The New Year is always a wonderful opportunity to start fresh and think about your goals. Maybe you want to volunteer more or live healthier or maybe you’re ready to get started on achieving your healthiest, most beautiful smile. After all, a new year brings new dental insurance benefits for you to take advantage of. Whatever your smile goal may be – everything from cosmetic dentistry, such as whitening or veneers, to tooth replacement options that improve the quality of your life – Dental Depot can help.
Goal – Healthy Habits
The secret to a healthy smile is a combination of strong hygiene habits at home, combined with twice-yearly visits to your dentist for a professional cleaning and exam.
You should brush your teeth twice daily with a soft-bristle toothbrush for two minutes at a time, and floss once daily. Sounds simple enough, right? Delta Dental reports that 3 out of 4 Millennials are only brushing once daily, giving plaque way too much time on teeth, eventually hardening into tartar and decay. And when it comes to flossing, the ADA reports that only 16% of people surveyed actually floss once daily (and an additional 44% of people surveyed admitted to fibbing to their dentist about how often they floss!).
Tip 1 – If you’re struggling to brush for the full two minutes, put on your favorite song and brush along until it’s over. This tip works for both kiddos and adults and there’s even an app (Brush DJ) that curates two-minute songs especially for the occasion.
Tip 2 – If you get hung up on dental floss, change your tools! There are so many alternatives to regular dental floss that do the job just fine. Floss picks and plackers are popular options, as are oral irrigators like WaterPik and even interproximal brushes that orthodontic patients commonly use.
Got your routine down? Awesome! Don’t forget your twice-yearly visits to the dentist for your cleanings and exam.
Tip 3 – If you’re worried about your out-of-pocket expense for your visits there’s good news! Most insurances cover preventative services at 100% and include your twice-yearly cleanings, exams, fluoride and sealants.
Goal – Live Pain-Free
If you’ve been living with tooth pain, it’s time to see a dentist. Not only is our oral health tied to our overall health, but painful toothaches don’t go away on their own. Often, the underlying problem will continue to worsen long after the initial pain has gone.
There are countless reasons why adults with tooth pain put off dental visits as long as possible, but the ADA has narrowed it down to cost and a low perception of need. Other reasons include a lack of time, transportation, or finding a dentist that accepts your dental insurance or Medicaid. (In case you didn’t know, Dental Depot accepts Soonercare/Medicaid at all of our Oklahoma offices!)
Tip 1 – Knowing is better than guessing. If you’ve been having tooth pain or suspect you may have a problem, come in for an exam and x-rays. This visit will allow us to identify the areas of concern and create a treatment plan that meets your needs without breaking the bank.
Tip 2 – Preventative treatment is more affordable than restorative treatment. If you can catch decay when only a filling is needed, you’ll be better able to avoid more costly procedures like a root canal, crown, or tooth replacement.
Goal – Restore Your Smile
Everyone deserves to smile with confidence and restoring and replacing missing teeth go a long way towards improving not only your self-esteem, but your quality of life. Our teeth do more than just help us smile, they help us eat, speak and give shape to our faces.
When tooth loss occurs, whether due to decay or trauma, bone loss can occur in the jaw, leaving neighboring teeth unsupported and at risk for further tooth loss. While options like bridges and partials can restore the appearance and function of teeth, they lack the ability to stimulate the jaw beneath. Whereas dental implants restore both the appearance and function of teeth, while keeping the jawbone stimulated.
Tip 1 – If you know you’re going to have a tooth or teeth extracted, talk to your dentist about tooth replacement options at that appointment. This will minimize the amount of time before your smile is restored.
Tip 2 – While initially more expensive, dental implants are the best tooth replacement option for most patients and outlast other replacement options by decades. Even if the crown needs to be replaced down the line, the implant itself (a small screw-like post inserted into the jawbone) will often last a lifetime.
Tip 3 – Even if you need to replace your existing teeth by means of a denture, we offer all-on-four dental implants. This procedure places four dental implants for the denture to secure to, eliminating the need for removing dentures daily and stimulating the jaw.
Goal – Get a Gorgeous Grin
Looking to enhance the smile you already have? Dental Depot offers a variety of cosmetic dentistry services like chairside and take-home whitening, veneers, and even orthodontics to help you whiten, brighten, and straighten your teeth.
Orthodontic services aren’t strictly cosmetic, either! While straight teeth are visually appealing, they improve your overall oral health. Straight teeth are easier to clean effectively, which crowding or misaligned teeth can create areas that are difficult to clean.
Tip 1 – Not sure where to start? Ask your dentist or dental hygienist about if whitening is a good option for you. It’s important to note that if you’re considering whitening but also need other dental treatment done, do your whitening first! While the shade of natural teeth can be lightened, the materials used in crowns and fillings can’t be changed.
Tip 2 – Orthodontic treatment might seem like a lot to bite off, but you can combine your dental benefits with your Flex Spending Accounts (FSA) to make treatment more affordable! Plus, orthodontic consultations at Dental Depot are always free!
No matter what your smile goal is this year, know that investing in improving your oral health is a decision that will better your quality of life for years to come. Our teams are more than happy to answer any questions you may have and our dentists and office staff will help you create a treatment plan that’s unique to your needs. We look forward to seeing you soon and helping you to smile more in 2021!