Want a Brighter Smile? You Have Options!

woman smilingMost of us would like a brighter smile. Our teeth are stained yellow by age, certain foods, drinks (coffee and red wine are the worst), and tobacco use. Some medications can also cause teeth to darken. In other words, it is nearly impossible to prevent your teeth from becoming stained, which means that many of us want to have our teeth whitened. Whitening uses bleach or peroxide to break up the stain and make the color lighter.

There are three ways to whiten your teeth.

1. Store-bought strips.

Whitening strips can be purchased from any drug store without a prescription. They are cost effective, easy to use, and generally work quickly. There are two kinds of strips. One kind has to be put on your teeth for about 30 minutes and then removed. The other kind dissolves. The treatment generally lasts fourteen days, with the strips being applied twice a day. There are some downsides to this approach.

First of all, some strips contain chlorine dioxide. Never use these strips as they will weaken your tooth enamel and increase your risk of cavities. Second, the strips will only effectively whiten your front teeth, not your molars. Also, over the counter products will generally not get your teeth as white as options you can get from your dentist. Whitening toothpaste, incidentally, do not really do much more to lighten your teeth than normal toothpaste. One set of the strips generally costs between $40 and $50, for the full fourteen-day treatment.

2. In-office whitening.

In-office whitening generally requires a single visit to the dentist. It consists of cleaning with pumice and then applying a whitening solution to the front surface of your teeth, followed by rinsing. Some solutions require a light to cure them.

The visit will take 30-60 minutes. For extremely stained teeth, more than one visit may be required. After the procedure, you should avoid foods and beverages with a lot of pigment and smoking for at least 24 hours. This is often the quickest way to get results, but is the most expensive option, running an average of $650 a visit. If you need your teeth to look good for a special occasion, though, an office visit is your best option. In-office bleaching is a one shot, so it is possible that the dentist may recommend follow up treatments.

3. Take home whitening.

This is not a good option if you are in a hurry, as it requires making custom trays which can take up to two weeks to make. However, it is cheaper than in-office whitening and much more effective than over the counter strips. The time requirement is about the same – an hour a day for fourteen days, although your dentist might recommend a shorter or longer period depending on the level of stain.

Trays generally cost about $400 per treatment and are a lot easier to use than strips, which might be mis-positioned or left on for the wrong time. Take home trays are particularly good for recalcitrant stains that require a lot of treatment and for people with sensitive gums, who may react to the bleach.

Teeth whitening is simple no matter which way you choose, but in-office treatments or custom take-home trays will give you much better results.

You should consider the option that is best for your schedule. For example, a single in-office visit may take up far less of your precious time than messing around with strips or trays once or twice a day.

For some people that might end up being the cheapest option. In-office visits are also good if you have a special occasion and want your teeth to be perfect for it. Take home trays are often the best option for long-term results. To find out more, contact Simply Beautiful today.

Five Ways Straighter Teeth Will Change Your Life

straight teethAre you unsure about whether or not to get a tooth straightening treatment? Do you really want a straighter smile but are not sure if it is worth the effort? We understand. The decision of whether or not to get straighter teeth can be a difficult one. But here at Simply Beautiful, we have seen hundreds of smiles brightened. And we can tell you honestly that it is totally worth it! Here are five ways that straighter teeth will change your life forever.

1. Having straight teeth increases your self-esteem.

We all know what it is like to feel bad about the way we look. That feeling really hurts, doesn’t it? And honestly, self-depreciation is not healthy for us. The good news is that you don’t have to cringe every you look in the mirror. You can and should be thrilled with what you see every time you brush your teeth! With a simple straightening treatment, you can transform your face from something that makes you uncomfortable into something that makes you smile.

2. Having straight teeth makes you more photogenic.

Are you that person who always volunteers to take a photo because you are uncomfortable being in front of a camera? You are not alone! But we want to make sure you aren’t afraid to hide your beautiful smile. With straighter teeth, you will be able to enter into the picture taking without hesitation. You’ll be so glad that all those great memories are captured forever. And who knows? You may even be able to use your newfound smile to start a modeling job, a YouTube channel, or even a career as an actress/actor.

3. Having straight teeth makes a positive impression on others.

Let’s be honest. Straight teeth are just more attractive than crooked teeth. Most of your friends will probably not even realize that they find you more attractive after treatment, but their subconscious minds will be far more ready to identify you as beautiful or handsome. Straight teeth make a difference in the workplace as well. Remember that first impressions are usually based on sight. Interviewers, employers, and customers will be drawn toward a person who has a beautiful smile and is not afraid to use it!

4. Have straight teeth makes self-care a whole lot easier.

Have you ever bitten down on something and felt a sudden pain shoot up your tooth? Or have you ever had something wedged in between two teeth and just could not get it out? Have you ever ended up with bleeding gums because you were trying to floss between overlapping or uneven teeth? All these feelings are rather uncomfortable, aren’t they? Thankfully, having straight teeth can eliminate many of these problems. It not only makes talking and eating enjoyable experiences, it also makes brushing and flossing far easier.      

5. Having straight teeth gives you confidence.

In the end, straight teeth will do something for you that not many other things can do. Straight teeth will let you be yourself without fear. You can laugh, smile, go out for a dinner date, schedule that job interview, introduce yourself to new friends, and post all the selfies you want to without one shred of regret! Can you believe it? No more hiding for you! With straighter teeth, you will be able to enter into every situation with your head held high and with a smile on your face. And, believe us, that makes all the difference.

The best part about getting straight teeth is that it doesn’t have to be stressful or complicated. We do the hard stuff and let you sit back and watch your smile become what you’ve always wanted it to be. If you would like to learn more about the different treatments or if you would like to schedule a consultation, make sure to contact us! We would love to hear from you!

Oral Hygiene: The Key to a Healthier You

healthy smileWhen we think of health, it’s easy to focus on maintaining physical fitness and eating a healthy, nutritious diet. But that’s not the full picture. Oral hygiene is a significant factor in our overall health, and poor habits will lead to larger health problems down the road. That’s why it’s important to establish daily hygiene habits and schedule routine dental exams for the whole family.

Oral Health and Total Body Health

According to the CDC, cavities are among the most common chronic condition in the United States. Tooth decay causes pain, missed work, self-esteem issues, and steep co-pays. Oral diseases are linked to other chronic conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease. Over time, poor oral hygiene is also associated with an increased risk of nasopharyngeal and esophageal carcinomas.

Health risks are highest in people with compromised immune systems from HIV, autoimmune conditions, or long-term steroid use. Bacteria are the underlying cause of tooth decay, so they naturally have a stronger incidence in people without a strong immune system to defend against them.

Good Habits Start Early

Studies have shown that poor habits in a child’s first two years of life lead to long-term tooth decay. Parents should model good oral habits for children in those critical early years to make those habits easy to maintain and to prevent problems later on.

Dental pain caused by poor oral health can also mean trouble concentrating in school. A healthy mouth means improved performance and possibly better grades for school-aged children.

Diet and Oral Health

In addition to oral hygiene, a healthy diet is essential to a healthy mouth. Help your child make good choices for their teeth and gums by choosing water over sugary sodas and juices and limiting the number of sweets or candy they eat between meals. According to the ADA, between-meal snacks and treats are more likely to cause cavities. Plaque and sugar work together to erode a tooth’s protective enamel coating. Healthy fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins, on the other hand, can help prevent decay. A balanced, nutritious diet leads to stronger teeth and gums that are better able to resist infection.

Practice Preventive Care

Daily brushing and flossing is essential for preventing tooth decay and gum disease. Make sure you’re using the right techniques to get the benefits of these habits. The ADA recommends brushing your teeth twice a day.

  • Brush with short, back-and-forth strokes with the brush held at a 45-degree angle to the gums
  • Cover all surfaces of each tooth: front, back, and top
  • Brush for 2 full minutes

Floss each time you brush your teeth. Brushing alone cannot remove all bacteria, plaque, and food particles from your mouth. Only flossing can reach the areas in between your teeth to ensure a thorough cleaning.

  • Use a clean length of floss for each tooth. Reusing a dirty section of floss could re-introduce bacteria in your mouth
  • Gently guide the floss between each tooth. Don’t use rough motions or you may irritate your gums and cause bleeding
  • Floss under the gum line in each direction, curving around the tooth and the gum
  • Floss behind the last tooth on each side

Only use ADA-approved dental floss or water picks to clean between your teeth. It’s tempting to use toothpicks or fingernails to remove food particles, but that can cause irritation, bleeding, and possibly infection.

How We Can Help

We provide individualized treatment and preventive care for the whole family. Our team will help you achieve and maintain good oral hygiene and healthy habits, as well as all your dental, orthodontic, and oral surgery needs. Contact us to book an appointment today.

Understanding Wisdom Teeth Removal

woman smilingWith a name like wisdom teeth, it seems like you’d want to hold on to them! Unfortunately, these teeth can cause a variety of problems in your mouth if they don’t come in correctly.

What Are Wisdom Teeth?

These are the last molars to come into your mouth; they usually show up between the ages of 17 and 21. The American Dental Association explains, “Historically, these teeth have been called wisdom teeth because they come through at a more mature age.” Some people don’t have them (or they never erupt in the mouth), and some people are lucky enough to have them come in correctly, in which case they act like the rest of your molars to assist in chewing.

When Do Wisdom Teeth Cause Problems?

Basically, if there’s not enough room in your mouth, wisdom teeth can’t come in correctly. Instead, they push and crowd your other teeth as they attempt to erupt. Instead of coming straight up, they might push toward your teeth or the back of your mouth. The ADA outlines a few issues that may occur if your wisdom teeth are crooked or not fully erupted:

  • Food can get trapped if the wisdom teeth aren’t in their ideal position, which can lead to cavities.
  • It can be hard to floss between your wisdom teeth, giving bacteria another opportunity to grow.
  • You could experience pain and swelling if bacteria finds its way into the space between your gums and wisdom teeth.
  • Incorrectly positioned wisdom teeth may damage the nearby teeth or crowd the entire mouth.
  • An impacted wisdom tooth can form a cyst that damages nearby roots or even your bone.

If you’re experiencing pain, infection, gum disease, decay in a partially erupted tooth, or other issues as a result of the position of your wisdom teeth, your dentist may recommend getting them removed. In some cases, a dentist may suggest removing them even if they’re not currently causing problems. They may never give you trouble, or they may become problematic later in life.

Wisdom Teeth Extraction

Mayo Clinic explains that wisdom teeth extraction is usually an outpatient procedure. If the teeth are impacted, an oral surgeon will likely perform the surgery. The area will be made numb, and you may be sedated.

From there, a small incision will expose the tooth. If there is any bone blocking the root, that will be removed. The tooth may be removed in pieces if it can’t be easily extracted whole, and the space is carefully cleaned to make sure no fragments remain. In some cases, the wound is stitched closed.

Usually, there are no serious complications from wisdom teeth extraction. Some people experience dry socket, a painful condition involving “exposure of bone when the post-surgical blood clot is lost from the site of the surgical wound.” It’s also possible for the wound to become infected.

However, in most cases, recovering from wisdom teeth extraction is merely a matter of managing discomfort and using gauze over the wounds to stop any bleeding. Your dentist may prescribe a pain medication or you can use an over-the-counter alternative.

Here are some other tips from Mayo Clinic for recovering from the extraction:

  • Follow your dentist’s specific guidelines.
  • Eat soft foods.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Avoid drinking through a straw, as doing so can increase your risk of dry socket.
  • Don’t brush your teeth for 24 hours, and then brush very gently, avoiding the wound.
  • Avoid alcohol and tobacco.
  • Use an ice pack to reduce swelling.
  • Avoid vigorous activity that could cause dry socket.

In most cases, you won’t need a follow-up appointment with your dentist or oral surgeon unless you need to have stitches removed (many simply dissolve) or if you experience a fever, excessive bleeding, numbness, or severe pain.

Wisdom teeth extraction is a common procedure in the United States. Its relative simplicity makes it a logical choice to relieve (and prevent) any issues caused by crooked or impacted wisdom teeth. If you’re concerned about your wisdom teeth, contact us to schedule an appointment. We’ll take a look at your x-rays and discuss the progress of your teeth to decide if wisdom teeth removal is the right choice for you.

When Should Your Child See an Orthodontist?

Truth be told, there’s no fixed age for a child to see an orthodontist for the first time. Some go as early as toddlers, while others go at six or in their teenage years. Some don’t even go until they become adults. However, according to the American Association of Orthodontists, children should start receiving orthodontic treatment as soon as they hit seven.

Why?

The Earlier, the Better

Around the age of seven, our adult molars will already start appearing. This is also when the earliest signs of common bite problems like an underbite, overbite, or crowding, start showing. Although orthodontists can still fix these “malocclusions” later on, the earlier they are detected, the easier it will be for them to correct the problem.

This also extends to common mannerisms in children, for example, thumb sucking. Because this habit can lead to crooked teeth later on in life, it’s best to discourage children from doing so. But if it can’t be helped, your orthodontists can solve the problem, in addition to preventing any permanent damage.

Mind you, taking your child to the orthodontist early doesn’t necessarily mean that your child will get braces right away. It simply improves the orthodontist’s chances of detecting problems in your child’s teeth early on so they can give you the right advice on the best course of treatment.

What Happens During the First Orthodontic Visit?

Mostly because they’re dealing with children, pediatric orthodontists often start off with a quick tour of the office. This to put the patient, and you, the parents, at ease. Then, the orthodontist will proceed to give a thorough examination of your child’s teeth. You may be asked to accompany your child to make him or her more comfortable, or to answer questions. To check for possible malocclusions, the orthodontist may ask your child to bite their teeth together, as well as ask questions like “does your child has difficulty swallowing or chewing or has ever heard of a clicking or popping sound from their jaws?’

If deemed necessary, the orthodontist may also take X-rays of your child’s mouth and teeth. This is to give them a better view of the positioning of your child’s teeth and how many permanent teeth still need to come in and where. Usually, after X-rays, the orthodontist will take a mold or impression of your child’s teeth. This is done using a tray of gooey material and by pressing it into the top and bottom teeth. This mold is used to make a replica of your child’s mouth, which will allow the orthodontist to better check for problems and make the necessary recommendations.

Afterward, the orthodontist will present to you the possible courses of treatment, their estimated costs, and the financing and payment options available.

If possible, don’t take your child to the orthodontist if your child has not had his first dental visit. Allow your child to become familiar with the dental office and the setting, to make the experience more comfortable for all parties involved.

Improving Your Child’s Self-Confidence

Problems with teeth often lead to low self-esteem and self-confidence later in life. This is why it’s best to tackle problems with malocclusions early on. Not only are the problems easier to fix (and generally cheaper), but you also pave the way for your child to have a healthy, beautiful-looking smile well before his or her self-consciousness peaks during the teenage years.

Remember, today’s braces are different. They have improved a lot since your days as a teenager. They are now more comfortable to wear and attractive. Treatment time is also significantly shorter.

Give your child the benefit of smiling confidently well into his or her adult years by taking him to the orthodontist today.

Tips to Help You Protect Your Child’s Teeth and Mouth While Playing Sports

Plenty of youngsters today are getting involved in athletic activities at an early age. Some sports require kids to wear helmets but that may not be enough to protect their mouth and teeth. You don’t want your child to have to make a trip to the dentist because of a wayward ball that came in too high. Here are some tips on protecting your child’s mouth and teeth while he or she is out on the field.

An Orange Peel is Not a Good Mouth Guard

Plenty of people have seen a little kid taking the rind from his or her orange at halftime of the soccer match and jokingly using it as a mouth guard when they run back on the field. But if you are serious about protecting your child’s teeth, you’ll want to buy a real one. A good mouth guard can protect still developing teeth from getting knocked out of place and potentially stunting proper growth. Get your kid a mouth guard before they head out onto the field for the first time and the child will eventually start to see it as just another required piece of their uniform. Who knows, your kid might even start a trend when the other parents see it, leading to safer play for everyone on the field.

Cage It Up

Face cages are typically only used by athletes who will frequently come into the direct line of fire of a ball, such as the catcher in baseball. But if you want to provide extra protection for your youngster, there are face cages made for other sports as well, such as hockey. Your child may not want to wear a face cage if the other kids are not doing so, but he or she will thank you later in life when they have great oral health.

Encourage a Non-Contact Sport

If you want your child to play sports but are really concerned about the potential for injury, try talking to your child about joining a sport that won’t have an object repeatedly flying past their head or have another human being trying to knock them over. For example, golf or bowling tend to be pretty risk-free in this department. Some children’s soccer leagues ban headers, making it less likely that a soccer ball will end up near your child’s face. Instead of playing tackle football, see if there is a flag football league in your area. Some youth baseball leagues discourage players from diving headfirst into the base. Obviously, you are never going to be able to protect your child 100 percent at all times, but you can take steps to reduce the risk of them getting hurt.

Keep Your Dentist on Speed Dial

If your child is playing a contact sport, sometimes no level of protection is good enough. If you are concerned about an injury to the face causing significant dental problems for your child, make sure you tell your dentist about your concerns and keep their phone number handy in case they are needed during an emergency. Your dentist may also be able to look at the development of whatever teeth are currently in your child’s mouth and let you know how dangerous to future growth it could be if an accident were to occur.

Many parents encourage their children to be active in sports at a young age, and there’s no problem with that. But if you are going to send your child into the vicinity of a ball or puck that is flying through the air, make sure you give them the proper equipment to protect their mouth and teeth. Talk with a children dentistry specialist about the dangers of oral injuries today for more information.

Teething as an Adult: What to Do When Your Wisdom Teeth Grow In (Part 2)

Adult Wisdom TeethWelcome back to the second half of our article on what it’s like to grow in healthy wisdom teeth as an adult and what to do about it if you find yourself to be one of the lucky few with non-problematic wisdom teeth. Last time we talked about why wisdom teeth grow in and why yours can be perfectly fine compared to the established norms. Join us today as we pick up at what it feels like when those extra adult teeth finally find their way to the surface of your gums.

What it Feels Like to Grow In Healthy Wisdom Teeth

When your wisdom teeth start to grow in, or ‘erupt’ as we say in the dental profession, you’ll definitely notice but it’s not as painful as wisdom teeth stories might have you thinking. Wisdom teeth tend to come in one at a time, often years apart and when this happens, it can seem pretty strange. First, your gums will get swollen and a bit sore as the tooth pushes up through the surface and you may find yourself biting the inside of your cheek more often. The area may get sore, swell, sting, and be sensitive to pressure. Soon, you’ll notice a little ridge as your tooth breaks through the surface. Congratulations, you’re now a teething adult.

Things get a little easier once the entire top of your currently erupting wisdom tooth makes its appearance. The swelling and discomfort is mostly caused by the gums being pushed out of the way and, to a certain extent, the teeth cutting their way out. After this, the rest of the tooth can come through and the gums can settle into their new configuration.

What to Do About Your Growing Wisdom Teeth

So here you are in your 20’s with sore gums in the back of your mouth. Maybe it stings or maybe it just feels a little swollen, but treating your gums right during this phase is incredibly important. First, use mouthwash regularly. This will make sure your rupturing gums don’t become infected. If you’re experiencing pain or swelling, use a small piece of ice to numb, cool, and reduce swelling. This is also a great way to deal with the cheek biting problem while your mouth adjusts to the new layer of teeth. If food gets stuck in your gums, chew on the other side for a while and don’t be shy about fishing crumbs out when you need to. If the stinging sensation or swelling start to bother you, use a tiny dab oral pain reliever like Orajel or Anbesol directly on the area.

When to See Your Dentist

During this time, it’s important to keep up regular appointments with your dentist and keep them informed about the progress of each of your four wisdom teeth. They can help you make sure that your sore gums don’t get infected and watch for signs of infection risk. If you’re curious about how the other three wisdom teeth are coming along, your dentist can take new X-rays to show you where, approximately when, and at what angle of entry you can expect any remaining wisdom teeth. Don’t be surprised if you only have one, two, or three. Number of wisdom teeth varies from person to person. Your dentist can also help you deal with any pain or discomfort caused by the erupting tooth.

And, of course, if you start to feel like there is something wrong with your wisdom tooth eruption other than the usual swelling and soreness, go to see your doctor immediately. This could be the result of infection, a slightly-too-sharp angle of entry, or some other issue that your dentist will be able to identify and find a solution for.

For adults who are growing in their wisdom teeth with none of the traditionally extreme problems, it can be a bit strange to re-experience the sensation of a new tooth, especially when there’s not an empty socket to be filled like when most of your adult teeth grew in. However, if you successfully grow in even one additional tooth, much less all four, you can walk around proudly proclaiming to have more teeth than the average human. Then smile really big to show off those unusually numerous pearly whites.

For more guidance on how to take care of your wisdom teeth or other dental concerns, contact us today!

Teething as an Adult: What to Do When Your Wisdom Teeth Grow In (Part 1)

Adult Wisdom TeethWisdom teeth are notorious for making their arrival when you least expect them. Sometime in your early to middle 20’s when your career is taking off and you’re figuring out how to live on your own as an adult, suddenly you’ve got new teeth growing in. While there are many stories of how this can go wrong and most dental advice focuses on impacted or infected wisdom teeth, what happens when everything is fine?

For many young adults, wisdom teeth are a bizarre experience, but not a painful one. If your teeth are healthy and correctly angled, you don’t need them extracted, but you may still want some guidance on how to face teething as an adult. So keep reading to learn what to expect.

Not All Wisdom Teeth are Problematic

Not everyone gets their own unique wisdom tooth horror story and, in fact, some people never grow in any wisdom teeth at all. And then there’s that rare percentage of the population that don’t experience any of the negative symptoms we hear about all the time. No overwhelming jaw pain, no constant headaches or earaches, and no emergency trip to the dentist. You probably got your wisdom teeth X-rayed a few years back and the dentist may have even recommended removing them because problems are the norm.

Why We Have Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth may be mysterious in when they’re going to appear, but we certainly know why they do. Compared to today, almost all historic humans lived hard lives fraught with danger and malnutrition. Losing a tooth in a fight, from calcium deficiency, or getting hit in the head by primitive equipment meant that most people had lost a few teeth by their 20s. But having gaps in your teeth is less survivable than a full rack of choppers so in come wisdom teeth, angled to “impact” because they’re actually a primitive evolved form of braces, in their way. They are meant to push your forward teeth up and together from all four corners in the gums to make room for themselves and complete your smile. Many of the problems caused by wisdom teeth result in coming in at too sharp an angle and having no room to make for themselves because modern humans usually have all our teeth

Why Your Wisdom Teeth are Coming In Fine

For those few lucky people who don’t get shooting pains or headaches from the growth and approach of their wisdom teeth, you can thank one of two explanations and one lucky roll of the genetic dice. The chance aspect is that your wisdom teeth did not get ‘confused’ and head in the wrong direction or at too sharp an angle and they did not get infected while still developing. After that, there’s explaining why you have room in your gums. It’s possible that you actually did lose teeth to malnutrition or, more likely, misadventure somewhere between growing your adult teeth and your mid-20s. Alternately, your gums are just unusually spacious and there’s plenty of room for those wisdom teeth to grow in!

Whether you’re one of the lucky few with gums prepared and sized properly for wisdom teeth or you ‘made room’ for them a few years back, having your wisdom teeth grow in is a strange sensation for any adult. Of course, as you may have guessed this is only the first half of our two-part article on the how, why, and what to do about growing in healthy wisdom teeth. Join us next time as we talk about what it feels like when your wisdom teeth start to grow in, what to do about it, and when to consult with your dentist.

[To be continued]

In the meantime, contact us with any questions or concerns that you have about your incoming wisdom teeth.

4 Tips for Making the Move to a New Family Dentist Easier

meeting a new family dentistMothers set the tone in the home as faithful and consistent caregivers—ready to listen, love, and make thousands of decisions day after day. If you’re a mother, your decisions also include finding the best healthcare professionals for all of the people under your roof.  From the smallest of children to the maturest of adults, they are trusting your judgment.

However, even with careful research and decision-making, there are times when a change is necessary. Whether there’s been a cross-country move or your beloved family caregiver has recently retired, you’re the best person to guide your family through moving to a new doctor or dentist. We’re here to help with these 4 tips to quickly and efficiently switch to a new family dentist.

1. Begin the Search Online

If you’ve just moved to a new town, social media platforms like Facebook can be extremely helpful when looking for a new family dentist. Many cities have Facebook groups for moms living in that particular city. Join several and share your story. You’re sure to meet dozens of moms ready and willing to help you on your search.

If your dentist has recently retired and you’re looking for a new dentist in the same city, ask trusted friends and neighbors about their dentist. If you know a family with ages of children close to yours, you’ll have an even more detailed recommendation.

Once you have 3-5 recommended dentists, do a bit more research by looking at their websites and social media pages like Facebook. You’ll immediately get a feel for the office, the people, and the atmosphere.  You can also read reviews left by other parents to see what people like the most about them.

When researching online, consider:

  • Are you interested in finding one new family dentist that can see children and adults of all ages?
  • Do you want the ease of requesting appointments online?
  • How close to your home do you want your dentist?
  • Do you want one provider that can take care of everything from general care to orthodontics and even oral surgeries?

After your online research, it’s time to visit your top 1-2 dentists in-person.

2. Tour the Office & Talk with the Staff

Call the new family dentist office a few days ahead of time and ask about coming in for a tour. Office staff should be more than happy to accommodate your request at a time convenient for you. If you’d like to meet the dentist, be sure to mention it in your call giving them time to include the meeting as part of your tour.

Before your tour, take a few minutes to think of any questions or special concerns you may have regarding your family’s dental care.  During the tour, talk with office support staff and dental hygienists and observe the patients. Do you see a range of ages? Do the employees seem friendly and compassionate?  Can you envision your family inside the practice feeling at ease and comfortable while receiving dental care?

After talking with the staff and setting foot inside the practice, you’ll have the information you need to move forward with your new family dentist.

3.Transfer Medical Records

Talk to your new family dentist about transferring your records. They may be able to help by requesting them from your old dentist. However, most dental practices have a form that must be completed with your signature to complete the transfer. The simple form is a safety measure designed to protect details regarding your identity as well as your medical history.

If you do need to call your old dentist yourself, don’t worry. While it may feel a bit uncomfortable, patients change healthcare providers all the time and the office support staff see this process as a routine part of managing their practice.

4. Make the Appointment

Now it’s time to make your first appointment with your new dentist. Be sure to reference your recent visit to their office and share any additional concerns you have before coming in as a new patient.

Making the transition to a new family dentist doesn’t have to be time-consuming or difficult. Following these tips will help make the process seamless, shorten your long to-do list by at least one task, give you more time with your family, and boost your confidence in your new dental care provider.

For more information about our patient-first vision of complete dental care, contact Simply Beautiful Smiles.  Our entire team look forward to welcoming you to our practice and serving the dental needs of you and your family for years to come.

A Family’s Guide to Dental Insurance – Keeping It Simple

Understanding Dental InsurancePart of a well-rounded financial plan is knowing what insurance is and what it covers. For families, it’s even more important to understand dental insurance benefits because for many, cutting costs and making wise decisions is a daily part of life.

According to a 2017 study by the US Department of Agriculture, the cost of raising a child from birth to 17 years of age in the urban northeast hovers around $264,090. If that number made you gasp, you’re not alone. Families across all parts of the country want to be smart in decisions about housing, transportation, food, and healthcare.

So let’s take a look at what dental insurance is, what services are generally covered, and some of the top providers across the country.

What is Dental Insurance?

In the simplest of terms, dental insurance is protection against paying 100% for costs related to dental care. Like auto insurance or life insurance, a regular payment is made each month to protect you from larger expenses, both expected and unexpected.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Every month either you or your employer makes a payment (called a premium) to your dental insurance company in exchange for reduced rates on services—some services will even be fully covered.
  2. When you or your family member visits the dentist, your dental practice files paperwork with your dental insurance company (called a claim) letting them know about the services you had.
  3. Your insurance company then pays your dentist for those services.
  4. Any remaining balance, if there is one, is then passed on to you.

Dental insurance allows you peace of mind knowing your family’s dental care is top notch all while helping you manage costs that work within your budget.

Another way many to save within the framework of your dental insurance plan is to choose what is called an in-network dentist. An in-network dentist is a provider who has an agreement with your insurance company which means deeper discounts for you.

Make sure to visit the website of your insurance provider to find an in-network dentist near you.

What does Dental Insurance Cover?

Dental plans vary widely so it’s important to examine your specific plan. However, many dental practices, like Simply Beautiful Smiles, employ administrative professionals who can guide you through your plan and help you make the best decisions for your family.

Dental plans often cover the following services 100%:

  • Two routine cleanings each calendar year
  • Fluoride treatments
  • Sealants
  • Periodic X-Rays

Other services may be covered anywhere from 50-80%. These services may include:

  • Fillings
  • Root canals
  • Crowns
  • Bridges
  • Other basic and major procedures

Who are the Top Dental Insurance Providers?

It’s important to know the names of reputable dental insurance providers. While some employers who offer dental insurance may not give you a choice, you ideally have a dental insurance provider who is a leader in the industry and has a track record providing quality plans for their customers.

Although you may come across smaller and lesser-known insurance providers, choosing one of the nation’s top providers ensures that you’re dealing with experts.

Some of the most reputable dental insurance providers include:

  • Aetna
  • Cigna
  • Delta
  • Fidelio
  • Guardian
  • Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • MetLife

Talk to the professionals at your dental practice and ask their recommendations for the insurance company that would best suit your needs. Their expertise in dealing with dental insurance day-in and day-out could be the missing piece in your decision.

For more information about your dental coverage or our patient-first vision of complete dental care, contact Simply Beautiful Smiles.  The entire team looks forward to welcoming you to our practice and serving the dental needs of you and your family for years to come.

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