Dental

Benefits of MetLife Dental Insurance

Benefits of MetLife Dental Insurance

We are all aware that most insurances work as a safety net for some unfortunate, unforeseen events and expenses. Dental costs are also one such expense and can be a strain on the pocket. Hence dental insurance is important. Dental insurance is a little different from other kinds of insurances in a way that it works more like a discount coupon.  

We have discussed different aspects of a dental insurance in a number of our blogs like Things you should know about your dental insurance, How to get the best out of your dental insurance and Preventive dental insurance. If any of these topics interest you, we encourage you to read these blogs too after reading this one. 

Ensure Dental Care is a Preferred Provider Organization or PPO for MetLife Dental Insurance and this blog is about the features and benefits of this program. 

MetLife companies have a rich experience of 153 years and are a recognized market leader in the field of savings solution, protection planning and retirement. MetLife offers different kinds of insurances like life, accident and health. They are trusted by millions of customers world-wide.  

What is this PPO program and how will this benefit me? 

MetLife Dental Insurance has tie ups with thousands of general dentists and specialists across the length and breadth of the country. We are proud to inform that Ensure Dental Care is one such Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) for MetLife Dental Insurance at Saginaw Texas. 

The PPO program of Metlife is designed in such a way that you the customer can not only save your money on dental treatments but also get to choose the dental services of any in network dentist of your choice with minimal paperwork involved.   

PPOs in general cover a large number of services and procedures; preventive care is often covered 100% with the in-network dentists. Other procedures can have different coverages ranging from 50% to 80% of the total cost. The coverage can also vary from plan to plan. 

We are aware how expensive dental care can be hence it is a good idea to invest in a dental insurance that helps prevent future major dental problems. The dental insurance which covers the cost completely or partially of any preventive measures comes under preventive dental insurance. These generally include:  

  1. Oral exams 
  1. Teeth cleanings 
  1. X-Rays 
  1. Fluoride treatments 
  1. Sealants 

With regular preventive checkups there is good chance that one is less likely to develop serious oral diseases like gum diseases, cavities, tooth decay etc. However, you must keep in mind the annual maximum of your dental insurance plan because you would not want to go overboard, otherwise you will end up spending from your pocket as well.  

What is more is that emergency dental care will be accessible to you 24 hours a day 7 days a week. In case you are not able to reach your preferred dentist you can always go to any licensed dental care professional. The extent of coverage and what constitutes emergency dental care may vary from plan to plan. Refer to your policy document for these details. 

If you need to meet a specialist you can always go to your preferred dentist if he/she provides the service or you can get a reference of a specialist who is also an in-network dentist from them. Also, you would not need any preauthorization and can directly call the specialist for the appointments.   

The best part of MetLife Dental Insurance’s PPO plans is there is absolutely no paperwork involved in getting your claims irrespective of whether you go to a dentist within their network or even outside their network. They have a secure website for their members offering a convenient service. 

How do I find a dentist who is in-network? 

You can search the online directory on the website of MetLife Dental Insurance (https://www.metlife.com/insurance/dental-insurance/). You can search by zip code, names, specializations, locality and even languages.  

Ensure Dental Care your family dentist in Saginaw Texas just 15 minutes from Forth Worth Texas offering professional and top-notch dental services to MetLife Dental Insurance customers. We also accept other insurance providers. We do have inhouse payments plans too. We have a very experienced and professional team of dental practitioners working non-stop to provide you the best service possible. Patients can benefit a lot on the cost of dental expenses because the tie up offers negotiated fees, which can be typically 30-45% less than average costs offered by other dentists. 

We at Ensure Dental Care will take also take care of spreading your treatments across the whole calendar year in such a way that your out-of-pocket expenses are kept at the minimum.  

In conclusion we would like to say a dental insurance from Metlife can save you a lot of time, money, effort and pain in the long run. Please make sure you read the fine print in detail and understand what a plan covers and does not cover in order to choose the right plan for yourself and your family members. Also remember you save the most when you go to an in network dental service provider.  We at Ensure Dental Care have established this tie up with Metlife Dental Insurance with the express intention of offering you the dental services you deserve without having to worry about expenses or paperwork. 

If you want to take advantage of this, we suggest you give us a call on 940-274-3229 for an appointment today. You can always call Ensure Dental Care for any dental queries. Ensure Dental Care your Saginaw Dentist offers emergency dental services. Regardless of your issue we offer same day emergency treatments. We entertain walk ins also. Choose MetLife Dental Insurance and choose Ensure Dental Care. 

We accept all other major insurance providers also. We also have in house payment plan.  

We hope you this blog was informative and useful to you. Please share it with your family and friends if you liked it. If you want to interact with us on social media or give any suggestions you can also follow us on instagram for offers, deals and more fun stuff. Our instagram handle is @ensuredentalcaresaginawtx. We look forward to interacting with you on the instagram soon.  

George Washington’s Teeth

George Washington’s Teeth

Well this is one dental story you all must heard about if you have not already read it. It is about George Washington’s wooden teeth. Did he really have wooden teeth or there is more to the story that we now know. Let us find out. Before we go to the man’s teeth let us briefly check out something about the man in question. If you don’t already know who George Washington was let us provide you a little trivia about him.

Trivia about George Washington

  • He was the first President of the United States of America.
  • He took over the office in 1789 and served as a US President till 1797. He was elected twice to the office of President and served both terms.
  • His picture appears $1 bill and the quarter coin.
  • He led America’s victory over the British in the American Revolutionary War.
  • The Confederate Seal features him.
  • Washington D.C and Washington State are named after him.
  • He is one of the faces of the Mount Rushmore.
  • He is one of the founding fathers of the USA and rightly called the Father of the Nation.

A little background of George Washington

He was born in a wealthy businessman family and grew up to join the army. He had very little interest in politics in the initial years of his life. He was businessman who owned a lot of land and slaves. It was only in 1755 that he ran for a seat in the house which he lost. It was in his second attempt in 1757-58 that he won the seat from Frederick County.

George Washington Teeth Wooden myth

He suffered from poor dental health during his adulthood. From his twenties he experienced toothaches, decay and loss of teeth. He has been known to have spent a lot of time and money on relieving himself of this pain by using various dental medicines, teeth cleaners and dentures. When he was sworn in as President of the USA, he had only one tooth left. This was at the age of fifty-seven.

There has been a legend going on regarding his teeth. People believed that he had wooden teeth.  However recent information proves this to be a myth.

Dr. John Baker was the first dentist who made false teeth for George Washington. They were partial dentures which were made of ivory and fitted in with his real teeth.

This myth that Washington’s dentures were wooden was well known and also accepted by the historians. In fact it has been documented in books well into the 20th century.

The possible origin of the wooden teeth myth could be because ivory teeth can become stained easily and this may have given the appearance of wood to those who saw.

In 1780s, George Washington employed the services of a French Dentist living in America known as Jean-Pierre Le Mayeur for his dental issues. However not much is known about the services offered by him to the man who would become the first President of USA. He did however become great friends with George Washington.

After George Washington became the President, he employed a New York dentist called Dr. John Greenwood who has been known to make technologically advanced dentures for him. He used hippopotamus ivory to make the dentures and used gold wires and brass screws to hold the artificial teeth together. He took the oath of Presidency while wearing these dentures.

Some of Washington’s false teeth still exist. Part of a denture made by Greenwood is owned by the New York Academy of Medicine. The only complete set of Washington’s dentures that still survive today are preserved by George Washington’s Mount Vernon. These teeth are made of animal teeth, human teeth, lead, and ivory.

The Controversy

There has been some controversy also surrounding his teeth. It is believed that in 1784 Washington bought human teeth from some slaves. While this may appear extraordinary today, using human teeth for dentures was not totally unheard of during the time of George Washington. The poor in those times had been selling teeth as a way of making money since long and these teeth were then sold as dentures or implants to those who could afford it. Having dentures was considered a mark of wealth and only a few privileged people could afford them.

During his lifetime, George Washington had four sets of dentures. It is widely known that his dentures disfigured his mouth and often were a cause of pain. He found his ivory and metal dentures difficult to use while eating and speaking. The ivory dentures got stained very easily and quickly needing heavy maintenance such as cleaning with wax. His lips bulged unnaturally and he was conscious of this throughout his life.

Today the story about his teeth has become folk lore. But there are number of things one can learn from this story. One can see the history and evolution of usage of dentures and most importantly how having good and healthy teeth is important and also how teeth have historically played a role in defining beauty standards and affecting the confidence and self esteem of people who otherwise have been super successful in life.

All in all it helps us conclude that our teeth are precious and we need to take care of them. Our dental health is in our hands and we must not neglect it.

Call Ensure Dental Care, Saginaw Tx Dentist on 940-274-3229 for more information or to schedule an appointment. Ensure Dental Care is the one of the best family dental clinics at Saginaw Texas. We accept all major insurance providers. We also have in house payment plan. We have a very experienced team of dental practitioners and we look forward to serving you the best of our abilities.

If you liked this blog share it with your family and friends. You can also follow us on Instagram for offers, deals and more fun stuff. Our Instagram handle is @ensuredentalcaresaginawtx. See you on Instagram soon.

Halloween and Teeth

Halloween and Teeth

It is that time of the year again! It is Halloween time! Halloween means bonfires, scary costumes, spirits, pumpkin carvings, movies and not to forget CANDIES! And where there is so much candy involved can cavities be far behind? Children love dressing up and going for trick or treats during Halloween. But it is important for parents to understand the connection between candies and cavities and ensure that their children have a safe and teeth friendly Halloween. 

The connection between candies and cavities 

Cavities are caused by the bacteria in the mouth. Bacteria feast on any food particles on the surfaces of the teeth and those stuck between the teeth. These bacteria love to eat sugar and when they do they release acids which cause cavities. Candies and other sugary starchy substances have more sugar and are easy to breakdown for the bacteria therefore dentists advise not to eat these sugary substances. Does this mean one has to totally give up eating candies? What fun will it be to celebrate Halloween without candies? Well the answer is no, you don’t have to give up eating candies but there are some things that you can do to safeguard your and your children’s teeth if you are aware of them. And this blog today is just for that. 

Here is what you can do  

  1. Eating candy is no issue if one takes care of the teeth before the candy can do much harm. It is ok to eat candies on Halloween provided you follow a strict oral hygiene routine every day (not just during Halloween but all year through). And that oral hygiene routine is brush for 2 minutes twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, floss daily and use a mouthwash.  
  1. As an additional precaution you can get the kids to brush their teeth as soon as they have had candies. 
  1. Another option is to regulate the number of candies kids consume. Keep some and give the others away. It will also inculcate the habit of giving in the kids. 
  1. Schedule timings when the kids are allowed to eat the candy. Don’t let them eat candy any time all day long and every day. Ideally club eating candies with meal times. This is because during meal times our mouths produce more saliva and this saliva negates the effects of the acids produced by the bacteria feasting on the candy. 
  1. Drink lots of water. More the water easier it is for getting the food and bacteria to be washed away. Stay away from sugar drinks for obvious reasons. Try to drink fluoridated water if possible. 
  1. Replace candies with sugar less gums. Chewing these gums especially after meals helps promote saliva production which neutralizes the acids produced by the bacteria. 
  1. There are a number of different kinds of treats and candies available to celebrate Halloween. A little knowledge about which ones do less harm than others can go a long way in protecting your teeth. 
  1. Avoid hard candies that need to be sucked for a long time. The more time they spend in the mouth more the chances of acids being produced by them that attack the enamel of our teeth. Biting hard on these hard candies can also lead to chipped tooth. 
  1. Avoid sticky candies like gummy bears, taffies, caramel sweets because they get stuck to teeth and are not washed away easily by the saliva in the mouth. In fact at times they stay stuck on the teeth even after a mouth rinse. 
  1. Sour candies are acidic in nature and they definitely harm the enamel of the teeth thereby making them more prone to cavities. 
  1. If you are going to indulge in that sweet pop corn then it is better to keep floss handy. The kernels of the pop corn tend to get stuck in the gaps between the teeth and not easy to dislodge with one’s tongue. 
  1. Chocolate candies are the safest bets amongst all kinds of candies. It is better than others because it can be washed away easily. Also among chocolates darker the chocolate lower the sugar content and the better it is. 
  1. Include the salty, nutty and low sugar snacks and treats like trail mixes, granola bars. 

Screen the candies your child brings home and choose the ones which will be more teeth friendly. 

  1. Involve your children and educate them about the harmful effects of candies on teeth. Make use of fun activities to make them aware or if need be take them for a visit to the family dentist and let him or her demonstrate what candy monsters can do to one’s teeth. 
  1. Ensure children eat a healthy diet  to offset all the candy being eaten. 
  1. Schedule a visit to the dentist post the holiday. The dentist can help clean the teeth better and professionally. 

Do not be alarmed, moderation is the key to enjoy Halloween without too much damage to the teeth. A little precaution and extra care in maintaining oral hygiene can do wonders and you can have a stress free Halloween with your family. We wish you and your family a very Happy Halloween. Don’t let the treats trick you this year.  

If you would like to know more call Ensure Dental Care (the family dentist near you) on 940-274-3229 to schedule an appointment. Ensure Dental Care is the one of the best family dental clinics at Saginaw Texas. We accept all major insurance providers. We also have in house payment plan. We have a very experienced team of dental practitioners and we look forward to serving you the best of our abilities.  

If you liked this blog make it a point to share it with your family and friends who may benefit from this information. You can also follow us on Instagram for offers, deals and more fun stuff. Our handle on instagram is @ensuredentalcaresaginawtx. We would love to see you there and interact with you. 

Proper Oral Hygiene

Proper Oral Hygiene

You all know we are celebrating the dental hygiene month this October. Please read our blog Dental Hygiene to know the basics of what dental hygiene is and what happens when we don’t take care of it. Most people generally are aware of these basics of what should a dental hygiene routine be like, that is –  

  1. Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. 
  1. Floss daily. 
  1. Use antibacterial mouth wash. 
  1. Visit your dentist regularly. 

In today’s blog however we want to delve deeper into the above topics like what is the proper technique to be used for brushing and flossing and much more. So let us begin with how to brush properly! 

How to brush properly? 

All oral care routines begin with brushing our teeth. Here are some things you must keep in mind while brushing your teeth to make it an effective activity – 

  1. Brush your teeth twice a day for at least 2 minutes each time. Don’t brush more than that as it may be harmful. 
  1. Use a soft bristled brush with a small head that can reach the difficult to reach areas in the mouth.    
  1. Use fluoride toothpaste. There are other kinds of toothpastes available for specific requirements like teeth whitening, sensitive teeth and fighting cavities. Consult your dentist for the same. 
  1. Place your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle to the gums while brushing. 
  1. Brush in gentle circular strokes or back and forth over the surface of the teeth. 
  1. Make sure you brush all the surfaces of the teeth outer visible, inner not visible and the chewing surfaces. To clean the inside surfaces of the teeth tilt the head of the brush at a vertical angle and use up and down strokes. 
  1. Start brushing from the back of the mouth. 
  1. Brushing your teeth must be the last thing you do before going to bed. 
  1. You can use either a manual or an electric toothbrush. Electric ones are handle for people who have difficult in holding or moving manual brushes. 
  1. Adults should use only pea sized amount of toothpaste for brushing their teeth. Anything more can be harmful. 
  1. Spit out the excess toothpaste before rinsing your mouth with water. 
  1. Younger children must be supervised while they brush their teeth. 
  1. Don’t brush too hard as it can harm your gums. 
  1. Always rinse your brush afterwards and put it in an upright position so that any excess water drains off and let it air dry. 
  1. If the bristles get frayed change the toothbrush. Even if they don’t change the brush every 3 to 4 months. 
  1. Never share your toothbrush with anyone. 
  1. Try to keep your toothbrush away from others. Let them not touch each other as that can spread the germs. 

How to floss properly? 

Flossing is a critical part of oral care but you must do it right for it to be impactful. Here are some things you must take care of – 

  1. Take 30 to 45 cms of the string dental floss and grip the floss tightly between your thumb and forefingers. 
  1. Hold the floss between the teeth and start from the base near the gum line. 
  1. Move the floss up and down along the surfaces of the teeth to dislodge the stuck food particles. 
  1. When you reach the gum line curve it against a tooth making a c shape and gently move it back and forth. 
  1. Do not snap the floss as it can be painful. 
  1. Floss one teeth at a time. Use fresh floss as you continue cleaning further. 
  1. You can use a string dental floss or a water flosser or dental pick or a pre threaded flosser whichever suits you the best. 
  1. It does not matter if you brush your teeth before flossing or vice versa. 

Other things to do 

  1. Use an anti bacterial mouthwash after brushing and flossing. Do not use the mouth immediately after brushing as it may wash away the fluoride of the toothpaste. Swish the appropriate amount of mouth wash in your mouth for at least 30 seconds before spitting it away. Keep your lips closed while swishing the liquid in your mouth. To read more about mouthwash read our blog on the subject. 
  1. Make sure you use a tongue scraper to clean your tongue. Use it gently and rinse your mouth with water afterwards. 
  1. Eat a healthy nutrient filled diet. Avoid smoking, tobacco products, coffee, tea, acidic food substances and sugary drinks. 
  1. Visit your dentists every 6 months. Get your teeth cleaned professionally also at regular intervals so that the hard to reach areas in the mouth are also cleaned thoroughly and there is no plaque or tartar buildup in the mouth.   

These tips and techniques may look like a lot to do and cumbersome when you read them but they are quite easy to and you will not even notice them once they become part of your daily dental care routine.  

Please let us know how many of these you already knew and were implementing in your daily oral care routine and which ones you never knew about but would not be implementing.  

If you would like to know more call Ensure Dental Care (the family dentist near you) on 940-274-3229 to schedule an appointment. Ensure Dental Care is the one of the best family dental clinics at Saginaw Texas. We accept all major insurance providers. We also have in house payment plan. We have a very experienced team of dental practitioners and we look forward to serving you the best of our abilities.  

If you liked this blog make it a point to share it with your family and friends who may benefit from this information. You can also follow us on Instagram for offers, deals and more fun stuff. Our handle on Instagram is @ensuredentalcaresaginawtx. We would love to see you there and interact with you. 

Diabetes and Gum Diseases

Diabetes and Gum Diseases

We are often asked if there is any connection between gum diseases and diabetes. We hope to answer that question in this blog. Diabetes and periodontal diseases are both very common diseases in the USA. As per CDC more than 34 million people in the US suffer from diabetes and 88 million are pre diabetic. 47.2% adults over the age of 30 suffer from some or the other form of periodontitis. These are alarming figures.  

Relationship between diabetes and periodontitis 

Research suggests people with diabetes are more likely to get gum diseases than people who do not have diabetes. Studies have found that this relationship between diabetes and periodontal diseases goes both ways. Not only are people who have diabetes more likely to develop gum diseases but people who are prone to gum diseases are more likely to be detected with diabetes at a later stage in their lives. Severe gum diseases can also lead to increase in the blood sugar. This puts people who already have diabetes at an increased risk for diabetic complications. 

Given this relationship is important to understand the how diabetes and periodontal diseases affect each other. Both periodontitis and diabetes are chronic diseases and do not develop overnight. Oral health assumes more significance if one is prone to diabetes and vice versa. 

What can I do to take care? 

Gum care is an important aspect of oral hygiene for everyone. If a person who is not diabetic suffers from mild to severe gum diseases then they must get their blood sugar levels checked regularly and maintain healthy diet and exercise to prevent early onset of the disease. After all diabetes is not just a genetic but a lifestyle disease also. 

Whether you are diabetic or not you must – 

  1. Brush your teeth gently twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. 
  1. Floss daily. Use either a dental string floss or a water flosser. 
  1. Use a anti bacterial mouthwash. 

If you are not diabetic – 

  1. Visit your dentist every six months. 
  1. Do a self mouth check and look out for the following – 
  • a sore, or an ulcer, that does not heal 
  • pain in the mouth, face, or jaw that doesn’t go away 
  • loose teeth 
  • pain when chewing 
  • a bad taste in the mouth 
  • bad breath that refuses to go away despite brushing teeth and using a mouthwash 
  • Red or swollen gums 
  • Bleeding gums 
  • Dry mouth is often a symptom of undiagnosed diabetes 

If you notice any changes in your teeth or mouth make sure you visit your dentist as soon as possible. The reason is early stages of gum disease are mostly painless and the symptoms more easily missed. It is important to tell at this time that during the early stages of gum disease which is also known as gingivitis it is fully reversible provided it is detected in time. 

  1. Regulate your diet and do regular exercise. 
  1. Keep monitoring your blood sugar level on a regular basis. 

However if you are pre diabetic or suffer from diabetes then they you must take extra care of your gums – 

  1. Visit your dentists for regular checkups – Ideally once in 6 months is a good frequency for a person who does not suffer from diabetes. But if you are diabetic you must visit more frequently. Consult your dentist about how frequently you must visit his/ her dental office. 
  1. Besides regular checkups ensure special gum checkups from a dental hygienist who can specifically look out for gum diseases.  
  1. Regulate your diet and do regular exercise to keep your sugar in control. Keep monitoring your blood sugar level on a regular basis. Let your dentist know about your sugar levels, HbA1c (the lab test which shows average blood sugar level of last 3 months) and other pathological reports before going for a visit. Take your medicine or insulin as usual before the dental office visit. 
  1. Quit smoking if you smoke. Smoking along with diabetes is a dangerous combination and make a person more prone to heart diseases, strokes and nerve and kidney problems. 

Diabetes can also cause other oral problems. These include: 

  • Thrush – It is a fungal infection of the mouth. Thrush is found more often in people who are suffering from diabetes because of high blood sugar in the saliva. Fungus feeds on the sugar. 
  • Burning feeling in the mouth – If blood sugar is not controlled it can cause a burning feeling in your mouth. 

Studies have shown that treatment of gum disease can help improve blood sugar levels. Control of diabetes in turn helps decrease the progress of the disease. Practicing good oral hygiene in addition to having professional deep cleanings can help to lower your HbA1c. 

Now that you know how closely diabetes and periodontal diseases are interlinked you are better informed to take care of your health. Take care of your oral and overall health. You now know that taking care of oral health with diabetes is critical but not too difficult. A few simple things if added to your daily oral hygiene routine can go a long way in ensuring a better quality of life for you to enjoy for a long time. 

If you would like to know more call Ensure Dental Care (the family dentist near you) on 940-274-3229 to schedule an appointment. Ensure Dental Care is the one of the best family dental clinics at Saginaw Texas. We accept all major insurance providers. We also have in house payment plan. We have a very experienced team of dental practitioners and we look forward to serving you the best of our abilities.  

If you liked this blog make it a point to share it with your family and friends who may benefit from this information. You can also follow us on instagram for offers, deals and more fun stuff. Our handle on instagram is @ensuredentalcaresaginawtx. We would love to see you there and interact with you. 

Water Flossing

Water Flossing

We all know what is flossing and many of us may not be aware of the best way to floss but how many of you have ever heard of water flossing? No! Never heard of it? Let us understand what is this water flossing is all about. Flossing as we are aware is the process of cleaning the surfaces of teeth adjacent to each other. The objective of flossing is to remove any food particles stuck between the teeth. This is an important part of oral hygiene. It helps not only keep teeth clean but also ensures less plaque buildup. Plaque is the sticky film like substance that is formed by bacteria in our mouth when they eat the food particles stuck between and on our teeth. Plaque is bad for dental health. If not removed within 24 to 48 hours of its formation it can harden into what is called as tartar. Plaque is responsible for tooth decay, cavities and eventual tooth loss in a large number of cases. Hence flossing is important for proper dental care. However just flossing any which way is also not going to be helpful, hence one must know what is the correct way of flossing.  

Most people use a dental floss to do flossing. Dental floss is nothing but a cord made of filaments which are used to scrape the spaces between 2 teeth in order to clean that area. The dental cord can be made up of one or multiple filaments which may be waxed or non waxed. The single filament floss is better that multi filament floss because it less likely to get frayed when used. And waxed floss are more easier to move up and down the teeth. 

What is water flossing?     

Water flosser also known as oral irrigator is the method by which one uses a jet spray of water to clean the area between the teeth. So instead of scraping the teeth to remove plaque, water flossing uses the pressure of the water to massage the gums and remove the food from between the teeth. 

Advantages of water flossing 

Water flossing is a good flossing technique. Some of its advantages include the following – 

  1. It is easy to use. Some people find it difficult to floss their teeth using traditional flosses. Water flossing is good option for them. For dentists and dental hygienists all over the world traditional dental floss still remains the best possible way to floss. However water flossing can be handy for people who have braces on or people who have dental bridges.  
  1. The pressured water stream used in water flossing also massages the gums and increases blood flow thereby promoting gum health. 
  1. Some studies have found that water flosser has a better efficacy when it comes to reduction of plaque as compared to traditional flossing methods. 
  1. It has also been observed that in the cases where people use water flosser as compared to string floss there was a greater reduction in bleeding of gums and gum diseases.  
  1. Water flosser can reach the hard to reach areas which a dental string floss cannot even access. 

Disadvantages of water flossing 

  1. A water flosser required storage and needs electricity to run hence it can be considered a more cumbersome method to floss as compared to the traditional flossing methods. 
  1. A water flosser can be expensive as compared to string floss as very few people use it presently and hence its demand is low. 
  1. Because of its size it is not the most potable of things and not suitable if one is travelling. 
  1. It can be messier than a traditional method of flossing. 

How to use a water flosser? 

If you are thinking of using a water flosser and wondering how is it to be used? Here is a brief description of the same, 

  • Step 1 – Fill the water reservoir with warm water and reattach it to the base of the water flosser device. 
  • Step 2 – Plug in the machine and adjust the pressure control. Always start with low pressure and then move to higher pressure once you get adjusted to it. 
  • Step 3 – Since the technique uses water pressure to clean there is likely to be mess around so always use it over a sink. 
  • Step 4 – Lean into the sink. Put the device nozzle in your mouth and close your lips on top of it. 
  • Step 5 – Turn the device on and start by cleaning the back teeth. Move from back to front teeth for more effective cleaning. 
  • Step 6 – Aim the nozzle at the gum line and move  the jet stream from bottom to top to flush out the stuck food particles. 
  • Step 7 – Once a teeth gap is cleaned, pause and allow the water collected in the mouth to flow into the sink before moving on to the next. 
  • Step 8 – After the flossing is over, turn off the device, take out the tip and clean the device. 

Please note this is a general process of using a water flosser. Different products may have additional or different steps so always refer to the instruction manual before using it. 

We hope the information given in this blog would be good enough for you to understand the basics of water flossing and you may even consider using it. If you would like to know more call Ensure Dental Care (the family dentist near you) on 940-274-3229 to schedule an appointment. Ensure Dental Care is the one of the best family dental clinics at Saginaw Texas. We accept all major insurance providers. We also have in house payment plan. We have a very experienced team of dental practitioners and we look forward to serving you the best of our abilities.  

If you liked this blog share it with your family and friends. You can also follow us on Instagram for offers, deals and more fun stuff. Our Instagram handle is @ensuredentalcaresaginawtx. See you on Instagram soon. 

Healthy Gums

Healthy Gums

This dental hygiene month we turn our attention to one of the most neglected part in oral hygiene – gum care. How many of us are really aware of the importance of gum care and take active efforts to ensure healthy gums? If one is to believe statistics not many. According to ADA 47.2% adults over 30 years of age suffer from some form of gum disease. This is a huge number of people and one of the reasons people suffer from such severe gum disease is that there is hardly any awareness about how to keep gums healthy. With proper care it is possible to keep our gums healthy throughout our lives. If gums stay healthy there is a lesser risk of developing tooth decay and of course gum disease.  

Importance of healthy gums 

Research suggests that gum diseases are often precursors to more severe diseases and therefore having and maintaining good gum health is very important. Over many years of research it has now been revealed that having periodontal disease can up the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, dementia, respiratory disorders and even complications in pregnancies. And studies show severity of diabetes is interlinked with health of gums. If periodontal disease in a diabetic is treated it reduces the severity of his/ her diabetes. Gum disease is a major cause behind tooth loss.  Due to these reasons gum health becomes extremely important. 

What is gum disease and how does it happen? 

Gum disease is generally not detected by most people in the initial stages as it is mostly painless. One good news is that it is completely reversible when it is detected in its early stages. Gum disease starts with buildup of plaque. If you are a regular reader of our blogs you probably already know what plaque is. Plaque is the sticky film that develops over the teeth which is filled with bacteria. The bacteria consume the food stuck in our teeth and produce acid which can cause tooth decay. Plaque if not removed regularly hardens into what is known as tartar. Tartar build-up can spread to the gums, which makes it difficult to clean the teeth. The plaque can cause infections of the gum and the jaw bone. The earliest stage of gum disease mentioned above which is reversible is called gingivitis. If it remains untreated it can lead to a severe form of gum disease known as periodontal disease and as mentioned earlier it is periodontal disease which can be responsible for not only tooth decay but also tooth loss. Common symptoms of gum disease include – 

  1. Swollen gums 
  1. Red gums 
  1. Bleeding gums 
  1. Sensitive gums 
  1. Loose teeth 
  1. Consistent bad breath 
  1. Sensitive teeth 
  1. Receded gums 
  1. Pain while chewing 

How to take care of gums and keep them healthy? 

It is not a difficult thing to keep your gums healthy. All you need to do is – 

  1. Brush your teeth twice a day. While you do it make sure you remove any food particles stuck on or in between your teeth. Also it is important to use a fluoride toothpaste. The brush should be held at 45 degree angle to the teeth surface and teeth must cleaned with short gentle strokes. Do not be harsh on your teeth and do not brush hard. 
  1. Floss at least once a day. Flossing correctly will ensure that any plaque buildup in between your teeth as well as any food particles stuck there is removed.  
  1. Use a tongue cleaner to scrape and clean the tongue and rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash that prevents plaque formation. 
  1. Limit starchy, sugary and acidic food substances and drinks as well tobacco and cigarettes. Smoking weakens our immunity which ups the risk of gum infections and also reduces our ability to fight it. Smokers are four times more likely to develop periodontal diseases as compared to non smokers. 
  1. Eating a well balanced diet also plays an important role in good gum health. A diet which is fiber rich can reduce the pace of periodontal diseases. 
  1. Massage your gums with your fingers or a gum stimulator. Massaging the gums helps avoid gum disease and slows down its progression if already present. Massaging gums also increases the blood flow to the tissue thereby speeding up treatment of gum disease. Supplement your daily oral routine with a gum massage.  
  1. Last but not the least visit your dentist regularly. You must visit your dentist every 6 months. As mentioned earlier gum diseases are not easily detected because they are mostly painless in the initial stages hence only a dentist who is trained for this job will be able to detect it at the right time. Gum disease is reversible if detected at an early stage. Hence don’t avoid visiting your dentist. If however your gums are swollen or bleeding do not wait for your regular visit. Take an appointment now. And those who are already dealing with immune compromised diseases like AIDS etc must visit their dentist even more often. Periodontal disease increases with as one grows older. As per CDC 70.1% of adults 65 years and older have periodontal disease. Hence if you are in this age group or are pregnant or prone to gum diseases due to heredity you also must make more than the recommended once a year visit to the dentist. 

Hope this blog is an eye opener when it comes to gum health. If you would like to know more call Ensure Dental Care (the family dentist near you) on 940-274-3229 to schedule an appointment. Healthy gums mean healthy you. Ensure Dental Care is the one of the best family dental clinics at Saginaw Texas. We accept all major insurance providers. We also have in house payment plan. We have a very experienced team of dental practitioners and we look forward to serving you the best of our abilities.  

If you liked this blog share it with your family and friends. You can also follow us on Instagram for offers, deals and more fun stuff. Our Instagram handle is @ensuredentalcaresaginawtx. See you on Instagram soon. 

Invisalign vs Six Month Smiles

Invisalign vs Six Month Smiles

Crooked, misaligned, overcrowded teeth not only spoil the look of our smile but can also be a problem in chewing our food properly, our speech and cleaning them is also not easy. This last reason can effectively increase our risk of dental problems and make us more prone to oral diseases. So straightening our teeth or proper alignment of our teeth is not just about aesthetics, it is also about taking care of our oral and consequently our overall health.  

A lot of people are nowadays conscious and aware of these issues associated with misaligned teeth and like to get them straightened. Many may have missed out on getting braces as children either due to lack of awareness, expenses involved, because they did not like the sight of metallic braces or simply because they did not realize the impact misaligned teeth could have on their looks, self esteem and professional prospects. 

Advances in dentistry technology, better understanding of teeth and commercialization of dental products coupled with awareness about impact of dental health has led to increase in the number of people going in for straightening of their teeth. Also there are a large variety of brands and products one can choose from.  

When it comes to braces other than the traditional metallic braces one is most likely to hear of the following 2 products – 

  1. Invisalign and 
  1. Six Month Smiles 

Today we will compare and contrast these 2 in order to help people better understand the similarities and differences between the two and make better choices for themselves. 

Invisalign 

Invisalign is actually a brand name for clear aligners that are used for alignment of teeth. It is different from traditional braces in the methodology it uses to move the teeth. In metallic braces the metal brackets create the pressure to move teeth into their proper places while in invisalign clear aligners which are custom made are fitted tightly over the teeth which creates the pressure on teeth forcing them to move in place as desired. These aligners are removable and are changed every few weeks during the treatment process. 

Six month smiles 

This also is a brand which produces custom made – 

  1. Clear Braces – as the name suggests these are braces used to straighten teeth but unlike metal or ceramic braces they are clear i.e. they use clear brackets and tooth colored wires for better aesthetic look. 
  1. Aligners – Like Invisalign these are aligners which are clear or invisible. 

The company making invisalign was started in 1997 and six month smiles in 2006. However both are each other’s competitors in this space. Now before we compare the clear aligners from both these brands, it will important for us to distinguish between braces and aligners. 

Braces vs Aligners 

Braces consist of brackets held by wires which are affixed on our teeth. Wires are threaded through these brackets and they are held on to them with the help of rubber bands. It is the wires that keep pushing the teeth in the desired position gently. These are not removable. 

Aligners on the other hand are clear trays (like dentures) and fit directly over the teeth and are removable. Most aligners like invisalign and six month smiles are clear or invisible because they are made of materials that are transparent or very near the natural color of the teeth making them invisible and more aesthetically appealing to people. It is also easy to clean your teeth when you have aligners because they are removable. And one can eat whatever one wants with aligners unlike braces where they are some restrictions on what one can or cannot eat. 

Now that we have understood the differences between braces and aligners let us compare invisalign clear aligner and six month smiles clear aligner. 

There are more similarities between them than there are differences. Some of the major similarities are – 

  1. Both are pleasant to look at due to them being clear and invisible. 
  1. Treatment period for aligners is faster than metallic braces. 
  1. They are removable and hence one can eat what ones wishes to without worrying about food getting stuck in the bracket or wires. 
  1. Since they are removable one can easily maintain oral hygiene like brushing and flossing teeth unlike in metal braces which makes these basic activities very difficult. 
  1. They work best in cases of mild to severe cosmetic issues. 
  1. Both are preferred by adults and dentists also recommend them in simpler cases. 
  1. Both need to worn for 20 to 22 hours of the day for best results. 
  1. Even the cost of both six month smiles aligners and invisalign aligners is similar. 

The only major difference between invisalign and six month smiles aligners is – 

  1. Average treatment time claimed by six month smiles is well 6 months (although actual treatment time may vary from case to case) and for invisalign the average treatment time published is 1 year. There is another product called invisalign express which has been specially created to compete with the shorter treatment time of six month smiles.  

But if were to compare invisalign aligners and six month smiles clear braces there are many differences (as mentioned both aligners and braces are different products).  

Insurance companies generally consider Invisalign and Six Month Smiles treatments cosmetic, so they do not cover the treatment completely. There is a possibility that they consider covering part of the expenses but that depends on your insurance provider. 

In summary both invisalign and six month smiles aligners are more similar than different from each other. Both are effective products with excellent results. You can choose either of these for good results. 

If you would like to know more call Ensure Dental Care (the family dentist near you) on 940-274-3229 to schedule an appointment. Ensure Dental Care is the one of the best family dental clinics at Saginaw Texas. We accept all major insurance providers. We also have in house payment plan. We have a very experienced team of dental practitioners and we look forward to serving you the best of our abilities.  

If you liked this blog share it with your family and friends. You can also follow us on Instagram for offers, deals and more fun stuff. Our Instagram handle is @ensuredentalcaresaginawtx. See you on Instagram soon. 

Dental Hygiene

Dental Hygiene

Did you know that this month we are celebrating the Dental Hygiene Month? Dental Hygiene is a not an unfamiliar word for most of us. Today in this blog we will delve more on the importance of dental hygiene and what can happen if one does not take care of one’s teeth. 

What is dental hygiene?

Dental Hygiene in simple words is making sure your mouth, teeth and gums stay clean, healthy and disease free. Dental Hygiene is generally the most neglected of all health related things that people pursue. This is because they do not understand how vital dental hygiene is. Let us understand the importance of dental hygiene to appreciate it better.

What will happen if one does not care about dental hygiene?

The direct impact of not maintaining dental hygiene is obviously poor oral health. ADA recommends that you must brush twice a day and floss at least once a day. You must also visit your dentist once every 6 months to ensure good dental hygiene. But it has been found that almost 50% of Americans don’t floss daily and around 20% do not brush twice a day. Dental health is generally neglected and the result is dental plaque formation. Plaque is the sticky film that forms over your teeth when the food you eat especially the sugary stuff is not cleaned off the surface of the teeth. It then becomes the food of the bacteria in the mouth resulting in the formation of plaque. Plaque that stays on the teeth can harden into what is called the tartar. Tartar makes it difficult to remove the plaque.

  1. Cavities – Also called tooth decay and caries are the result of a combination of things like frequent snacking, consumption of sugary drinks and poor oral hygiene. The acids in plaque can erode the outer covering of the teeth called enamel leading to cavities.  This is the most common of all the dental problems found in kids, teenagers and adults.
  • Tooth loss – If cavities are not treated on time then it can lead to infection in the tooth, toothache and possible tooth loss.
  • Gum diseases – Due to the plaque buildup on your tooth because of the bacteria in the mouth there is a possibility of getting gum diseases. Swollen red gums or bleeding gums are signs of mild gum disease known as gingivitis. More than 50% of Americans suffer from gingivitis at some point or the other in their lives. Severe gum disease is called periodontitis.
  • Bad breath – One of the most common complaints of people with poor dental hygiene is bad breath. Although there can be many reasons behind it but poor dental hygiene is one of the most common. Food particles that get stuck in between the teeth start decaying causing bad breath. 

Not only this direct impact of poor dental hygiene is important but one must also be aware that oral health is deeply connected to one’s overall health. Oral health is linked to various diseases like –

  1. Heart related diseases – Research suggests that the inflammation caused by the oral bacteria is linked to clogged arteries and stroke. It has also been observed that these bacteria can cause infection in the inner lining of the heart chambers and valves.
  2. Low birth weight and premature delivery – It has been observed that there is some link between the presence of gum disease in the mother to the premature birth and low birth rate of the infant.
  3. Infection of the lungs – Bacteria of the mouth can even cause pneumonia and other lung infections if they get sucked into the respiratory system.
  4. Alzheimer’s disease – Research suggests there is a connection between the Alzheimer and gum inflammation.
  5. Pancreatic cancer – Harvard School of Public Health was the first to report that periodontitis (severe gum disease) is linked to pancreatic cancer.
  6. Chronic kidney diseases – People with severe gum disease are more likely to also suffer from severe kidney disease.

What can I do take care of my dental hygiene?

  1. Brush twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste – It has been seen the plaque can start damaging the teeth within 48 hours of formation so if you keep brushing frequently you can keep getting rid of the plaque before it can damage your teeth.
  2. Floss at least once a day to clean the areas that cannot be cleaned by the brush.
  3. Visit your dentist for checkups every 6 months – Despite following all measures of dental hygiene there is a possibility of getting dental problems and some conditions like milder gum disease appear at first to have no symptoms. A regular check up will ensure that a professional dentist will look at your teeth and gum health and arrest any problem at the earliest. Nowadays there are specialists available for dental hygiene. They are known as dental hygienists. Together with your dentist they are responsible for your oral health.

To know more about dental hygiene practices that you can follow we suggest you to read our blog 10 awesome tips to maintain dental hygiene.

We want to use this opportunity of the dental hygiene month to raise awareness about dental health and oral care amongst people in general. We hope this blog will make people realize the importance of dental hygiene and its impact on overall health. So make sure you start working on your oral health from today only. Make dental health and dental hygiene a priority.

If you have more queries you can always call Ensure Dental Care (the family dentist near you) on 940-274-3229 for more information or to schedule an appointment. Ensure Dental Care is the one of the best family dental clinics at Saginaw Texas. We accept all major insurance providers. We also have in house payment plan. We have a very experienced team of dental practitioners and we look forward to serving you the best of our abilities.

If you liked this blog share it with your family and friends. You can also follow us on Instagram for offers, deals and more fun stuff. Our Instagram handle is @ensuredentalcaresaginawtx. See you on Instagram soon.

Deep cleaning vs regular cleaning of teeth

Deep cleaning vs regular cleaning of teeth

All of us brush and floss our teeth regularly and despite that there is a buildup of plaque and tartar on our teeth because of our eating or drinking habits. This requires us to go to the dentist for a regular cleaning. Dentists recommend regular dental cleanings at least once or twice a year for everyone. But then there are some people who are advised to go for a deep cleaning. So if you are wondering what is the difference between regular and deep dental cleaning you have come to the right place. Let us understand what happens during a regular and deep dental cleaning. Before that let us see why we need dental cleaning in the first place.

Why do we need dental cleaning?

The bacteria in our mouth are constantly creating plaque which is a sticky film that covers the teeth which normally can be brushed and flossed away. However the plaque which has not been gotten rid off can harden into what is known as tartar. This tartar can now only be removed via a dental cleaning done by a professional and cannot be gotten rid off by just brushing and flossing at home. Tartar needs to be removed because if it remains on the teeth it can cause inflammation of the gums also called gingivitis which can further worsen into serious gum disease. Severe gum disease or periodontitis can lead to loss of teeth. Hence professional cleaning of our teeth is very important.

Regular Dental Cleaning

Most dental cleanings are performed by a dental hygienist. He/ She will first do a physical examination of your teeth to see the extent of problem. If no major issues are detected then they will proceed with the cleaning of the teeth.

They will then scrape your teeth above the gum line and between your teeth to remove any plaque or tartar using an instrument called as scaler.

Once all tartar is removed then the teeth are brushed using a grainy toothpaste which can compared to scrubbing your face.

The teeth are then flossed and the mouth rinsed after the whole process is complete.

This is then followed by the fluoride treatment to protect the teeth and gums from cavities. It involves application of  a gel and a fluoride varnish on the teeth.

The time generally taken to complete this is a couple of hours but the actual time will depend on the amount of tartar on your teeth.

All of us are recommended to go for these regular cleanings but not all are recommended what is known as deep cleaning.

Deep Dental Cleaning

Some people suffer from bleeding gums, loose teeth or receding gums due to onset of a gum disease or there are chances that the tartar on their teeth has hardened because they did not go for regular dental cleanings. Such people often get recommended a deep dental cleaning by the dentist. Deep dental cleaning is also known as root planing or periodontal scaling.

The deep dental cleaning process is a long process and unlike regular dental cleaning may need more than 1 or 2 visits to the dentist depending on the severity of the situation.

This process may also require the use of anesthesia again depending on how severe is the issue.

Just like regular dental cleaning the first step in the deep dental cleaning is scraping of the plaque and tartar from the teeth, gum line and between the teeth with or without numbing the area.

This is then followed by what is called root planing in which the dentist will smoothen the roots of the teeth to help them better attach to the gums. This is done using a tool called as scaling tool. Scaling is nowadays done even by laser and other ultrasonic devices.

Depending on the situation the dentist may either inject or administer medication into your gums or he/ she may prescribe you antibiotics.

This procedure is followed by polishing the teeth with gritty toothpaste, flossing and the fluoride treatment just like in the regular dental cleaning process.

One of the major fallout of deep dental cleaning is that your teeth may become sensitive for a week to ten day and your mouth may pain for a few days. It is also possible for gums to become tender and bleed for a few days post the deep cleaning procedure. Other rare risks include nerve damage, gums not reattaching to teeth leading to gums receding more than before.

There are generally follow up visits needed at regular intervals to ensure that your gums have healed in the way expected.

If the healing is not as planned another deep cleaning session or a surgery may be advised. Surgery will allow the dentist to get to the hard to reach areas of the teeth and remove the plaque and tartar.

There are several benefits of deep dental cleaning process and these include the following –

  1. It stops the advancement of gum disease.
  2. Treats existing gum diseases and helps healing of the teeth.
  3. Helps protect the roots of the teeth besides cleaning them.

Both regular and deep dental cleanings are low risk procedures and very important to keep dental diseases especially gum diseases at bay. Most of these procedures are generally covered by the dental insurance and are not a burden on your pocket. Oral hygiene is critical to good dental and overall health.

Hope this blog has been able to bring out the major differences between a regular dental cleaning and a deep dental cleaning. You may still have queries regarding these two processes.

So we recommend that if you have more queries you can always call Ensure Dental Care (the family dentist near you) on 940-274-3229 for more information or to schedule an appointment. Ensure Dental Care is the one of the best family dental clinics at Saginaw Texas. We accept all major insurance providers. We also have in house payment plan. We have a very experienced team of dental practitioners and we look forward to serving you the best of our abilities.

If you liked this blog share it with your family and friends. You can also follow us on Instagram for offers, deals and more fun stuff. Our Instagram handle is @ensuredentalcaresaginawtx. See you on Instagram soon.