4 Things Moms-To-Be Should Know About Dental Care During Pregnancy

by MikeMeehan 5/9/2017 9:54 AM

Since our thoughts are with our moms this weekend, we’ll turn our discussion to oral health for mothers. Oral health and preventive dental work for pregnant women is important to avoid gum disease and oral infections. The American Pregnancy Association stated preventive dental cleaning and annual exams during pregnancy are recommended and safe.  Let’s focus on a few of the most common topics pertaining to oral health during pregnancy.  In a recent article by the Delta Dental Plans Association, they answered questions about dental care during pregnancy concerning X-rays, anesthesia, differences in oral health, and dental benefits. Here’s what they reported: X-rays If necessary, X-rays are safest during the second trimester. The Mayo Clinic stated it is “highly unlikely that a diagnostic X-ray would harm a developing baby.” Though the dentist and dental hygienist will usually ask, let them know you are pregnant. Anesthesia It is safe to have dental treatment that requires local anesthesia according to a 2015 study by the American Dental Association. This is significant because sometimes pregnant women will postpone dental procedures even though they are in pain or the issue is affecting their health. Oral health Sensitive gums can affect pregnant women due to hormone levels. Some women develop pregnancy gingivitis, the inflammation of the gums and surrounding tissues caused by an increased level of hormones. Look for redness, swelling, tenderness and bleeding, and brush twice daily and floss daily, while keeping close attention to your gums. Dental benefits Check your benefits plan. Some plans included additional benefits for pregnant women such as extra cleanings to help prevent pregnancy gingivitis. For additional information, in Delta Dental’s Oral Health Library, you will find articles about the safety of dental care during pregnancy, oral health during pregnancy and infant oral health. We also cover the topic in our blogs, and provide information on dental care for babies. Always share your questions and concerns with your dentist.

Improve Your Brushing Technique

by MikeMeehan 5/1/2017 2:30 PM

When it comes to dental hygiene, brushing and flossing are some of the most important routines for your smile, yet they could possibly use a little improvement. Why You Need to Brush Twice a Day Brushing and flossing can remove plaque, tartar and stains. These three culprits can cause problems of all sorts: • Cavities • Gum disease, like gingivitis or periodontitis • Weakened tooth enamel, making teeth more susceptible to chips or cracks Conditions like these can wreak havoc on your smile. But the issues don’t stop there. Bad oral health doesn’t just put you at risk for cavities, gum disease, and weakened tooth enamel; it can increase risks for serious conditions like diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Follow these steps to ensure that you are brushing properly. Six Steps for Better Brushing 1. Place your toothbrush bristles at a 45-degree angle to the gumline 2. Use just enough pressure to feel bristles against your gums and between teeth. Don’t squish the bristles 3. Brush all inner and outer tooth surfaces several times, using short, circular strokes. Be sure to brush along the gumline as well 4. Brush chewing surfaces straight on. Clean the inside surfaces of front teeth by tilting the brush vertically and making up-and-down strokes with the front of the brush 5. Clean only one or two teeth at a time 6. Brush your tongue, as oral bacteria can remain in taste buds By following these brushing techniques, you will keep your smile healthy and help improve your overall health

6 Ways to Protect Your Eyes this Allergy Season

by MikeMeehan 4/24/2017 2:28 PM

When spring arrives, I feel hopeful and happy, uplifted by the colors and weather. That is until… my eyes start to itch and my nose starts to tickle. Yes, despite the daffodils and rising temperatures, spring means allergies for me, and I’m guessing if not for you, someone close to you.  So, as your vision benefits provider, we want to make sure you protect your eyes this allergy season. Here are 6 tips to get you started: Avoid exposureTry to minimize your exposure to allergens by keeping windows closed and wearing sunglasses with as much coverage as possible. Whether at home or in your car, air conditioning, filtering the air, can provide some relief. Use eye dropsThere are many brands, so consult your eye doctor for a recommendation. Allergy eye drops will reduce the histamine in your eye tissues, so this might be a good option to directly help your swollen, watery, red and itchy eyes. You can try over-the-counter for your mild symptoms, but if you don’t see improvement, see your eye doctor for prescription eye drops. Remove contact lensesDuring allergy season, wearing your eyeglasses instead of your contact lenses may help with eye allergies. The surface of your contact lenses can collect allergens. Treat with medicationsAgain, if over-the-counter eye drops aren’t enough, oral medications can relieve your eye allergy symptoms. Antihistamines, decongestants, and other options can be prescribed by your doctor or bought over the counter. Don’t itch!Although it might provide temporary relief, rubbing your eyes can lead to thinning of the cornea and a risk of eye infections. Also, when you rub your allergy eyes, the itching releases more histamines, worsening the symptoms. When the itching becomes unbearable, grab the eye drops instead.  Try other remediesImmunotherapy, steroids and mast cell stabilizers are examples of other treatments you can discuss with your doctor. At home remedies, like a cold washcloth or compress, cucumber slices or tea bags placed on your eyelids can be soothing. Changing your clothes when you get home and showering before bedtime are some other strategies. If you do struggle with the seasonal allergies of spring, we hope you still get to enjoy the positive offerings of the season.

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