Posts for: December, 2016
If you have dental “insurance”, think of it as your rich uncle giving you up to $1000 each year to spend towards your dental care.
The truth is, dental benefits are not “insurance”. “Insurance” by its definition limits a liability. That is, no matter how sick you get, your medical insurance, for example, is designed to protect you from financial hardship. Your dental plan, on the other hand, will only pay a fixed amout per year, no matter how much care you need. It’s designed to limit the "insurance' company’s liability. Whether you need $200 or $2000 worth of dental care, the insurance company will only pay up to an agreed-upon annual maximum.
One way or another, YOU are paying for that benefit. It may be through a monthly premium or perhaps your employer is paying part or all of it for you.
If you have dental insurance it’s a great thing to have.Congratulations. Most insurance company maximums are $1000 per year, meaning they will cover the first $1000. of your yearly dental expenses. Dental benefits have barely increased in the last fifty years. The very first dental insurance was offered in the early 1960’s, and it covered $1000 per year. Back then, that would pay for a lot of dentistry!
Doctors have an ethical and legal obligation to diagnose and share their findings with you. We base treatment recommendations on the needs of the patient, not the limitations of the benefits. Naturally, we respect your right to make decisions regarding your oral health, but we want you to be totally informed. Your rich uncle wouldn’t want it any other way.
You know the basics of great oral hygiene: Brush and floss daily; see your dentist at least twice a year for cleanings and checkups; and watch your diet, especially sweets.
While these are the basics for maintaining healthy teeth and gums, there are a few lesser known things you can do to enhance your hygiene efforts. Here are 4 extra tips for better hygiene.
Use the right toothbrush. As the old saying goes, “There's a right tool for every job.” Brushing your teeth is no exception. Most people do well with a soft-bristled, multi-tufted toothbrush with a head small enough to maneuver easily in their mouth. Toothbrushes wear out, so switch to a new one every three to six months or if the bristles become too soft or worn.
…And the right brushing technique. Hard scrubbing might apply to housework, but not your teeth. Over-aggressive brushing can lead to gum recession. A gentle, sustained effort of about two minutes on all tooth surfaces is sufficient to remove plaque, the bacterial film most responsible for dental disease.
Wait a while to brush after eating. Before hopping up from the meal table to brush, consider this: eating many foods increases mouth acid that can erode your teeth enamel. Fortunately, your body has a solution — saliva, which neutralizes mouth acid and helps restore minerals to your enamel. But saliva takes thirty minutes to an hour to complete the buffering process. If you brush before then you could brush away miniscule amounts of softened minerals from your enamel. So wait about an hour to brush, especially after consuming acidic foods or beverages.
Drink plenty of water. Your mouth needs a constant, moist environment for optimal health. But smoking, alcohol and caffeine can cause dry mouth. Certain drugs, too, can have mouth dryness as a side effect. A dry mouth is more susceptible to plaque formation that can cause disease. To avoid this, be sure you drink plenty of water during the day, especially as you grow older.
If you would like more information on taking care of your teeth and gums, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “10 Tips for Daily Oral Care at Home.”
Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which breathing is briefly and repeatedly interrupted during sleep. The"apnea" in sleep apnea refers to a breathing pause that lasts at least ten seconds... and often more. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of the throat fail to keep the airway open, despite efforts to breathe.
Imagine holding your breath for 10 to 60 seconds... and doing that repeatedly through the night. How much oxygen is passing to your brain, and thus to your other organs? Another form of sleep apnea is central sleep apnea, in which the brain fails to properly control breathing during sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea is far more common than central sleep apnea.Obstructive sleep apnea, or simply sleep apnea, can cause fragmented sleep and low blood oxygen levels. For people with sleep apnea, the combination of disturbed sleep and oxygen starvation may lead to hypertension, heart disease and mood and memory problems. Sleep apnea also increases the risk of drowsy driving.
Contact Dr. Huber at the Reserve Dental Group 561-852-7773
The first step to a Hollywood smile is often asking your orthodontist about braces. However, you no longer have to spend years wearing metal brackets and wires on your teeth to achieve your goal. Invisalign allows you to gain the same results as traditional braces, only without the braces. Learn about the pros and cons of Invisalign and what this treatment can do for you with Dr. Alfred Huber at Reserve Dental Group in Boca Raton, FL.
Invisalign Pros and Cons According to your Boca Raton, FL Dentist:
- Easy: Invisalign treatment does not require anything more than simply wearing the clear aligner trays. Unlike traditional braces, which have many moving parts that can damage the inside of your mouth, Invisalign is comfortable and easy to use.
- Invisible: Thanks to their design and materials, Invisalign is almost invisible to the naked eye. This allows patients to get the orthodontic treatment they need without compromising their personal style or look.
- Efficient: Most Invisalign treatments last about a year. The trays’ design helps them efficiently place the appropriate amount of pressure onto each tooth to move it directly into its final position.
- Predictable: Thanks to Invisalign’s laboratory, you will receive a video showing how your teeth will move during treatment. The video also shows you the final result, giving you the peace of mind of knowing exactly how your smile will look when you take out your last tray for the last time.
- Commitment: Invisalign’s treatment plan boils down to wearing the aligner trays the appropriate amount of time. This means wearing your trays for at least 22 hours a day, every day, and only removing them to eat or brush and floss. Patients should be committed to wearing their trays, as failing to do so can cause complications to the treatment, forcing your dentist to start over or significantly lengthen the treatment time.
- Adjustment Period: The aligner trays can cause a lisp or other difficulties speaking at first. Luckily, like with any other new dental appliance, patients get used to Invisalign within a few days.
- Not Suitable For Everyone: Invisalign usually treats most cases that traditional braces treat, but, in some very extreme cases, your dentist may recommend traditional braces over Invisalign’s aligner trays.
For more information on Invisalign, please contact Dr. Huber at Reserve Dental Group in Boca Raton, FL. Call (561) 852-7773 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Huber today!
It might seem that supermodels have a fairly easy life — except for the fact that they are expected to look perfect whenever they’re in front of a camera. Sometimes that’s easy — but other times, it can be pretty difficult. Just ask Chrissy Teigen: Recently, she was in Bangkok, Thailand, filming a restaurant scene for the TV travel series The Getaway, when some temporary restorations (bonding) on her teeth ended up in her food.
As she recounted in an interview, “I was… like, ‘Oh my god, is my tooth going to fall out on camera?’ This is going to be horrible.” Yet despite the mishap, Teigen managed to finish the scene — and to keep looking flawless. What caused her dental dilemma? “I had chipped my front tooth so I had temporaries in,” she explained. “I’m a grinder. I grind like crazy at night time. I had temporary teeth in that I actually ground off on the flight to Thailand.”
Like stress, teeth grinding is a problem that can affect anyone, supermodel or not. In fact, the two conditions are often related. Sometimes, the habit of bruxism (teeth clenching and grinding) occurs during the day, when you’re trying to cope with a stressful situation. Other times, it can occur at night — even while you’re asleep, so you retain no memory of it in the morning. Either way, it’s a behavior that can seriously damage your teeth.
When teeth are constantly subjected to the extreme forces produced by clenching and grinding, their hard outer covering (enamel) can quickly start to wear away. In time, teeth can become chipped, worn down — even loose! Any dental work on those teeth, such as fillings, bonded areas and crowns, may also be damaged, start to crumble or fall out. Your teeth may become extremely sensitive to hot and cold because of the lack of sufficient enamel. Bruxism can also result in headaches and jaw pain, due in part to the stress placed on muscles of the jaw and face.
You may not be aware of your own teeth-grinding behavior — but if you notice these symptoms, you might have a grinding problem. Likewise, after your routine dental exam, we may alert you to the possibility that you’re a “bruxer.” So what can you do about teeth clenching and grinding?
We can suggest a number of treatments, ranging from lifestyle changes to dental appliances or procedures. Becoming aware of the behavior is a good first step; in some cases, that may be all that’s needed to start controlling the habit. Finding healthy ways to relieve stress — meditation, relaxation, a warm bath and a soothing environment — may also help. If nighttime grinding keeps occurring, an “occlusal guard” (nightguard) may be recommended. This comfortable device is worn in the mouth at night, to protect teeth from damage. If a minor bite problem exists, it can sometimes be remedied with a simple procedure; in more complex situations, orthodontic work might be recommended.
Teeth grinding at night can damage your smile — but you don’t have to take it lying down! If you have questions about bruxism, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Stress & Tooth Habits” and “When Children Grind Their Teeth.”