and at local book stores written for kids on the topic of dental hygiene with titles like ‘Melvin the Magnificent Molar’ and ‘Clarabella’s Teeth’.

Yes, with a little ingenuity you can help your child see that brushing his or her teeth doesn’t have to be a chore. What will help you is the fact that our plans – which are the equivalent of having cheap dental insurance – will help you save money as well.

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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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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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Oral Hygiene Tips and Secrets

Every dentist drills into his/her patients (pun intended) the advice that using good oral hygiene is one of the best ways to not only maintain healthy teeth and gums but to lessen the fear and apprehension that a trip to their office can cause. People who maintain a sound program of oral hygiene are usually more confident in their trips to the dentist than those who are not. Here are some tips for maintaining healthy teeth and gums.

  • Brushing: Brush as least twice a day to remove acids and food residue. Brush your gum line and even your tongue in order to remove bacteria.
  • Flossing: You should floss at least once a day as flossing helps remove residue that toothbrushes cannot.
  • Avoid sugary drinks: Forget soda, coffee and other sugary drinks as they contribute greatly to tooth decay. Instead, try drinks such as milk which contains calcium and other nutrients vital to teeth and bone health.
  • Eat ‘Teeth Cleaning’ Foods: Foods such as apples, carrots and celery can actually carry away foods trapped between your teeth.

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), some 80% of Americans have some form of periodental health plansdontal (gum) disease. Statistics like this show the need for all of us to adhere to a program of strict oral hygiene. Family Dental Health Plans can help you reach providers through one of our discount health plans. With one of our affordable health plans you will be able to find a provider quickly and easily using our website interface. A more beautiful smile, healthier teeth and gums and less stressful trips to the dentists are objectives everyone desires. Maintain a program of good oral care and you will be on the road to meeting those goals.

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