How Long Does Invisalign Take?

invisible orthodontic removable aligners for treatments bruxism

Finally deciding to move forward with an Invisalign treatment means you’re one step closer to the straight smile you’ve always dreamed of. For many patients, one of the first questions we get asked is “how long is this going to take?” and rightfully so. The choice to use Invisalign to straighten your teeth is more than likely a result of a few factors including being an adult and not wanting to have adult braces that interfere with your job or your personal life.

So just how long is this going to take?

Average Invisalign Treatment Length

Moving teeth is a serious business, and treatment times will always vary from case to case. Your treatment time will depend on your unique situation and the current state of your teeth. On average, Invisalign treatment for adults will take about 12 months, all depending on the severity of the patients dental needs as well as how diligent they are with the aligners and doctor’s instructions.

Factors That Play A Role In Treatment Time

Invisalign aligners don’t have to be worn 24/7, but your aligners do have to be worn for a significant amount of time in order for them to keep schedule with your treatment plan. These factors all play a role in how to speed up your treatment time:

Don’t Skip Appointments

Invisalign will require you to visit your provider every 4-6 weeks to track your progress and ensure that your teeth are moving along as scheduled and planned by your doctor. Missing an appointment might take some time to reschedule and will delay your treatment plan. In some cases, this means that patients end up wearing their Invisalign longer than initially planned for.

Wearing Your Aligners

Invisalign aligners only work when they’re properly placed on your teeth for at least 22 hours a day. While that may not seem like a big deal before wearing the aligners, taking them out every time you eat or drink and remembering to replace them immediately after can be a bit of an adjustment. Setting a reminder on your phone every time you take them out will help you to get in the habit in no time.

Keeping On Schedule

Every time you receive a new set of aligners, your teeth are going to be sore for a few days while the new aligners do their job to move and shift your teeth. It might be tempting to skip soreness by avoiding your new aligners, but this will make your treatment take longer in the end.

Perfecting Your Oral Hygiene Routine

The only way to emerge from Invisalign cavity-free is to take your brushing and flossing routine up a notch and make sure you’re taking the time to properly care for your teeth. Not brushing before replacing your aligners after eating will only trap the cavity-causing bacteria on your teeth.

Removing Your Aligners To Eat Or Drink

Remember to remove your aligners every time you eat or drink anything other than water to prevent staining of the aligners. The point of Invisalign is to be able to straighten your teeth in a less obvious way, and dingy, stained aligners are anything but undetectable.

When Will I First Notice Straighter Teeth?

Once you’ve began treatment, you’re going to be pretty anxious to begin to see noticeable results, and one of the major advantages of clear aligners is that you are able to see your teeth straightening along the way. Most patients begin to notice their teeth looking different around tray numbers 2 to 5, which is typically 4 to 10 weeks into treatment.

Taking a picture of your teeth every time you switch to a new aligner will give you a great reminder of where you started and where your teeth have moved to throughout the process.

How Can I Finish My Invisalign Treatment Faster?

Staying diligent throughout your entire treatment process is the best way to finish treatments faster. With Invisalign, how well (or how poorly) the aligners work is in your hands! Your regular appointments with Cherrywood Dental Associates are a great time to discuss how your treatment is progressing and if there is anything the doctor can recommend to accelerate treatment time. We have many patients whose hard work and determination cut down treatment time to as little as 7 months. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that statistic!

Does Dental Insurance Cover Veneers?

middle age woman sitting at dentistry while male dentist working at background.

Dental veneers are a great way to restore the beauty of a single tooth, or your entire smile if your teeth are discolored, misshapen, chipped or misaligned. If you’re considering veneers to correct and transform your smile, your next question is probably are veneers covered under my dental insurance policy?

Since most dental insurance companies consider dental veneers to be a cosmetic procedure, they are typically not covered under most insurance plans.

Read on to learn how you can help make veneers fit into your budget.

Veneers at Cherrywood: Does Any Insurance Cover Dental Veneers?

The cost of a single dental veneer is typically between $1,000-$2,000 and the cost can fluctuate depending on certain factors like what material is being used and the skill and expertise of the dentist placing the dental veneers in addition to where you live geographically.

In most cases, dental insurance doesn’t cover elective cosmetic treatments like veneers. Checking with your insurance provider to see if you have any coverage for veneers before beginning treatment is already recommended so you know exactly what to expect and how much your new teeth are going to cost you out of pocket.

How Can I Make Lumineers More Affordable?

For our patients who need financial assistance, Cherrywood Dental Associates offers our patients two different options to make payments manageable, including CareCredit and Lending Club Patient Solutions. CareCredit allows us to offer 3-24 months of interest-free payment plans and extended payment plans for larger treatments such as veneers and other cosmetic dentistry, and Lending Club offers interest-free financing options.

What Is CareCredit?

CareCredit is the credit card exclusively for healthcare services. With no upfront costs and no prepayment penalties, CareCredit lets you pay over time and frees up cash and credit cards for the other things in your life you may need them for. CareCredit offers monthly payment plans for healthcare procedures not commonly covered by your insurance provider, including dental treatments.

CareCredit offers:

  • No minimum monthly payments
  • No upfront costs
  • No prepayment penalties

What Is Lending Club Patient Solutions?

Our practice is pleased to present flexible payment plans through Lending Club Patient Solutions that offers:

  • Plans with low fixed rates
  • Low monthly payments that never change over the life of the loan
  • Patient-friendly, true no-interest plans with no retroactive interest
  • No upfront payments
  • No prepayment penalties

How Cost Effective Are Dental Veneers?

The success rate of dental veneers is extremely high, with patients veneers lasting an average of ten to twenty years or more. Veneers don’t stain, leaving your teeth as bright as you choose. Veneers are cared for with the same good daily oral hygiene that you perform to care for your natural teeth, making it an easy transition into a new smile.

Although dental veneers are strong, it’s advisable to resist the urge to use your teeth as tools and crunch on hard candies or chew on ice to prevent damaging your investment.

Having dental veneers placed is not a reversible procedure, so we always advise patients to be sure of their decision before beginning treatment and to take care of their veneers to the best of their capability.

Ready To Learn More?

Whether you seek to correct a slight imperfection in your smile, or are hoping to completely transform the appearance of your front teeth, Cherrywood Dental can use veneers to achieve nearly any result you desire. We offer the best porcelain veneers to our patients and Dr. Barzgar has been transforming patients smiles with Lumineers for the last eleven years.

Schedule your consultation appointment today and discover what Cherrywood Dental can do for your smile!

5 Scary Effects Alcohol Can Have on Your Oral Health

Bottles and glasses of alcohol drinks

The overconsumption of alcohol puts your body at risk for several diseases and conditions like cancer, heart disease and even increased risks of dementia. And while you may look forward to sitting down at the end of a long day with a drink, nightly drinking will likely promote the growth of harmful bacteria in the mouth while simultaneously stunting the development of helpful, probiotic bacteria that keeps your mouth and the rest of your body running smoothly.

Having too many harmful bacteria in your mouth is known to lead to these five oral health risks.

Oral Cancer

While tobacco use has been proven to increase the risk of developing oral cancer, those who use both tobacco and alcohol are at an exceptionally high risk of contracting the disease. These two substances are known to increase each other’s harmful effects on the body from the dehydrating effect of alcohol on cell walls enhancing the ability of tobacco carcinogens to permeate mouth tissues.

The top contributors to oral cancer are:

Age – Majority of people are over the age of 40 at time of discovery

Gender – General ratio statistics show every 2 men to 1 woman

Race and Ethnicity – Occuring twice as often in the black population as in whites

Lifestyle Choices – The use of tobacco and alcohol consumption are considered the top causes for those who develop the disease.

Stained Enamel

If you tend to reach for a heavily colored alcohol of choice, you increase your chances of developing stained teeth in the process. Alcoholic beverages like red wine, sangria, and hard alcohols dark in color that you sip slowly linger on your teeth long after your beverage is finished. Fight back against stained enamel by counteracting dark colored beverages with a whitening toothpaste, rinsing your mouth with water after consumption, and using whitening products on a regular basis.

Dry Mouth

One of the top side effects of consuming alcohol is how it dehydrates your body – mouth included. Because of the way alcohol dehydrates your body, you will experience a decrease in natural saliva flow which causes the harmful bacteria from food and drinks to cling to your teeth instead of being washed away naturally. Harmful bacteria caused by dry mouth on the surfaces of your teeth increases your risk of tooth decay. If you’re consuming alcohol, balance your drink ratio with a glass of water for every drink you consume to help keep your saliva flowing.

Teeth Grinding

Clenching or grinding your teeth on a regular basis can harm your teeth and lead to other oral health issues. While teeth grinding can have different causes, it’s most often triggered by stress, medical conditions, or crooked or missing teeth. Grinding your teeth can get worse after drinking alcohol or caffeine, so if you already have a history of grinding your teeth in your sleep, try skipping your glass of wine before bed or your caffeinated cocktail to help reduce grinding.

Plaque Buildup & Cavities

Alcoholic beverages that are high in sugar content can be a major risk factor in developing tooth decay and plaque buildup. The bacteria in your mouth survives on sugary foods and drinks and consuming items that are high in sugar gives those harmful bacteria fuel to destroy and conquer your enamel. Choosing beverages that are lower in sugar can help aid in protecting your teeth, and alternating alcohol with a glass or bottle of water to help replenish the saliva in your mouth will keep your mouth cleansed.

Other Ways Frequent Alcohol Use Can Impact Your Teeth and Gums

In addition to increasing the risks of developing tooth decay, gum disease and stained teeth, heavy drinking can cause irritations of the tissues inside your mouth and can even lead to severe issues like losing teeth. Your dentist is often the first healthcare professional to detect health issues caused by the overall effects of alcohol and drug consumption.

If you find yourself consuming an alcoholic beverage on a daily basis and are concerned that your happy-hour-habit is affecting your oral health, ask Cherrywood Dental Associates how alcohol consumption is impacting you at your next dental checkup.

Great Oral Hygiene Could Keep More Than Your Mouth Healthy

Close up portrait of a beautiful older woman smiling with sweater on blue background

You’re probably already aware that having great oral hygiene and taking proper care of your teeth and gums is a vital step in preventing tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath. But did you also know that not taking proper care of your oral health can have a direct impact on the rest of your body’s overall health?

It may sound like an obvious statement, but your mouth is connected to the rest of your body and we’re breaking down which health conditions may be directly linked to your poor dental health.

The Top Health Conditions Connected To Poor Oral Health

Heart Disease

Studies have proven that people with bleeding gums from poor dental hygiene could be increasing their risk of developing heart disease. When you have bleeding gums, bacteria from the mouth is able to enter the bloodstream and stick to platelets, which can then form blood clots, interrupting the flow of blood to the heart and ultimately trigger a heart attack.

Alzheimer’s Disease

A bacterium called Porphyromonas gingivalis is usually associated with chronic gum disease, and past studies have tried to prove a direct link between patients affected with Alzheimer’s, their brains, and the consistent finding of Porphyromonas gingivitis in these patients. There is sufficient scientific evidence to show that two of the three gum disease-causing bacteria are capable of motion and have been consistently found in brain tissue of those affected with Alzheimer’s.

Pancreatic Cancer

Reports of strong evidence on a link between gum disease and pancreatic cancer began back in 2007 when the findings of periodontitis, a specific type of gum inflammation, was associated with pancreatic cancer. Research has suggested that there may be a link between high levels of carcinogenic compounds found in the mouths of people with gum disease and pancreatic cancer risk. While this is not an established risk factor, one could assume that gum disease could very well create an environment favorable to the development of pancreatic cancer.

Why Hasn’t There Been a Definitive Gum Disease & Systemic Health Study?

Both gum disease and potentially associated conditions like heart disease are incredibly complex conditions, with so many defining factors. It is difficult to stage a study that is comprehensive enough to deliver a definitive answer, while controlling the necessary variables. But as more and more studies yield an unexplainable gum disease – heart disease connection, researchers continue to explore the reasons for this link.

Knowing Your Risks For Developing Gum Disease

There are certain factors that make you more likely to experience gum disease at some point in your life. While some of these factors are unavoidable, many are completely preventable by taking extra care of your oral hygiene and habits to keep your smile intact and healthy.

The risk factors of gum disease include:

  • Genetics – A family history of gum disease makes certain people more likely to develop periodontal disease.
  • Age – Being over the age of 65 increases your risks of developing gum disease by as much as 70%.
  • Medications – Certain medications like oral contraceptives, antidepressants and certain heart medications can affect your oral health. These types of medications can cause dry mouth and lack of natural saliva which has a direct negative impact on your oral health.
  • Poor Nutrition – A diet that’s lacking nutrients can compromise the body’s immune system, making it that much more difficult for your body to fight off infection – including infection in your gums. Research also shows that obesity may increase the risk of periodontal disease.
  • Systemic Diseases – Certain health and medical conditions like diabetes, arthritis and heart disease are linked to gum disease.
  • Use Of Tobacco Products – If you are someone who uses tobacco products of any kind your risks of developing many serious illnesses such as cancer, lung disease, heart disease, and periodontal disease puts you at risk for the development and progression of these diseases.

 

Preventing Other Health Conditions By Preventing Gum Disease

It’s a proven fact that certain diseases show up in your mouth first, making your dentist the first defense against new health problems. While you may not see your physician on a routine basis, scheduling regular dental exams every six months could help you keep not just your teeth and gums healthy, but the rest of your body as well. Do your part by:

  • Brushing your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste
  • Flossing once a day between your teeth to clean places your toothbrush cannot reach
  • Eating a nutrient rich and balanced diet
  • Limiting snacking between meals
  • Scheduling regular oral exams and professional cleanings every six months with your dentist

Call Cherrywood Dental today and schedule your next cleaning and exam to determine if you’re at a higher risk of developing periodontal disease.

Dental Implant Aftercare: What to Expect

Woman talk to dentist in dental clinic

If you’ve made the big decision to have dental implant surgery, congratulations are in order! Choosing to replace a missing tooth with a dental implant is an excellent, long term solution to tooth replacement and will keep you smiling for years to come.

But what happens next? And how can you expect to feel after your dental implant procedure? We’re here to help you know exactly what you can expect so you can be as prepared as possible in how to take care of your new implant.

What to Do Immediately After Implant Surgery

Immediately after implant surgery, the most important thing you can do is not disturb the wound. Your mouth and your body just went through a lot, so avoid any rinsing, spitting or touching of the area on the day of surgery.

You can expect:

Bleeding. Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for about 24 hours. Excessive bleeding where your mouth fills up rapidly with blood can be controlled by biting on a gauze pad placed directly on the bleeding wound for 30 minutes. If bleeding continues, give us a call and we can discuss what to do next on a case by case basis.

Pain. You can begin taking pain medication as soon as you feel the local anesthetic wearing off. For moderate pain, take two Tylenol or Extra Strength Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Advil, or Motrin every 3-4 hours as needed to help manage pain. For severe pain, the prescribed medication should be taken as directed by your doctor.

Antibiotics. Take the prescribed antibiotics as directed to help prevent infection.

Swelling. Some swelling is normal and expected to occur after surgery. To minimize swelling, apply an ice bag wrapped in a thin towel on your cheek over the area of the surgery. Applying ice or a cold compress as much as possible for the first 48 hours will help to minimize swelling and promote healing.

Diet. Drink plenty of fluids and avoid any hot liquids or food. Soft food and liquids should be eaten on the day of surgery, and return to a normal diet as soon as your body is comfortable and ready.

Dental Implant Success Begins with Home Care

Good oral hygiene is essential to promote good healing. The night of surgery, use the prescribed Peridex Oral Rinse before bed, if it was prescribed to you. The day after surgery, the Periex should be used twice daily, after breakfast and before bed. When rinsing, be sure to rinse for at least 30 seconds, spitting the liquid out afterwards. Warm salt water rinses should be used at least 4-5 times a day, especially after meals, to help aid the mouth in healing properly and as quickly as possible.

Brushing your teeth and the healing abutment is not an issue, but be gentle initially with brushing around the surgical areas.

Letting Your Body Heal

Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery, and allow your body to rest and recover. If you are considering exercise, throbbing or bleeding may occur, where you should discontinue exercising immediately until your mouth has had proper time to heal. Consider delaying exercise until you’re able to return to a normal diet so your body has the proper fuel and ability to exercise.

Remember, rest is your friend when it comes to a recovering body, and pushing yourself will only delay healing.

What Happens Next on My Implant Journey?

You may need additional surgery to place the abutment, or the piece where the crown will eventually attach. This minor surgery is typically done with local anesthesia in an outpatient setting.

To place the abutment:

  • Your oral surgeon reopens your gum to expose the dental implant
  • The abutment is attached to the dental implant
  • The gum tissue is then closed around, but not over, the abutment

In some cases, the abutment is attached to the dental implant metal post, when the post is implanted, which means you won’t need this extra surgical step.

It’s perfectly normal to feel a bit nervous about getting a dental implant, but Cherrywood Dental Associates are here to make the process as easy and manageable as possible. If you have any questions before, during or after your dental implant procedure, we’re here to help and are just a phone call away!

Been Years Since You’ve Seen a Dentist? Here’s How to Prep

patient at the dentist appointment

If dental anxiety is the reason behind why you’ve been putting off going to the dentist, it probably took a lot for you to make that exam appointment. Maybe the reason behind you finally scheduling a visit is consistent discomfort from tooth pain, or perhaps you have decided to conquer your fear of the dentist once and for all.

We have some tips to help ease you back into the dental chair and put your mind at ease when it comes to recommitting to dental checkups.

Identify the Potential Cause of Your Dental Anxiety

Try to think back to when your anxiety over visiting the dentist began. For most patients who experience dental anxiety, it’s something that’s been with them for years, sometimes even since childhood.

What are the main causes of dental anxiety?

Fear of the Unknown

The unknown is the root of many other types of anxiety, and not knowing exactly what is going to happen when you visit the dentist office can cause someone to become fearing and worrisome. Having fear of the dentist finding issues such as cavities, gum disease, or even something more serious like a root canal can have a patient worrying about potential treatments, pain, and the unknown costs to fix these types of issues.

Negative Past Dental Experiences

If you’ve had an uncomfortable dental exam or procedure in the past, then you will find it more difficult to be open to future dental care. These experiences often stem from childhood, as children are nervous about what their exams might be like and what the final outcome will be.

Fear of Needles

Other fears that can be related to dental care can also cause someone to have dental anxiety. You may have another phobia such as a fear of needles or sensitive gag reflex, and these stressors can prevent you from receiving dental care comfortably.

Find a Dentist You Feel Comfortable With

The right dental office should feel comforting and soothing. Crowded facilities and dated equipment will only heighten your dental anxiety. Finding a practice with a friendly and communicative staff will help you in easing your anxiety. Before choosing a provider, check out testimonials and reviews of the office ahead of time so you can have a glimpse of what being a patient of that practice is really like (for better or worse).

When looking for a provider that is a good fit for you, be sure to:

  1. Look for a provider that makes you feel listened to and cared for
  2. Read patient reviews online
  3. Ask around and find out what friends and family members have a dentist they love and would recommend
  4. Let your dentist know you have dental anxiety and are a little nervous! We’re here to help calm your nerves!

Focus on the Positives

If you experience dental anxiety, it’s probably been longer than 6 months since you were last seen by a dentist for a checkup. Scheduling an exam will help improve your anxiety for a few reasons.

  1. The sooner you see a professional, the sooner you can know exactly what’s going on in your mouth. You may have gingivitis or gum disease, cavities, or other conditions that are causing you to live in discomfort and pain.
  2. You’re more likely to avoid serious dental problems by receiving regular preventative care, and catching issues while they are still small and inexpensive to treat.
  3. Replacing negative dental experiences with positive ones will help reduce bad memories and replace them with great new ones.

Signs of dental problems that will be resolved with an exam

There are certain signs that it’s time to see a dentist sooner, than later.

  • Yellow teeth – This can mean plaque buildup and poor oral hygiene. A teeth cleaning will help remove external stains and eliminate plaque for a fresh start.
  • Swollen gums – Gums that are swollen or bleeding are a sign you may have gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease. Gingivitis is simple to treat, and can be improved with better oral hygiene care.
  • Bad breath – Can signify you have a cavity, and can also be a sign of gum disease from increased bacteria in the mouth.
  • Receding gums – Your gums can recede for reasons related to gum disease, or it could be an effect of long-term teeth grinding. Too much recession can lead to tooth loss.

Don’t let fear stop you from having a healthy smile. Cherrywood Dental Associates will do everything we can to ensure you feel comfortable and relaxed through all of your dental checkups and treatments, and we are proud to offer laser dental treatments that offer a more pleasant dental experience to our patients.

Can’t remember the last time you walked through the dentist door? Schedule a checkup with us today!

 

Considering Dental Implants? Ask Yourself These Questions

Woman thinking about getting dental implants

Moving forward and committing to tooth replacement with implants is a big decision. Dental implants will restore your smile and leave you satisfied with long term results that can last you a lifetime.

Is a dental implant the right option for you? Ask yourself these questions!

Am I a likely implant candidate? Will I need to take steps to prepare for implants?

To determine if you’re a candidate for a dental implant, there are a steps that need to be first completed before your final procedure.

Bone Grafts. If your bone mass cannot adequately support a dental implant, you may need additional bone grafted to your jaw so that the implant will be able to properly fuse to the bone. A bone graft requires several months to heal before receiving the implant.

Periodontal Treatment. If poor gum health was the cause for your tooth loss, you will need to receive periodontal treatment to remove infection and treat periodontal disease so your implant can be surrounded by healthy gum tissue.

Excellent Oral Health. Your oral health must be good to receive an implant without complications.

Will my insurance cover implants or provide any assistance?

Most dental insurance does not include dental implants as a covered benefit. Insurance providers typically cover a portion of the required extractions and diagnostic steps that can be necessary before getting a dental implant, and steps to prepare you for your implant, such as bone grafts.

Before you begin treatment, have our offices check with your dental insurance provider so you can most accurately estimate your out of pocket costs beforehand.

Am I feeling less confident due to missing teeth?

If you’re missing a tooth in a place where it’s easily visible, it can easily affect your self esteem and your smile. With dental implants, you can replace entire missing teeth without resorting to removable restorations and bridges that leave you feeling unnatural.

Do I often struggle to eat comfortably or speak properly?

After going years with a missing tooth or multiple teeth, it’s easy to forget what it’s like to speak or chew with ease when you had all of your natural teeth. Replacement teeth will renew your ability to do so and make daily activities easier by removing frustrations.

Am I aware of the benefits of implants vs. more conservative options like bridges or partials?

The long term benefits of dental implants outshine more conservative options like a bridge which can be more cost effective.

The top benefits of a dental implant are:

  1. Implants feel just like a natural tooth, making you more confident in your restoration and the way it functions
  2. There’s no risk of food and bacteria causing decay on an implant which improves your long term oral health
  3. Allowing you to chew, bite and speak the exact same way you did with all of your natural teeth
  4. The most cost-effective tooth replacement in the long run, saving you time, effort and money

Implants can be more expensive upfront, with longer healing time, but in the big picture, a dental implant is a better option for tooth replacement in patients because it is a long term solution.

Am I interested in a more involved restorative treatment if it yields a greater payoff?

Many patients are nervous about the surgical procedure involved with dental implants, and this causes them to first look to other tooth restoration options with quicker healing periods. But dental implants preserve your health by:

  • Protecting bone density
  • Improving periodontal health
  • Reducing the risk of cavities
  • Preventing denture-related issues
  • Stopping teeth from shifting

Am I invested in caring for my implants properly, during the recovery period and in the years to come?

After your dental implants are placed, you go through a lengthy healing period. There are some implant care steps to take in order to reach the place of implant success including:

  1. Keeping your mouth clean to prevent infection or complications
  2. Eating recommended foods, like foods that are soft and nutrient rich liquids
  3. Getting plenty of rest to allow your body to properly heal
  4. Following your personal care instructions from Cherrywood Dental

Do I know which type of implant might be best?

Feeling overwhelmed by all of your implant options? Don’t stress! Cherrywood Dental is happy to help you get all of the facts on your tooth restoration options. It’s helpful to do research on your own, but nothing will be as personal and helpful as scheduling a complimentary implant consultation!

 

5 Ways to Encourage Your Kids’ Healthy Eating Habits
Happy family preparing a healthy meal together

It may seem tough to get your kids excited about eating healthy food, but here are some methods to try!

Kids are naturally drawn to foods that are high in sugars or starches, because they taste delicious to their tiny taste buds, and kids don’t view foods the same way as an adult would. For moms and dads, it’s vital to feed your children nutritious foods that will promote healthy growing and learning.

Convert your picky eater into a fruit and veggie lover with these 5 ways to encourage healthy eating habits for your kids.

Getting Your Kids Involved

Start at the source and teach your kids where their food comes from. A Saturday morning outing to the local farmer’s market allows your kids to see foods in a different setting than in the traditional supermarket. Introduce them to the working hands that grew the produce, and let them pick out the foods your family will eat for the next week together.

Have a green thumb? Planting things like tomatoes, lettuce, and berries in pots is a great way to show your kids the process of how foods grow and encourages a child to try the fruits of their own labor.

Keep Healthy Snacks An Arm’s Length Away

Keeping your kitchen and pantry stocked with exclusively healthy treats in convenient grab-and-go bags is the best way to get your kids reaching for the healthy alternatives. Keep the snacks in convenience places so kids can help themselves.

Mom Hack: Invest in a few plastic containers and label them with the days of the week for snacks. Taking a few extra minutes on grocery day and planning snacks out ahead of time will help to eliminate the “mom, I’m hungry” complaints and make your kids more self sufficient.

Let Them Decide

Kids love to get their way – don’t we all? But no parent wants to be a short order cook for their little ones, especially if you are cooking for multiple people in your family. Instead of fully assembling meals and plating everything for your kids, try the fixings bar approach, like this example for taco Tuesday:

  1. As you prepare ingredients and components, place items like rice, beans, whole wheat tortillas, and taco meat like chicken or beef on plates.
  2. Let your kids dress up their own tacos with fresh tomatoes, lettuce, cheese, salsa and sour cream
  3. Your kids eat exactly what they like and choose for themselves without being forced to eat

The fixings bar approach works well for family meals like taco bars, pasta bars, veggie bars and snack time with veggies and dips. Get your kids involved and give them the responsibility to make their own choices.

Monkey See, Monkey Do

A recent study found that young children’s food tastes are significantly related to foods that their parents like and dislike. Having your child watch you order fresh and healthy options at restaurants rather than a burger and fries through the drive-thru encourages them to cultivate healthy eating habits both at home and out.

Keep Offering Foods In Different Ways

Studies show that most children require multiple exposures to new foods before they willingly eat them on their own. Offering broccoli between 5-10 times, prepared different ways, will help the new food become familiar to your child – then they’ll be more willing to eat it when it’s put on their plate.

Establish Healthy Eating Habits Early On

Getting your kids to eat healthy foods starts when they’re babies, and the process continues as they develop into their toddler years. If you need help in coming up with some tips and strategies for getting your little ones on board with healthy changes, ask us for some recommendations at your child’s next dental checkup. Just like healthy eating, your child’s oral health begins at a young age too!

 

Understanding Your 2018 Dental Insurance

dentist showing patient a tablet

Health insurance is always changing – and the average consumer struggles to keep up with the shifting landscape. But your dental insurance is crucial to your oral health – it should allow you to receive affordable preventive care and avoid more serious problems.

Your general dentist and their team will help you understand exactly what kind of coverage you can expect. At the same time, you can take steps at home to gain a better comprehension of your dental coverage, especially if you have an upcoming procedure.

Coordinating with Your Dentist

Your dentist is the first line of support when attempting to decipher insurance benefits. While dental insurance can quickly become confusing to you, the staff at your dentist office works with different dental insurance plans every day and can help you in deciphering what you’re covered for, and what out of pocket costs you can expect.

Your dentist office may also be able to assist you in getting an allowance towards the cost of a procedure that’s not explicitly covered in your insurance plan, and can help you in putting the money you would have gotten for one procedure, such as a bridge, towards a similar product like an implant.

Your dental office is your resource in getting the most out of your coverage, and many offices can help you with paying for what’s not covered under your insurance. Many offices offer payment plans that allow patients to make payments over time so issues don’t go untreated and become much bigger problems.

Typical Dental Insurance Benefits

When it comes to how you view your dental insurance, the best piece of advice is to look to your policy as more of a “discount card” than a traditional insurance policy like you have for your car or your home.

Dental insurance is structured as a way for employers to help their employees offset some of the costs of dental care, and to maintain optimal dental health through routine exams and cleanings.

Basic Coverage

While every dental insurance policy is different in what it covers, a standard employer-provided PPO should cover between 70 and 100 percent of the costs for treatments like:

  • Regular checkups
  • Teeth cleaning twice a year
  • Fluoride treatments for children under a specified age
  • Sealants for children under a specified age
  • Root canals
  • Fillings

More Expensive Procedures

Dental insurance plans typically have tiers of coverage, with basic options meant to cover the average preventative expenses associated with your oral hygiene. Depending on the type of coverage you have selected, your insurance may also cover a certain percentage of more expensive procedures such as:

  • Orthodontic coverage for braces
  • Referrals to orthodontic specialists
  • Crowns
  • Bridges
  • Partial Dentures
  • Veneers

Staying In-Network

Most PPO dental plans have provisions for fee reductions when a patient has services rendered by a participating network provider. The participating providers have already agreed to an itemized fee schedule with your insurance provider, so most covered services have fee reductions from 10-35% off the regular fee when you stay “in-network”.

Preventive Care is the Best Bet

The number one way you can save money on dental procedures is to maintain good oral health by going to your routine dental exams and cleanings at least twice a year. By scheduling routine exams, you stay on top of potential problems and nip them in the bud before they become bigger problems that your insurance will not cover.

Always practice good oral hygiene at home and follow your dentist’s instructions for maintaining oral health, reversing gum disease and preventing cavities.

If you have questions on how to make the most of your 2018 dental insurance benefits, ask our team to review your coverage details with you at your first annual cleaning!

Why Am I Grinding My Teeth?

causes for teeth grinding

Teeth grinding is an involuntary habit which causes destructive effects in the mouth as well as other facial structures, and it is a condition that affects individuals at any age. People are often made aware of the fact that they are grinding their teeth in different ways, whether it’s by being told by your partner, your dentist noticing signs of damage, or by catching yourself mid-clench in the car or during a stressful situation.

To be able to successfully manage teeth grinding, the first step is to figure out the cause.

Possible Reasons You’re Grinding Your Teeth

Stress and Anxiety.

The most common cause of teeth grinding is stress and anxiety. A person who is constantly stressed and is often put in a stressful state manifests their stress during sleep. The over-activity of the muscles in your jaw cause you to unintentionally clench and grind your teeth together without you even realizing you’re doing it.

Sleeping Disorders.

Sleeping disorders such as sleep apnea are often found to be associated and related to teeth grinding in patients. Studies have shown that those who suffer from various types of sleep disorders are at a higher risk of developing the habit of teeth grinding.

Side Effects of Certain Medications.

Teeth grinding is a known side effect of medications that patients take for psychotropic drugs including antidepressants and antipsychotics. Teeth grinding can also be one of the side effects of a digestive issue.

Uneven Bite.

When a patient loses a tooth or is missing teeth, migration of the teeth changes the way a patient bites down causing an uneven alignment. An uneven bite destabilizes the occlusion of the jaw, bringing considerable stress that causes one to grind their teeth.

Long-Term Side Effects of Bruxism

Long-term effects of grinding your teeth come when the short-term effects are not given remedies. People with severe Bruxism often suffer from:

  • Untreated Migraines
  • Facial muscles that are taut and tight around the jaw area
  • Popping or clicking of the jaw
  • Tooth loss
  • Tooth wear

Can I stop grinding my teeth on my own?

If you think you grind your teeth, the first step is to see a dentist who can check your symptoms and look for typical wear spots on your teeth to indicate if you are in fact suffering from Bruxism.

Your dentist  will more than likely recommend a mouthguard that is made of a soft moulded plastic that fits over your teeth while you sleep to protect them from the effects of grinding.

While a mouthguard will help to reduce the effects on your teeth from grinding, it will not make the habit go away. If you’re grinding your teeth from stress or anxiety, seeking counseling or stress-management services may a way for you to treat underlying drivers behind your bruxism.

When to See a Professional

Teeth grinding can cause different symptoms including facial pain, headaches, and abnormal tooth wear. If you notice any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with your dentist to have your teeth evaluated before you cause permanent damage.

Possible symptoms of teeth grinding include:

  • Headaches
  • Facial muscle pain
  • Earaches
  • Tightness and stiffness in the shoulders
  • Pain and stiffness in the jaw joint
  • Disruption of sleep for either you or your partner
  • Worn teeth
  • Increased tooth sensitivity
  • Tooth loss
  • Gum inflammation or receding gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Difficulty opening your mouth

Making an appointment and talking with your dentist will help you work out the possible causes of why you’re grinding your teeth, and together we can create an appropriate treatment plan. Schedule a consultation with Cherrywood Dental Associates to help manage your stress and keep your teeth healthy.

 

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Dr. Barzgar was very professional and gentle. When I first came to his office to see Dr. Barzgar I had a major trust issue between dentist and patient from my past experiences. Dr. Barzgar is an excellent dentist, whose priority is making sure his...

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