How Dental Benefits Go Beyond Dental Issues

by MikeMeehan 2/14/2018 2:04 PM

In honor of American Heart Month this February, we’re taking a look at an unexpected way to curb heart disease – visiting the dentist. Scheduling a dental appointment isn’t just about taking care of your teeth. Your mouth can reveal a lot about your overall health. Signs and symptoms of dozens of systemic diseases, disorders, syndromes and other conditions can appear in the mouth. Bleeding gums, burning or dry mouth, loose teeth and bad breath (to name a few) may point to health issues in different areas of the body. These issues include diabetes, heart disease, infectious diseases and a variety of others. If these indicators are present, your dentist will refer you to your physician for next steps that encourage proper diagnosis. Visiting your dentist regularly for a thorough examination of your teeth, gums and just as importantly, all other soft tissues in your mouth has multiple benefits. It can prevent small problems from becoming major issues and identify systemic diseases early. The earlier you detect and treat these diseases, the easier they are to manage. Early detection can help prevent the disease from causing more serious problems and can lead to better overall health in the long run. A study completed by the American Heart Association found that people who receive regular teeth cleanings have a 24 percent lower risk of heart attack and 13 percent lower risk of stroke.1 It’s also important to know that having a dental insurance plan can help. Most dental plans cover preventive services, such as exams and cleanings, at little or no cost to you. And people with certain medical conditions, like heart disease, may be eligible for enhanced benefits. These benefits may include coverage for additional exams and cleanings, periodontal maintenance and fluoride treatments. Think about your overall health and schedule your next trip to the dentist today.

Get A Fit Smile!

by MikeMeehan 2/7/2018 11:49 AM

We talk about staying fit, working out and eating healthy, so why not consider the “fitness” of your teeth? Your dental health is an important part of your overall health. Along with building strong muscles, take these steps to build strong enamel. Limit sugary foods and drinks – Bacteria in your mouth feed on the sugars found in certain foods and drinks. These bacteria then create acids that attack and wear down tooth enamel. Looks like that root beer float isn’t so sweet when it comes to your teeth. Eat foods high in calcium – Calcium-rich foods counter these acids by rebuilding enamel and helping bones and teeth stay strong. To help get your daily calcium fix, reach for snacks like cheese, broccoli or yogurt. Use fluoride – To protect teeth, fluoride helps strengthen enamel and repairs the first stages of tooth decay. Be sure to brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. You can also get a dose of fluoride through certain mouthwashes, fluoride treatments at the dentist and from most tap water. Don’t brush too hard – Resolve to brush for the full two minutes – just don’t brush too fast or too hard. To avoid wearing down the enamel, brush gently, use an oval-shape motion and stick to a soft-bristle toothbrush. Treat conditions that cause decay – Treating heartburn and certain eating disorders can help diminish the enamel-eroding effects of stomach acids. Teeth aren’t the only things to consider. Healthy gums are just as important when it comes to oral health. Here’s how to keep yours in good shape. Brush and floss daily – Brushing twice a day and flossing once daily can help prevent and sometimes even reverse gum disease. Pay attention to the gumline when doing both. Visit the dentist regularly – Professional cleanings are the only way to remove tartar and reach plaque that you may have missed. Your dentist will also be able to identify signs of gum disease early so you can treat it effectively. Last, but certainly not least, stop or avoid smoking. Smoking makes it harder to fight gum disease by weakening the immune system and makes it more difficult for gums to heal when they’ve already been damaged. With these tips, you can have a winning smile all year round.

Smile Snacks for Your Football or Oscar Party

by MikeMeehan 1/31/2018 11:07 AM

Whether you’re hosting an awards show party or throwing a game-day bash, you can help your friends take care of their smiles as well as their taste buds. Reconsider the trend Rosé, champagne and prosecco may be a trendy choice and a fun idea for an award show party or to celebrate your favorite team winning the big game, but these drinks can be hard on tooth enamel. Prosecco, champagne, and rosè have high acid levels, so opt for sparkling water or even a dry martini instead. Cheese – both appetizing and helpful A fancy cheese tray – or even just slices of good ol’ cheddar – is an easy choice. It can also protect your teeth if you do decide to indulge in champagne and the other celebratory drinks described above. Cheese is always a crowd pleaser, and you can dress it up with a charcuterie board including prosciutto, salami and chorizo. Throw in some healthy garnishes, such as almonds and pickles, and you’ve got a spread that’s sure to impress. But skip the crackers and crostini. Foods that are high in carbohydrates break down into sugars that can harm your enamel just like the sugars in cookies and candies. A veggie tray will save the day Instead of opening a bag of chips, which are also high in carbohydrates and starches, put a veggie tray on the menu. Vegetables will provide the same satisfying crunch your guests crave while keeping their smiles healthy. If you’re looking for something different than the usual celery, carrots and broccoli, try parsnips, jicama, snap peas, artichokes and asparagus. Berries for sweetness For a little something sweet, opt for berries drizzled with dark chocolate. Dark chocolate has lower sugar content than milk chocolate and white chocolate, so it’s a good choice for dessert.

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