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Posts Tagged ‘dental appointments’

Man Bites Dog!

In Dental Care on August 11, 2011 at 4:30 AM

With the economy in the tank and the stock market exhibiting more volatility than a Philadelphia sporting event, we bring you this financial examination of how we can actually save money by going to the dentist.

And according to this recent story from The Boston Herald, our canine friends can even benefit from regular dental cleanings and oral examinations.

For most of us, when it comes to dental insurance, the average coverage amounts provided are usually just enough to cover costs of our regular thrice yearly office visits. A typical exam, oral cancer screening, tartar or calculus scraping, followed by a visibly effective cleaning and polish, usually does the trick to keep our teeth happy and healthy until our next semi-annual dental experience.

That is IF we’ve kept up those regular visits, and IF we maintain the daily brushing and flossing regimen that some of us severely violate – at least on the flossing end.

Most of us can rest easy knowing our dental insurance pretty much covers all those normal costs associated with a typical 4 or 6 month check-up and exam rotation.

The key to saving money by properly maintaining optimal oral health comes down to two basic elements.

1.       Keep up with the regular dental appointments – whether you’re of the every 6 month group, or the heavy coffee indulging, dentally over-achieving every 4 month group.

Keep the appointments. Keep your teeth and gums healthy. Keep more hard-earned money in your pocket!

2.       Brush and floss between visits – does this one really need to be said, we’ve all been beaten over the head with this one…but some of us just remain dentally stubborn until we realize the folly of our ways.

And that folly usually costs us more in time and finances than if we simply did the right thing to begin with.

The underlying principle here that equally applies to dental health as it does to finances – at least in this blog post – is this;

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” – thanks Ben Franklin

Properly maintaining the daily brushing and flossing in combination with keeping the regular dental appointments will ultimately save us more money than not going to the dentist at all.

This holds true for dogs as it does for dentally irresponsible humans!

We can be stubborn, irresponsible, and forgetful; we as humans have the ability to reason.

 

What is the Oldest Disease Known to Humans?

In Dental Care on June 21, 2011 at 4:30 AM

Nope, it’s not the common cold. Nor is it arthritis, malaria, or leprosy.

According to Healthplex Dental trivia, tooth decay is not only the oldest disease we know of, but also the most common and widespread.

A quick internet search should reveal plenty of claims to the contrary, with even the Guinness Book of World Records getting in on the action.

Tooth decay, which is also called dental cavities or dental caries, is the destruction of the outer surface (enamel) of a tooth. Decay results from the action of bacteria that live in plaque, which is a sticky, whitish film formed by a protein in saliva (mucin) and sugary substances in the mouth. The plaque bacteria sticking to tooth enamel use the sugar and starch from food particles in the mouth to produce acid.1

How can we keep this cavity coalition at bay?

Brush our teeth, floss, keep our regular dental appointments…lather rinse repeat!

It has been estimated that 90% of people in the United States have at least one cavity, and that 75% of people had their first cavity by the age of five. Although anyone can have a problem with tooth decay, children and senior citizens are the two groups at highest risk. Other high-risk groups include people who eat a lot of starchy and sugary foods; people living in areas without a fluoridated water supply; and people who already have numerous dental restorations (fillings and crowns).2

Prevention is Key

With the cost of dentistry and health insurance limitations sometimes compounding the issue of proper treatment, we can all take a little preventative maintenance. According to the Medical Dictionary; It is easier and LESS expensive to prevent tooth decay than it is to treat it.

The four major prevention strategies include: proper oral hygiene; flouride; sealants; and attention to diet.

Proper oral hygiene equates keeping our dentist appointments, and brushing twice a day. Throw in some daily flossing and we’re ahead of the game!

Fluoride is a naturally occurring substance that slows the destruction of enamel and helps to repair minor tooth decay damage by remineralizing tooth structure. Toothpaste, mouthwash, fluoridated public drinking water, and vitamin supplements are all possible sources of fluoride.3

A sealant is a thin plastic coating that is painted over the grooves of chewing surfaces to prevent food and plaque from being trapped there. They cost less than fillings and can last up to 10 years, although they should be checked for wear at every dental visit.

As Americans, we can all probably use a little help on the diet. Big Macs and super sized sodas taste great, but maintaining a healthy and balanced diet will keep us having less fillings.

By knocking out foods high in sugar, we can deal a blow to the cavity creeps before they get entrenched in our mouths.

If it’s good for our teeth, it’s good for our overall physical health too.

If you have any questions about tooth decay, dental sealants, flouride treatment, or with help maintaining a proper diet…ask your dentist. Our teeth and gums act as early warning indicators of more serious physiological issues, don’t let the cavity creeps call in reinforcements!

A Horse Walks Into a Dental Office…

In Dental Humor - Oxymoron? on June 7, 2011 at 4:30 AM

Dentists get a bad rap, plain and simple. When it comes to maintaining our optimal health we think of a properly balanced diet, a regular exercise regimen, and minimum indulgence in all things contradictory to that end.

Boring!

You can’t argue with results, and keeping our regular dental appointments does yield results. Rarely do we make the connection between optimal health, and going to the dentist.

But the facts are in; keeping up our regular dental appointments is one essential ingredient in attaining and maintaining optimal health and wellness.

Who’d a thunk the same holds true for horses; wouldn’t mass quantities of hay, vegetables, water, and a salt lick do the trick?

Not so according to Ernie Kilby. What follows is an American success story right out of Dateline NBC, or 48Hours, or 20/20…or whatever major network news slash entertainment come current events production du jour you favor.

As the York Daily Record article on Equine Dentistry points out; for 30 years Kilby raised his family, cared for his handful of horses, and worked various supervising jobs in manufacturing. Then at age 52 he found himself out of work with minimal prospects.

He suffered through bouts of questioning his self-worth, worked his fingers to the bone, and finally decided to finance his equine dentistry training by mowing lawns and doing odd jobs around the neighborhood.

Although it was slow going at first, his commitment remained unflappable. He has a gift, and now Kilby has corralled his son-in-law into the business to lend a hand.

As the YDR.com article goes on to mention, Kilby has an innate talent for dealing with horses.

We figured we could use that opportunity to draw some awfully thin correlations between equine dentistry and our walk on two legs kind. Read on, this is a direct excerpt from the York Daily Record article:

For as long as he can remember, he’s been able to reach horses in a way that stuns onlookers. Unapproachable stallions, looking as if they might kick their way through a wall, are disarmed by his presence.

He tries to explain it but can’t quite.

“The main point is he cares. A lot of dentists will come in and think it’s just a job and don’t really care,” said Star Lawson of Rushing Winds Farm.

“I just think he can speak to them. He has a more relaxed atmosphere with them. He pets the horses, he touches them, he kind of gets to know them.”

Are you picking up what we’re putting down?

The moral of this lead a horse to the dentist story is this; if our dentists take an active role as a partner in maintaining our overall health, we need to throw them a carrot once in a while!

Talk to your dentist, get to know them, and if they go above and beyond the call of duty – let them know about it. In this everyone connected world, a kind word still goes a long way.

And an online review, comment on Facebook, or website testimonial all represent an enduring opportunity to extend a carrot to our superstar dentists. If you think your tooth jockey is a dental derby favorite, let them know!

According to YDR.com, there are probably fewer than 50 equine dentists in Pennsylvania. Kilby and his partner, son-in-law Doug Siegrist, are two of only about 150 dentists anywhere certified by the International Association of Equine Dentistry.

To hear it from the horse’s mouth, click the link to watch Kilby’s interview on equine dentistry.

Check back often for the next installment of domesticated dentistry, our next focus is the ubiquitous Canis Majoris