Written by: Dr. Sharanya Srinivasa DMD
But I Always Brush!
You never forget to brush your teeth, but flossing definitely slips your mind from time to time. Your mouth may feel clean after brushing, but the reality is you must brush, floss, and use mouthwash to get it 100% clean. When you brush without flossing, you are neglecting 2 sides of every tooth. You may think of cavities on the chewing surfaces of the teeth, however cavities can also form in between the teeth.
When I Brush My Teeth, My Gums Bleed.
As well as cleaning the spaces in between each tooth, flossing also cleans near the gum line. It is important to clean this area to prevent gingivitis and gum disease. Bleeding gums can be one of the first signs of gum disease. It may be alarming to see blood when you are flossing, but do not discontinue flossing! However, do make an appointment to see your doctor.
How Can I Remember to Floss?
Be sure that you floss at least once a day, however twice is better! If you are having trouble remembering to floss, try the following tips to make it a part of your routine. Pick a time of day where you aren’t rushed, before bed when you brush your teeth may be a good time. You can also set an alarm on your phone to remind yourself. Also, keep your floss near your toothbrush and toothpaste as a visual reminder. And remember, floss the teeth that you want to keep!
Have you been considering making the switch from a manual toothbrush to an electric toothbrush? Electric toothbrushes are a great way to get your teeth clean, however it is still possible to get the same result with a manual brush. Manual brushes just require more time and effort. Manual toothbrushes are inexpensive (often free when you have a check up!) and easy to travel with, making them a reliable choice.
Electric toothbrushes are a great option for those with dexterity limitations (difficulty using their hands). This includes the elderly (especially those with arthritis) and disabled people. Elderly and disabled people may have trouble making the vigorous motions needed for a complete brush with a manual toothbrush. However, an electric toothbrush may provide the right amount of movement and vibration to remove plaque and food particles.
They are also great for children, especially those with braces who need a more intense clean. Children may be excited to use these brushes as they come in fun character designs and make noise. Children will need to be instructed to hold to toothbrush near their gum line to get a complete clean.
Many electric toothbrushes come with a built in timer, which is a great way to make sure you are brushing for the appropriate amount of time. This is a good feature for those who find themselves brushing too hard and fast, which can lead to gum recession. However, electric toothbrushes require charging, can be expensive, and can break if dropped.
All in all, everyone’s dental needs are unique and it is important to find which kind of toothbrush works for you. Whether you prefer a manual toothbrush or an electric toothbrush, it is important to remember to brush at least twice a day.
Here is my professional opinion. For electric brushes, the top brands include Oral-B and Sonicare. I prefer the Oral-B Floss action toothbrush head for my patients, because it has a rotating head. It also has yellow rubber wedges that will mechanically remove hard plaque debris that a regular toothbrush will not remove.
Written by: Dr. Sharanya Srinivasa DMD
Many people have dental benefits through their employer. But what about those who don’t? Is it worth it to pay for individual dental insurance? There are many different companies that provide dental insurance. Within each company there are different plans such as PPO, DMO, HMO and etc. Which one is the right one for you?
I am going to be brutally honest and tell you what it best from a dentist perspective. PPO insurance plans are among the best plans for both the patient and the dentist. One reason is that the plan pays the closest to the dental fees. It is marked down to 40% discount from the traditional dental office fees. Usually, the patient has to pay their deductible and a percentage of the procedure, usually 20%-50%. Insurance will cover the rest. How does this benefit the dentist when they are getting less than what they normally would? The dentist accepts the insurance negotiated rate so their office can appear on the insurance directory, hence getting more patients.
DMO and HMO do not pay for treatment even close to the traditional dental fee rates. They are much lower payments for the dentist but the patient pays a lower copay, or none at all. As a result there are few dentists that accept these plans. Therefore, the wait to get an appointment and the amount of time you spend in waiting room is longer. The dentist is usually overloaded with patients because they will need to see a high volume of patients in order to make ends meet in their business. As a result there may be a lower quality of care provided due to time constraints. This is just a general statement and not all offices provide poor quality care.
In conclusion, it is best to fully research each company and plan to find what is right for you. You may also want to contact the dentist you plan on visiting to see which plans they accept.