Eee Gads Using Someone Elses Toothbrush?

 

Reader’s Digest: “Think Twice” Before Sharing A Toothbrush.

Reader’s Digest (2/16, Chamberlin) discusses the “unnecessary health risks” associated with sharing a toothbrush, encouraging people to “think twice” when considering it as an option. Mouths contain “more than 700 species of bacteria,” according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology, and while most of these bacteria are harmless, “some like staph and E. coli, can lead to infection and illness.” In addition to encouraging people not to share toothbrushes, the article notes the American Dental Association also advises rinsing toothbrushes with water after each use and storing them in an upright position, ensuring they are separated from other toothbrushes.

Health Savings Accounts(HSA) and Dental Treatment

The Motley Fool (10/1, Campbell) provided five tax tips for Americans in their 50s, suggesting, for example, people enroll in a health savings account. The article noted that people “can make pre-tax contributions to an HSA that can be used to pay medical costs, such as dentist visits, co-pays, and laser surgery, tax-free.” In addition, unused money in HSAs “can grow tax-free over time,” allowing these accounts to “function as a tax-advantaged savings tool to pay healthcare costs in retirement.”

Gum Disease and Your Health

The Washington Post (10/1, Levingston) reported that researchers are finding potential links “between gum or periodontal disease” and several different types of health problems. Although “experts are far from understanding what these links might mean,” the “links between gum disease and diabetes, at-risk pregnancy, heart disease and stroke have been so consistent that some insurers offer extra preventive periodontal care at little or no cost to people with those conditions.” The article pointed out that according to the CDC “nearly half of all Americans age 30 and older have some form of gum disease; in people 65 and older, 70 percent have some degree of periodontal disease.” The article noted, “Signs of gum disease include bleeding, red or swollen gums; areas where the gum seems separated from the teeth; bad breath; and loose teeth, which can cause changes in your bite, according to the American Dental Association.”

Your Child's Teeth

American Dental Association spokeswoman Dr. Mary Hayes discusses the importance of baby teeth. “Baby teeth are the pattern for the permanent teeth,” says Dr. Hayes, emphasizing parents start preventive dental care early. “Some kids who are going through a phase when there’s more decay present, maybe they need to be on a different plan; maybe they need to brush their teeth more often, maybe they need some supplements,” adds Dr. Hayes. She recommends parents speak to their child’s dentist about “how and when to fill cavities and changes to prevent further decay.”

Oh No Bad Breath on Valentine's Day

The ADA News (2/7, Soderlund) reports that Dr. Alice Boghosian, a national consumer advisor spokesperson for the American Dental Association, conducted interviews with more than 20 news outlets nationwide Feb. 7 as part of a satellite media tour focused on Valentine’s Day and halitosis. Dr. Boghosian discussed some of the factors contributing to halitosis, noting that while many causes are harmless, others may indicate something more serious. She reminded viewers to brush teeth twice a day for two minutes and to floss daily, while also encouraging them to visit their dentist regularly and to look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance when choosing dental products

Your Health and Oral Health

Men’s Health (9/23) reported that a new study from Finland suggests poor oral health may affect heart health. Researchers examined “the teeth and the arteries of more than 500 people,” finding that those needing a root canal were “nearly 3 times more likely to have acute coronary syndrome” than “patients with healthy teeth.” Study author Dr. John Liljestrand suggests the bacteria from the tooth infection may spread to other parts of the body, including the heart. Dr. Liljestrand recommends brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and regular dental visits to help reduce the risk of tooth decay.

In an article in the Omaha (NE) World-Herald (9/24), Dr. Robert Schwab, a physician specializing in internal medicine at Boys Town National Research Hospital, also stated that research suggests poor oral hygiene may impact overall health, including heart health. With this in mind, Dr. Schwab provides tips to promote heart and oral health.

BE HONEST WITH YOUR DENTIST...PLEASE!

In a consumer-directed article, Reader’s Digest (2/3, Jung) discusses dental etiquette, featuring advice from American Dental Association spokesperson Dr. Ada Cooper. For example, Dr. Cooper encourages patients to be honest about their dental habits with their dentist, stating that “lying to a dentist will result in damage to yourself because honesty is the only way we can really give our best shot at the best treatment.” Dr. Cooper also recommends patients ask any questions they have, saying “it’s essential that the patient understand the treatment” his or her dentist proposes, as well as “all options and alternatives.” The article states that while dental patients with the flu should reschedule their appointments, those who are “only a little under the weather” are probably fine to still go. “Dentists have very carefully placed hygiene measures in the office to ensure that disease isn’t transmitted,” says Dr. Cooper

KEEP YOUR TEETH AND LIVE LONGER?

The Daily Mail (1/31, Draper) reports that new research suggests an association between tooth loss and life expectancy, with scientists saying “those who have lost five teeth or more by the age of 65 have a heightened risk of early death.” On the other hand, the study published in Periodontology 2000 also found “those who have a full set of teeth by the age of 74 have a greater chance of reaching 100 years old.”

TOOTH TRUTHS!

 

ADA Releases Essential List Of “Tooth-Truths.”

In honor of National Children’s Dental Health Month in February, the American Dental Association provides a list of “tooth-truths” in a release on PRNewswire (1/30) to help parents and caregivers know essential items about their children’s teeth. The ADA notes teeth usually begin erupting between 6 and 12 months of age, and as soon as teeth begin to appear, they should be brushed with a fluoride toothpaste. Children younger than three need a “smear of toothpaste,” while children three or older can use “a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.” Parents should brush their child’s teeth twice a day until they are comfortable their child can brush on his or her own. Parents also should floss between “any teeth that touch.” First dental visits should occur after a child’s “first tooth appears, but no later than the first birthday.” In addition, the ADA states “drinking water with fluoride...has been shown to reduce cavities by 25 percent.”

Brush Daily!

Brushing Teeth Twice A Day Is Advised.

The Daily Mail (1/27, London) discussed the importance of brushing teeth twice a day, stating that not doing so can contribute to oral health problems, including a build-up of plaque, dental decay, halitosis, bleeding gums, and more. The article recommended brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled brush, which should be replaced every three to four months.

Brushing & Flossing...And Live Longer?

Brushing, Flossing, Regular Dental Visits Among “Tips To Live Longer.”

Eat This Not That (12/28, Gagnon) states that although bodies may change with age, “the steps we need to take to lead a longer, healthier life remain the same.” The article lists 35 “tips to live longer,” which include brushing teeth twice a day for two minutes, flossing daily, and visiting the dentist regularly. “It’s important to keep your teeth clean and remove plaque and bacteria by brushing and flossing daily,” says Dr. Edmond Hewlett, a spokesperson for the American Dental Association and professor at the UCLA School of Dentistry. “The American Dental Association recommends brushing twice a day for two minutes.” In addition, “Flossing is just as important as brushing,” says Dr. Hewlett, “and you should do it once per day.” Dr. Hewlett also explains the importance of regular dental visits, stating “you need to have that professional person who cares about your oral health to make sure you’re doing it right and to catch things early if something isn’t going right.”

        MouthHealthy.org provides additional information on brushing teeth and resources for patients on flossing, including the correct flossing technique.

HMO vs. PPO Some Answered questions...maybe!

OK… it’s that time of year to figure out insurance for the coming year it’s narrowed to a dental HMO (DHMO) or dental PPO (DPPO) plan. And this is where it gets complicated and tedious! What’s the difference? Which is the best plan for you and your family right now?  You’ve asked around to friends’ family and whomever would listen, and they are not sure what you are talking about!

Here are 7 little tidbits for you:

Premium Cost

DHMO

Premiums on a DHMO plan typically are the least expensive of all the dental insurance plans, cover the minimum and are subject to odd restrictions…But you get what you pay for!

DPPO   

The premiums for a dental PPO plan tend to be more expensive than a DHMO plan.

Primary Care Dentist

DHMO   

Often, with a DHMO, you must select/or be assigned to a primary care dentist. 

Now, this is interesting…the dentist you pick is paid a monthly fee for you to see them even if they don’t do anything…

DPPO   

You are not assigned to a primary care dentist but have the freedom to go to any dentist you choose.

Provider Access  

DHMO   

You are only eligible for coverage if you visit an in-network provider for covered services.

DPPO   

With a DPPO plan, you receive coverage whether you visit an in-network or out-of-network dentist.

Payment

DHMO   

You pay the specific fee (copayment) listed on your Schedule of Benefits to the dentist for covered services. 

DPPO     

An in-network dentist has negotiated with the insurance company (with a steep discount to the members of that insurance plan) to charge up to a certain dollar amount for covered services. So, you pay a coinsurance (or patient’s portion or Co-Pay), which is a percentage of this negotiated fee and the insurance company pays the rest of the fee.

Claims

DHMO    

You don’t have to worry about filing claims. Your network dentist will file them for you.

DPPO    

Once you use a network provider, they will file your claims for you.

Deductibles

DHMO    

You pay no deductibles.

DPPO   

You do pay an annual deductible before using any benefits. This amount varies by insurance company and by plan.

Maximums       

DHMO    

You have no annual calendar maximums. However, there may be many exclusions (you had that filling done 2 or more years ago, and they will not cover it or you had that tooth pulled before you had that particular insurance so they will not pay to replace it.

DPPO   

You do have an annual calendar maximum. This amount varies by insurance company and by plan. 

Teeth Whitening Options?

In a consumer-directed video on the Business Insider (12/19, Kim, Kakoyiannis) website, American Dental Association spokesperson Dr. Ada Cooper states that there are “three essential” methods to whiten teeth, including whitening toothpastes, in-office procedures, and take-home trays. While whitening toothpastes may help remove surface stains, they do not change the intrinsic color of the tooth structure, Dr. Cooper explains. “In order to change the intrinsic color of the tooth structure,” says Dr. Cooper, “what you really need to do is use a whitening material that contains some formulation of peroxide.” This may be done with an in-office procedure or a take-home method. Dr. Cooper reminds people to consult with a dentist prior to beginning any whitening treatment.

Eeee Gads Bad Breath

Halitosis Among Body Issues People May Be Embarrassed About.

In an article for Bustle (12/13), certified health coach Isadora Baum includes halitosis in a list of “10 body issues people often think are embarrassing.” Baum states that American Dental Association spokesperson Dr. Richard Price recommends brushing teeth and the tongue and drinking extra water to remove bacteria, which may be causing halitosis.

        MouthHealthy.org provides additional information for patients regarding halitosis.

Oral Health & Your Overall Health

New York Post: Oral Health Issues May Indicate “Serious Health” Problems

 

The New York Post (12/6, Shea) reports that oral health issues can indicate “serious health issues,” ranging from “digestive troubles to diabetes.” The article discusses what health conditions may be revealed by problems with gums, teeth, saliva, lips, and breath. For example, xerostomia may be an indicator of Sjögren’s syndrome, while red and bleeding gums may be a sign of gum disease or diabetes. In another example, the article reports that halitosis may result from poor oral hygiene practices but could also be a sign of acid reflux.

TIME (12/6) carries a Health.com article that also discusses the association between poor oral health and other health conditions, stating “research suggests that the condition of your gums is connected to a variety of health issues,” such as heart disease. The article stresses the importance of cleaning between teeth every day to remove debris and help prevent plaque buildup.   The Oral Health Topics on ADA.org and MouthHealthy.org provide additional information on xerostomia for dental professionals and for patients. MouthHealthy.org also provides information for patients on gum disease, diabetes and oral health, halitosis, heart disease and oral health, and flossing, including the correct flossing technique

Toothbrushes Are Not Forever!

Toothbrushes Among Items That Cannot Be Used Indefinitely.

Money Talks News (12/8) includes toothbrushes in a list of eight items that cannot be stored or used indefinitely. “Just because your dentist gives you a new toothbrush every six months doesn’t mean you can use that brush the entire time between visits,” the article states, recommending people “change brushes every three months.”

        The ADA recommends replacing toothbrushes every three to four months. MouthHealthy.org and the Oral Health Topics on ADA.org provide additional information on toothbrush care for patients and for dental professionals. In addition, the ADA provides a list of toothbrushes with the ADA Seal of Acceptance.

Gum Disease and Arthritis

Gum Disease Can Worsen Pain for Rheumatoid Arthritis Sufferers

Dental Asia (9/30) reports on the ways in which poor dental hygiene and gum disease can contribute to and worsen rheumatoid arthritis. By testing gum disease strains on arthritic mice, researchers found that Porphyromonas bacteria made the mice’s joint pain worse. Dental Asia recommends that people with rheumatoid arthritis who wish to prevent gum disease use a moving toothbrush, rinse their mouth with mouthwash, quit smoking, and eat a healthy and clean diet.

Manual vs. Electric Toothbrushes?

When Used Properly Manual and Electric Toothbrushes Are “Both Very Effective,” ADA Spokesperson Says

Digital Trends (10/2, Evon) considered whether electronic toothbrushes are better than manual toothbrushes, speaking with ADA spokesperson Dr. Alice Boghosian, who emphasized the importance of brushing for two minutes. “If an electric toothbrush is going to get someone to brush for the full two minutes,” Dr. Boghosian told Digital Trends, “I’m all for it.” In addition, electric toothbrushes may help those who struggle with holding a toothbrush, due to arthritis for example. “I think the key message is that one isn’t better than the other,” Dr. Boghosian said. “They are both very effective at cleaning teeth, including a manual toothbrush when used properly.”