In your efforts to save money and also keep your current dentist, have you ever had a conversation like the following:
You: Hi, I just have a quick question. Do you accept Delta Dental insurance plans…?
Your dentist’s receptionist: Yes we do.
You: Okay, thanks!
Millions of people have that exact same conversation, about Delta Dental or any number of dental plans. Like you, they probably think it means they’re going to be able to keep their current dentist and also pay the lowest rates.
However, if that’s your goal, you need to ask a different question.
The Question You Should Really Be Asking
Want to keep your dentist and save money? What – and who – do you need to ask?
So, if you want to keep your dentist and save money on dental care, what’s the question you should really be asking? And whom should you ask?
The best way to learn if you can keep your dentist and pay less is to ask both your dentist and the plan carrier or provider. And the question to ask is this: Is the dentist under contract as part of the specific dental insurance plan’s preferred provider network?
Learn more: 5 Things You Should Know About PPOs
We need to pay close attention to many details when it comes to insurance products. Dental insurance is no different. Some of the most common issues we hear from people have to do with the difference between in and out of network dental. How do the costs compare? Can I keep my own dentist?
And why not? Most people love their dentists. We want to do whatever it takes to remain with them if possible. So, for instance, folks will shop for dental insurance and, before buying a plan, call to ask if their dentist “accepts” the plan.
Alert: This is when paying close attention to the details can make a big difference.
The truth is, dentists may accept any number of dental plans. But that doesn’t mean they are in the plans’ preferred provider groups. Being a preferred provider makes a dentist part of a plan’s official network of dentists. That’s where the term “in network” comes from. And being in network or in a plan’s preferred provider pool is the real key to helping you save money.
Why all this confusion over network dental insurance?
Dentists want to keep you and your teeth healthy. However, they tend to leave the money saving part to you and your insurance provider. After all, that’s why you have a dental plan – to help you pay. Of course, dentists are running a business, as well, and contracting to be included in various carriers’ preferred provider pools is one of the ways they attract new patients and keep established ones happy.
…being in network or in a plan’s preferred provider pool is the real key to helping you save money.
Getting into the network requires your dentist to sign a contract with the plan provider. They agree to charge the plan’s lower rates for their dental work. Your dentist cannot be a part of every provider’s network. Like you, they have to choose carefully which plans to sign contracts with based on many, sometimes conflicting, considerations.
When you ask the dentist or her receptionist if they “accept” a dental plan, they answer you in an honest and efficient way. They don’t waste time probing to see whether you really understand the question you’ve asked. But the truth is, you haven’t really asked whether using a certain plan will help you remain under their care and also save some money on dental work. That is not the question they hear.
Until they’ve signed a contract to join the plan’s preferred provider network, they may in fact accept the plan but still have every right to charge higher rates than an in-network dentist would charge for the work they do. And when they do, you, not the plan, will have to pay the difference in cost.
Shop Your Dental Options Like a Pro
It’s a classic case of the heart vs. the head or emotions vs. logic. No one wants to pay more than needed for dental care. And no one wants to leave the dentist they’ve grown to know and trust just to save a few dollars.
So remember, the question to ask is this: Is the dentist under contract as part of the specific dental insurance plan’s preferred provider network? Be sure you ask your dentist and the plan’s carrier.
It’s a clear and unambiguous question. A simple yes or no will do. And, with confirmation of “in network” status from both your dentist and the plan carrier, you’ll be free to move forward with your dental work with confidence and then get on with something a little more interesting.
Thanks for reading, and please share!
Read next: Dental Insurance Companies: An Overview
National Toothache Day is Something to Smile About
Following a solid oral hygiene routine and taking preventative measures will keep your mouth looking and feeling its best. It will help you avoid the need for uncomfortable and time consuming trips to the dentist as well. On February 9, 2017, the world will be celebrating “National Toothache Day.” Instead of concentrating on pain, it is a great time to discuss common tooth problems and to learn how to properly care for your oral health.
History of National Toothache Day
There are many myths related to this “holiday.” Many suspect that it was created by a dentist in response to the opening of the Hershey Chocolate Company. Since chocolate is filled with sugar that can lead to cavities, this time was meant to help patients remember the importance of good oral health. A great way to celebrate is to make an appointment with your dentist so that you can receive a checkup or tips that will keep your mouth healthy. During this time, you can pay extra attention to brushing and flossing and avoiding sugary foods that often lead to cavities.
Causes of Toothaches
There are many reasons behind toothaches.
- Abscess. An abscess is a painful infection that occurs at the root of a tooth or in the gums that surround it. Trauma, severe decay, or gum disease can lead to an abscess.
- Decay. Cavities cause damage to tooth enamel and the internal dentin layer. They occur when the mouth’s bacteria is turned into acid, which attacks and causes decay.
- Damaged Filling
- Gum Infections
- Fractured Teeth
- Repetitive Action. If you grind your teeth or chew too roughly, you may cause damage to your teeth that leads to pain.
How Toothaches Work
Since the face and mouth are filled with nerves, the pain from toothaches can be severe. Unlike other body parts, teeth are confined, and blood is restricted in the area. When an infection begins, pressure builds. As this pressure becomes too great, the problem starts to affect the nerves and results in noticeable discomfort. As pain becomes overwhelming, it is necessary to visit a dental care provider for relief.
How to Prevent Toothaches
It is possible to take some preventative measures so that toothaches do not develop.
- Good Oral Hygiene. The best way to prevent decay that leads to pain is by following a regular oral hygiene routine. For example, it is important to brush and floss daily. This removes food particles that become stuck on and in between teeth. Rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash is important as well.
- Avoiding Sugary Food. To avoid problems that cause toothaches, it is best to limit the amount of sugary foods that you eat. Even when you do consume these items, it is wise to brush your teeth immediately.
- Visit Your Dental Provider Regularly. When you schedule a yearly visit with your dental provider, you will receive a professional cleaning. Also, this professional will perform a routine exam so that small problems are detected before they become large and painful.
This occasion is the perfect time to pay attention to your oral health. It does not require a person to be in pain, but it will help to educate individuals who want to learn how to better care for their mouths. No matter how you celebrate, remember to smile big and to appreciate your teeth.
If you are like many people, a visit to the dentist is one of the most painful and stressful appointments that you endure. And you have to go twice a year. Some avoid the dentist because they are nervous about the possibility of a cavity or because they fear the drill. Whatever the reason, too many people skip their important dental visits out of anxiety.
However, ignoring these appointments can damage more than just your oral health. Poor dental care can lead to infections, strokes and heart disease. You can avoid a painful dental visit and smile more. Here are a few suggestions we hope will help:
1. Find a dental team you can trust.
Trusting your dental team will go a long way toward easing your fears and your pain. Anxieties are related to many types of fears. Therefore, find a professional who is able to read your cues, answer your questions and calm your concerns. If you trust the person doing the work, you will be better able to get through the appointment.
2. Prepare a list of questions to ease your concerns.
Once you find a professional you trust, prepare a list of questions to help you feel more at ease. Think deeply about your fears and concerns about your visit. Then, ask for clarification on any procedures.
A few common questions that might lessen your anxiety include:
• Can you explain what you are doing with my teeth?
• What does that (tool) do?
• How could I improve my oral hygiene?
• Why is it necessary to do ____ (procedure)?
• What are my options for that tooth?
• If I get nervous, what signal can I give you to stop?
3. Consider meditating before your appointment.
Meditation, essential oils and deep breathing are not for everyone. However, these can be helpful and calming before a dental visit.
For example, try dabbing a little chamomile or lavender essential oil on your temples or at your pulse points for relaxation. You could also use a heated neck wrap or squeezable stress ball before and during your appointment.
During the appointment, take care to breath slowly and deeply using your diaphragm. This can help counteract the adrenaline that may be coursing through your body. Clear your mind and think happy thoughts. Also, try to smile throughout the procedure to keep your spirits up.
4. Keep your regular appointments.
Going to the dentist regularly can prevent many problems with your teeth. For example, you will have fewer cavities and be less likely to require complex dental work, such as a root canal.
People who skip appointments are at risk for larger problems and more extensive procedures. Frequently cancelling or rescheduling appointments can lead to poor oral health. However, it also increases anxiety. The longer you put off your visit, the more worked up you may get. Therefore, schedule the visit, put it on your calendar, and make it a point to attend.
5. Practice good oral health every day.
Many people are tempted to attack their teeth with extra vigor right before an appointment. However, aggressively brushing a tooth that seems discolored or flossing until your gums bleed is not a good idea.
You may be worried that your hygienist or the dentist will judge the state of your mouth. However, last minute attacks on a tooth will be obvious to the oral professionals. In addition, you may do more harm than good.
Therefore, make sure that you brush at least twice a day and floss regularly to keep your mouth happy and your smile beautiful.
A dental visit does not have to be painful. With the proper care and preparation, you can have a calm and comfortable appointment.
Read next: 5 Reasons Why You Need Dental Insurance
If you’re have recurring or sudden sharp pain when drinking hot beverages or eating frozen treats, or while brushing and flossing, then sensitive teeth may be to blame. Tooth pain can occur for many different reasons, and some are easier to pinpoint than others.
You may be brushing your teeth too vigorously, thus damaging the enamel. On the other hand, you could have a more serious oral health issue, such as gum disease. Your dental hygienist can diagnose the reason for tooth sensitivity and help treat the root cause. However, identification and prevention can begin at home.
Symptoms and Causes of Sensitive Teeth
Tooth sensitivity can manifest in different ways depending on the individual.
The symptoms of tooth sensitivity can manifest in different ways depending on the individual. Generally, pain in the teeth and gums, is the prime indicator of tooth and gum sensitivity.
Causes of oral pain also vary widely but include the following:
• A cracked or chipped tooth
• Tooth decay
• Worn tooth enamel
• Periodontal disease
• Receding gums
• Exposed tooth roots
Correctly identifying the cause of tooth pain is essential to proper treatment and improved oral health.
At-Home Treatment of Sensitive Teeth
Proper oral hygiene is the key to both a great smile and a healthy mouth. Not caring for your teeth properly can lead to sensitivity. If you have sensitive teeth, continue your twice-daily brushing routine. However, reduce pressure when you brush and consider using a brush with softer bristles.
You should also avoid brushing directly after eating foods with high acidity, like tomatoes and citrus fruit. This is because acidic foods weaken tooth enamel.
Desensitizing toothpaste is often the first line of defense when you’re dealing with tooth sensitivity. This is widely available over the counter. Many people find relief after using this type of toothpaste as part of their oral hygiene regimen.
While brands vary, active ingredients in desensitizing paste typically include nerve-blocking agents. These include, for example, strontium chloride and potassium nitrate. Some patients report better results when the active ingredient is stannous fluoride. However, desensitizing toothpaste that contains this substance is available only by prescription.
In-Office Treatments for Tooth Sensitivity
Some people do not find relief from tooth pain by utilizing at-home methods. In such cases, a visit to the dentist may be in order. Your dental hygienist may use a fluoride gel treatment to help reduce sensitivity. If that doesn’t work, your dentist may recommend a more invasive treatment option.
Many in-office treatments, including those that combat sensitivity, are covered by dental insurance. These treatments may include:
• Fillings or crowns
• A root canal
• Inlay or bonding
After treating your tooth sensitivity issue, your dentist will likely schedule a follow-up visit within a month. This will help them ensure the treatment is working. It also gives them a chance to check for additional issues that may affect your smile. Make sure to follow instructions from your hygienist regarding proper oral health care after treatment to avoid a recurrence of tooth pain.
Read next: Dental Care Routine
Most people only visit the dental office twice each year. However, the dentist-patient relationship is a long-term partnership. It can have a tremendous impact on your health and self-confidence. Here are six factors you should consider when choosing a dentist:
1. Choosing a Dentist: Look for an In-Network Provider
When choosing a dentist, ask for the contact information of three to five nearby dentists who are accepting new patients.
Selecting an out-of-network dentist means you are responsible for paying a larger share of the bill. Therefore, it is vital to contact your insurance carrier to determine if the dentist is a preferred provider for your plan.
The insurance company can verify the status of a particular dentist. When choosing a dentist, ask for the contact information of three to five nearby dentists who are accepting new patients.
2. Professional Qualifications
While it may seem time-intensive, checking a provider’s credentials is actually easy. In addition, it is an essential step to ensure that you choose the best dentist possible. Ask your insurance carrier for information on each dentist’s training and the length of time that they have been with the company.
National, state and local dental societies can also supply details or confirm information about providers. Every state dental board offers free online research tools. These can help you verify a provider’s current and past license status and learn about any complaints or disciplinary actions.
It is critical that the provider register with your state board. This generally requires dentists to provide proof of education from an accredited program, pass post-graduate exams, carry malpractice insurance and undergo an in-depth background check. Details about dental assistants and hygienists are also available through these channels.
3. The Right Fit
Finding the right fit is a subjective process. Therefore, you may have to meet with multiple providers for a consultation before you make a final choice. One important consideration is the disposition of the entire team.
The receptionist, hygienist, and dentist should all have friendly personalities. This goes a long way in how comfortable you feel. You want to find a caring dentist who gives you their full attention. In addition, they should patiently explain issues and procedures and offer alternative therapies. Finally, they should listens to your concerns and help to put your fears at ease.
4. A Warm, Welcoming Office
The office itself also provides many clues about what the dental practice values. The front desk assistants should be warm and welcoming.
The cozy waiting room should have comfortable chairs, current magazines and clean toys. Dental chairs should be comfortable and clean. Equipment should be up to date to take advantage of the latest technology.
5. Range of Services Provided
Most family dentists are general practitioners. They offer preventative and minor restorative care. A small office with one or two dentists will likely be more personable. However, the range of services they are able to offer might be limited.
During the consultation, ask which procedures they handle in-house and which are sent out for processing. Also, make sure your dentist is prepared to handle emergency situations that arise outside of normal business hours.
Dental procedures can become expensive. Therefore, ask if the provider offers flexible treatment and payment plans.
6. A Good Reputation
You don’t necessarily need an award-winning dentist for traditional preventative care. However, you do want a provider other patients like. A quick Google search can help you find reviews and recommendations.
You can ask for help on social media. Ask your network if anyone recommends a particular dentist. You’ll likely get a range of great leads on providers that you hadn’t yet considered.
After visiting a dentist’s office, take into consideration any red flags. Examples include a crowded waiting room, unclean furniture, equipment that is out of date, unhappy staff members or a demeaning attitude from the dentist.
Read next: How A Mouth Guard Protects Teeth
Smiling has been a way of communicating since history was first documented. Healthy teeth may help a person do anything from make a sale to make a friend.
Smiling with confidence is important to most people for a variety of reasons. It shows their confidence in their appearance and personality.
However, it is essential in some professions, and certain jobs require people to have good oral health and a good-looking grin. The following are a few of the top examples.
Being an Actor Requires Healthy Teeth
In some roles, smiling may not matter. However, it is important for an aspiring actress or actor to have straight, white, healthy teeth.
Most actors and actresses try for a wide variety of roles, and many of them require attractive smiles. Regularly smiling can make a character more likable, and an unattractive grin can distract viewers from the show.
Read also: Demi Moore Shines Spotlight on Stress and Oral Health
Also, smiles go a long way in an audition. Some celebrities such as Anne Hathaway and Julia Roberts are famous not only for their talent but also for their beautiful healthy smiles.
Being an Model Requires Healthy Teeth
A model’s job is to make a garment, piece of jewelry, makeup or something else look appealing. The parts of the body that are visible for the visual display of a product must look as attractive as possible. Many people may not actually pay much attention to a model. However, they are more likely to notice a model who has healthy teeth.
Also, smiling lends to the overall appeal of a product. A model who looks happy to wear something sends this subtle message to potential buyers, and they subconsciously want to feel happy and attractive as well.
Being an Dentist Requires Healthy Teeth
It is easy to see why dentists need healthy teeth and gums. Their attractive smiles are good advertising for their services. If a person sees a dentist with a crooked or missing tooth, it does not inspire confidence that the dentist knows the basics of good oral health.
This tells patients that the dentist may not provide them with good care either. The same is true for dental assistants and office staff in a dentist’s practice.
Since people are already nervous about dental procedures in many cases, dentists and their staff must do everything possible to reflect their high quality of care and help put patients at ease.
Being an Public Official Requires Healthy Teeth
From city mayors to U.S. presidents, every public official knows the importance of smiling frequently and showing off their healthy teeth. According to psychological studies, people who smile genuinely and show their teeth are perceived as more trustworthy.
Having an attractive grin helps increase the physical and emotional appeal of a candidate who is running for any public office. Candidates also know that they have to look like leaders. If they do not appear their best and take care of themselves, it sends a subtle message that they cannot be trusted to care for a city, state or country.
Being a News Reporter Requires Healthy Teeth
Good smiles can make news anchors more likeable. This is is important because they must keep their channel’s news ratings as high as possible.
A popular theory says a well-loved news reporter in the 1980s persuaded people to vote for the candidates he favored by simply smiling. When he talked about his preferred candidates, he smiled more. Studies showed that people who watched his show were more likely to vote for the candidates he smiled about.
Learn more: 5 Reasons Healthy Smiles Lead to Success
Being a Negotiating Executive Requires Healthy Teeth
We all know, attractive smiles can help build trust in other people. They can also make a person more likeable and may even hold some power in persuasion.
These are all important qualities for a face-to-face sales professional or negotiating executive. Companies that hire executives to make big sales or secure important accounts and partnerships are more likely to hire candidates with nice smiles.
Being All You Can Be Requires Healthy Teeth
Attractive smiles and good oral health can benefit anyone regardless of their job title. Also, smiles can help people immensely in job interviews and on the job.
Poor oral care can lead to serious infections, tooth loss and expensive emergency medical treatment. Although dental insurance lowers the cost of dental care dramatically, many people do not have it or do not use it.
Dental insurance typically covers a free or low-cost cleaning, X-rays and an annual exam. It also lowers the cost of gum treatments, fillings, crowns and braces.
The cost of dental insurance is very affordable today, and there are several options to consider. This important coverage is an essential component of maintaining a healthy smile.
Read next: 5 Reasons Why You Need Dental Insurance
Although most people cringe when thinking about visiting a dentist, it is an important part of a solid oral health routine. Taking care of your teeth is essential.
A healthy mouth will have a positive effect on your overall health. It is wise to learn how often you should visit your dental care provider, the importance of regular checkups, and why procrastinating can cause major problems and expenses.
How Often You Should Receive a Dental Checkup
When you have a healthy mouth and follow good oral hygiene, you should receive a cleaning and checkup twice a year. Most dental insurance policies cover these preventative appointments.
A professional cleaning eliminates bacteria that causes plaque. However, it reestablishes itself within 48 hours. Even when you brush and floss at home, it is nearly impossible to prevent all plaque from sticking to your enamel.
The longer it remains, the more it will calcify, which makes it impossible to remove without scraping. Having a dental hygienist clean your mouth twice a year lowers the likelihood of having troublesome tartar accumulate.
People at high risk of developing a dental disease may wish to visit a dentist more than twice a year. Groups most likely to require frequent care include smokers, diabetics, pregnant women, and individuals with gum disease. During times of stress or sickness, you may wish to schedule appointments more often as well.
Importance of Regular Dental Visits
According to the American Dental Association, regular dental exams are the keys to maintaining a healthy mouth. Regular visits help you enjoy a whiter smile, avoid bad breath, and keep your natural teeth as long as possible. At each appointment, you will reap the benefits of a professional cleaning and examination.
Visiting your dentist includes more than checking for decay. During a normal examination, the dentist will evaluate the health of your gums. This helps prevent and treat early signs of periodontal disease.
It is not unusual for your dental provider to examine your tongue, throat, face, and neck to make sure there are no symptoms of oral cancer or other serious conditions. If you suffer from headaches or jaw problems, the dentist will check your bite and jaw joints as well.
The most important part of each checkup is the professional cleaning. A dental hygienist will use special tools to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth. The dentist will take x-rays to find any hidden cavities. A thorough fluoride cleaning may help remove stains caused by certain foods, beverages, and cigarettes.
Reasons Not to Wait Too Long for Professional Dental Care
Many people rationalize reasons for avoiding annual dental checkups. They believe it saves time and money. However, when you wait too long for professional dental care, you are left vulnerable to unidentified decay or worse problems. Often, procrastinating can actually cause you to spend more time in the dentist’s chair treating expensive problems the dentist could found during a routine visit.
With regular checkups, your dentist can identify and treat small problems before they get out of hand. By the time you are in pain, issues have become serious, and treatment will need to be more invasive. For example, a small cavity that could have been easily filled may spread to the root and cause the need for a root canal. This procedure is much more extensive and costly. In severe cases, ignoring a minor problem that your dentist could have treated may lead to total tooth loss.
Fear is another reason may people avoid visiting a dental care provider. Today, many dental professionals offer sedated dentistry to lower patient anxiety. During all procedures, there are many ways to keep a person comfortable and calm.
Top Reasons to Have Dental Insurance
Dental coverage helps you lower the amount of money you must pay out-of-pocket for treatments. Since most plans cover yearly cleanings and checkups, they give you the opportunity to maintain a bright smile that is free of problems. Preventative maintenance helps uncover small issues before they become major concerns.
When you have insurance, you are more likely to make and keep your dental appointments. You will have less excuses to delay a visit. At each appointment, you will increase your oral health and overall well being. When your mouth is healthy, you are less apt to suffer from negative health problems. As periodontal disease begins, bacteria grows in the mouth and causes inflammation that may spread to other parts of the body, including the heart.
Although you may feel you cannot afford dental coverage, it is important to consult with a trusted insurance agent. There are plans at various monetary levels that can help you maintain the best oral health possible. Explore our website and uncover an insurance option that fits your needs and your budget.
Read next: Affordable Dental Insurance
Your teeth go beyond your oral health. Your mouth is the window to your entire body’s condition. It shows signs of nutritional deficiencies and other problems.
When your mouth has issues, you may face high risks of developing heart disease, fertility problems, diabetes, and other negative conditions. Following a solid oral hygiene routine will ensure an attractive smile and encourage overall wellness.
Simply brushing and flossing each day will improve your entire health status. Here is a closer look at the importance of a solid hygiene routine.
The Importance of a Healthy Mouth
Taking care of your mouth is vital. Experts recommend you brush and floss each day. This will help eliminate bacteria that causes bad breath, decay, and gum disease. When bacteria is allowed to thrive, gum inflammation often occurs. This lowers your body’s immune system and makes oral issues worse. Also, it can wreak havoc on the rest of your body.
- Endocarditis. Endocarditis is a heart infection that is caused by bacteria that spreads through the bloodstream. This bacteria often stems from the mouth.
- Heart Disease. Certain cases of heart disease are associated with infections and inflammation caused by bacteria in the mouth.
- Pregnancy Issues. Poor oral health may cause pregnant women to give birth to premature and low-weight babies.
- Diabetes. People with gum disease are more likely to have diabetic issues. This oral problem makes it difficult to control blood sugar levels.
The Roles of Your Teeth
When a person has tooth problems, it is not possible to receive adequate nutrition. With severe decay or gaps in your mouth, it is difficult to chew and eat the foods necessary to support a healthy lifestyle.
This is why practicing a good oral care routine is essential. Your pearly whites come in different shapes and sizes, which helps them perform specific jobs.
- Incisors. Incisors are located in the front of your mouth, and they make it easy to bite things.
- Canines. Canines are the sharpest structures in youth mouth. They make it easy to rip and tear food.
- Premolars and Molars. Premolars and molars are found in the back of your mouth and are used for chewing and grinding. This is actually where digestion begins.
The Importance of Insurance for a Healthy Mouth
When you feel sick, you usually head to your doctor’s office. Likewise, when your mouth hurts, you commonly schedule an appointment with your dentist. However, dental care can be costly.
Thanks to dental insurance, you can receive necessary treatments at a lower expense and enjoy the benefits of regular dental care. Visiting your dentist on a yearly basis is a smart way to prevent problems from beginning.
There’s more to good oral care than practicing an oral hygiene routine at home. A dentist will perform a thorough cleaning and examination. When issues are detected early, they are less likely to cause major problems in your mouth and on the rest of your body. The small cost of insurance provides peace of mind your teeth will last as long as possible. Also, you will gain confidence that your smile looks great.
When you are interested in maintaining a healthy mouth and want to make sure all of your tooth problems are addressed by a professional, you should consider purchasing dental insurance. When insurance is combined with proper hygiene, you are likely to suffer minimal oral problems. To uncover an affordable plan that increases your overall health and well being, visit a local agent today.
Read next: 5 Reasons Why You Need Dental Insurance
Do you want to keep your teeth? If so, brushing and flossing need to become habitual. Why? Because if you don’t embrace brushing and flossing, you could have unpleasant and painful consequences like bleeding gums and rotting teeth.
You may develop excruciating dental abscesses. Your teeth may all fall out, but only after causing you indescribable pain. Teeth that don’t fall out may become so loose that they move around in your mouth.
What Happens When you Skip Brushing and Flossing?
At some point, you’ll almost certainly develop bad breath. Your teeth will start to look discolored; they may turn yellow or take on a brownish or blackish color. Sticky gunk called plaque will accumulate on your teeth and eventually harden into calculus or tartar.
Plaque, calculus and tartar are all loaded with bacteria and toxins that inflame the gums and cause cavities. If the cavities are allowed to progress, you will start to experience severe tooth pain whenever you try to eat.
Meanwhile, your gums will begin to shrink and pull away from your teeth. They’ll develop pockets where bacteria and toxins hide and multiply while they eat away at your gum tissue. At some point, your gums will shrink so much that they will no longer be able to hold your teeth in place. As a result, your teeth will get loose and start to fall out.
What Causes Problems With Teeth And Gums?
Food particles get stuck in your teeth whenever you eat. At any given moment, millions of hungry bacteria are scavenging for food inside your mouth.
They feed on the food particles stuck in your teeth, and the longer you wait to remove these food particles by brushing and flossing, the more bacteria these food particles will attract.
As long as there is something good to eat, these invisible invaders will hang around in your mouth and feast on whatever they find. Over time, they will make a total mess of your teeth and gums.
As they consume the food particles stuck in your teeth, they produce acid. The acid eats away at the protective enamel covering your teeth, and the next thing you know, you have cavities. Meanwhile, all those tiny bacteria are emitting volatile sulfur compounds that produce bad breath.
Can I Develop Other Health Problems If I Don’t Take Care Of My Teeth?
Not caring for your teeth and gums can have devastating consequences that might not become obvious until you reach your 30s. By then, you could be in the market for gum surgery and dentures.
However, if you address the situation by committing to healthy oral care immediately, your dentist may be able to stabilize your condition and keep things from getting worse. Unfortunately, dentists cannot reverse the damage that’s already been done. To prevent further deterioration, you will have to take exceptionally good care of your teeth and gums for the rest of your life.
Commit to Brushing and Flossing Regularly
All of these problems can be easily avoided with proper oral hygiene and regular dental care. When you brush and floss every day, your teeth and gums will not develop the problems caused by food particles stuck in your teeth.
When there are no food particles for bacteria to feed on, they cannot take over your mouth. Thoroughly brushing all the surfaces of your teeth will get rid of about 65 percent of food particles. Proper flossing between teeth will remove the rest.
Read next: 4 Most Overlooked Oral Health Problems
In modern times, most people take care of their teeth by brushing them and using dental floss. Some rinse with mouthwash and use an insurance plan to visit their dentists, but humans didn’t always practice such a high level of mouth hygiene. According to history, dentistry has a long and storied past.
Dentistry: In the Beginning
The first recognized dentist was Hesy-Re. After his death around 2600 BC, those who buried him inscribed his tomb with the title “the greatest of those who deal with teeth.” The Indus Valley Civilization treated tooth trouble with bow drills.
People used these ancient tools for woodworking as well as for the treatment of an infected tooth. Primitive dentistry was taken up by famed figures of the past.
For instance, both Hippocrates and Aristotle mentioned that they treated people for tooth problems like decay and gum disease. Treatment involved removing an unhealthy tooth with forceps and stabilizing loose ones with wires.
An ancient civilization known as the Etruscans had amazing dentists living among them. These early people resided in Italy from 166 to 201 AC, and when it came to caring for their choppers, they were incredibly inventive.
For instance, the Etruscans made false ones from deceased animals or humans. To hold them together, they used gold bands. The civilization also used a gold apparatus to keep a loose tooth in place. The Romans embraced many of these same techniques.
A Career is Born
In the Middle Ages, dentistry became a profession. During this era, most dental work consisted of pulling a sore tooth with a primitive device. Curiously, the professionals in charge of extractions were the same ones people went to for haircuts.
To remove a problem tooth, a barber from the Middle Ages typically used a device called a Dental Pelican or a Dental Key. Both tools mimicked the design elements of today’s forceps. In the past, when barbers moonlighted in the dental industry, they weren’t in the business of prevention as they only dealt with extractions.
During the 13th century, an organization called the Guild of Barbers began in France. Later, the group split into two sectors. One included those who had the education and training to complete complicated surgical procedures. The other group was made up of lay barbers.
This group offered basic hygiene services like bleeding, shaving and tooth extraction. To keep people safe, France initiated a number of royal decrees that prevented lay barbers from performing serious surgical procedures. The country allowed them to practice bleeding, leeching and cupping. A lay barber could continue to offer extractions.
To keep their choppers clean, people chewed twigs. They also made toothpaste from items like mashed eggshells, but during these early years, toothbrushes were not available. According to historical reports, the Chinese invented a bristle model in the late 1400s.
From 1650 to 1800, the main concepts of modern-day dentistry got its start. Pierre Fauchard, a French doctor from the 18th century, was the man who developed the science. He is known as “The Father of Modern Dentistry,” and he established a number of the procedures used by today’s dental experts. Dr. Fauchard came up with the idea of dental fillings. He also understood that sugar acids are a major cause of tooth decay.
During these years, medical professionals started coming up with advancements even if they weren’t able to act on them. For instance, in the mid-1700s, Claude Mouton spoke about using white enameling with gold crowns. He also described the use of posts for root canals as well as for gold crowns. In 1789, Nicolas Dubois de Chemant requested a patent for porcelain teeth. A year later, John Greenwood, who provided dental care for George Washington, manufactured the first dental foot engine. Around this same time, Josiah Flagg invented the first dental chair.
A Move to the Future of Dentistry
In 1770, porcelain dentures were invented. Richard C. Skinner published America’s first dental book in 1801. During these years, advancements continued. For instance, Henry Morton introduced the use of anesthetic for dental treatments while George Fellows developed a clockwork dental drill in 1864. A few years later, the electric dental drill made its debut, and 80 years after that, the air turbine dental drill appeared on the scene.
In America, dental training became available when Horace Hayden and Chapin Harris founded the first dental school in 1840, which resulted in government involvement as well as official regulation by the American Dental Association.
According to history, Alabama was the first of the American states to regulate dentistry by establishing a dental practice act. The legislation called for a dentist to be placed on Alabama’s medical board to grant dental licenses. Unfortunately, the state failed to enforce the legislation.
Stores began selling tubes of toothpaste in 1889, and in 1895, Wilhelm Rontgen discovered a way to make x-rays. This invention led to advancements in dental care.
The Industry’s Transformation
In 1908, Greene Vardiman Black released a two-volume treatise titled “Operative Dentistry.” The script revolutionized the industry as it became a vital text for clinical dentists for the next 50 years. Later, Black established methods for fillings, operative procedures and the use of instruments. In 1913, oral hygiene training became available when Alfred C. Fones opened his school in Connecticut. Implant metals found their way into dentistry in 1937 with Alvin Strock inserting a Vitallium screw into a patient.
During the late ‘40s, additional government involvement resulted in a bill dedicated to dental research. The bill included federal funding, which aided the industry’s advancements. Fluoride toothpaste hit the market in the ‘50s, and laser treatments for gum diseases were offered to patients in the 1960s. By the late ‘80s, people were looking into cosmetic options. A company began selling the first at-home bleaching kits in 1989.
Dental Insurance Becomes a Thing
Even with dentistry’s extensive history, dental insurance didn’t become available until 1954. California initiated the first official insurance plan. During the ‘60s, dental coverage grew in popularity and became more widespread. The ‘70s saw the arrival of employer-based plans while large insurance organizations got their start in the 1980s.
Today, workers expect companies to provide dental insurance with their benefits. Often, an insurance plan will cover preventative care and much of the expense of minor dental work. This affordable coverage lets you take advantage of the advancements made in modern dentistry.
Read next: Can dental problems cause health problems?