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Dental 4 Less – Baby Dental Care Starts With Mom

It’s important to understand that your baby’s dental care starts with your healthy pregnancy. Baby teeth form before birth, and your diet and oral health are key factors. Your doctor’s advice on a balanced, nutritious diet and adequate vitamins and minerals is crucial. Don’t avoid your dentist; unfortunately, many pregnant women do. However, it’s safe to see a dentist during pregnancy, and it’s actually essential. Despite the increased risk of gum disease, pregnant women can maintain their oral health by visiting their dentist regularly, without any harm to their baby.

Dental 4 Less – Stay Away From Sticky, Sugary Candy 

Food texture can cause problems with teeth. Sticky substances seem to find their way between teeth and along gum lines. The bacteria in your mouth interact with the sugars to weaken tooth enamel. Therefore, avoid candies such as toffee and anything gummy (such as gummy bears). If you do eat this type of treat, be extra diligent with your flossing and brushing afterward.

Dental Hazard of Drinking Coffee and Tea – Dental 4 Less

Although one of America’s favorite morning and afternoon beverages may be coffee and tea, they have compounds called tannins, which can cause unsightly stains and discoloring of your teeth. Therefore, to avoid staining your teeth, limit the amount of coffee and tea you drink throughout the day. If you drink coffee and tea, do so with a straw to limit contact with your teeth. Avoid slowly drinking these types of drinks. It can be fun to hang out at the local coffee house and buy one cup of coffee during your hour or more stay, but it could be more fun for your teeth if you don’t baby your drink or at least drink through a straw.

Dr Dental – Tooth Decay

What is Tooth Decay? Tooth decay is the destruction of a tooth’s outer surface from acid-forming bacteria produced by food containing carbohydrates (sugars and starches). Tooth Decay Prevention: Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Preferably, brush after each meal and before bedtime to help prevent bacteria from staying on your teeth for a certain length. Consider these helpful tips: Floss your teeth daily to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Check with your dentist about using supplemental fluoride, which strengthens your teeth and helps prevent tooth decay. Consider dental sealants; sealants are placed on the top of the molars to protect the teeth from decay. Use mouthwashes with fluoride. Many kill 50% or more of the bacteria that cause tooth decay. Chewing gum with the ingredient Xylitol © may also kill some of the bacteria that cause tooth decay.

Affordable family dental insurance that will not make you pay upfront for dental services.  

Question: I need to find a family dental plan where we can all go to the dentist whenever we need to and pay the dental office bills after the dental insurance company pays their part before making us pay our share of the cost.

In the past, we had plans to pay the dentist upfront for the total cost of our dental services and wait for the insurance company to refund us. In this day and age, who can afford to do that? I know we can not. 

Those types of dental insurance plans keep us from going to the dentist, and at that point, I do not see paying $120 a month for a dental insurance plan we do not even use because we can not pay upfront for dental services. What options are left for us that would be more affordable?

Reply: Welcome! I hope you are doing well today. I want to discuss dental insurance plans and how claims are processed. I can understand why the claims process can be upsetting, particularly regarding how claims are paid. Let me assure you that you are not alone. Many people have questions about dental insurance plans and how they work.

Based on what you have told me, you have either a dental PPO or an Indemnity dental insurance plan. If you like the plan benefits and coverages overall and it is just about how claims are paid, consider talking to your dentist. With dental PPO and Indemnity plans, the payment process and how the dentist gets paid is really up to the dental office. It does not typically come from your insurance company.

The dentist can choose to submit the claim and get paid by the insurance company before billing out any remaining balances to their patient. In the past, many dental offices processed claims that way. However, sadly, many patients would fail to pay their part, and then the dentist’s office would have to chase them down for payment. This is why many dental offices have started billing their patients in full and making them file claims to the insurance company to get paid back (refunded) the part due them.

Some dental offices charge you what they think your part of the cost would be based on your policy coverages, then bill or credit you depending on the outcome. However, few dentists still do this, as it can still be an issue of fully getting paid for services already rendered.

Based on what we have discussed, it is not an issue with the insurance plan per se but more of knowing how your dentist is willing to file claims and how they expect you to pay for services. Therefore, if you are still facing issues with your dental insurance plan, you may need to change your dental office, not your dental insurance plan. I hope this information was helpful to you. If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

Dental 4 Less – Gum Health

California Oral health care, Red and sore gums

I recently noticed that my gums have been hurting slightly and seem redder than usual. I brush twice a day and floss almost every day. They do not bleed when I am doing that but they just kind of hurt when I do. Could I have gum disease?

Reply: Some of the start signs of gingivitis (gum disease) would include but are not limited to, Swollen or puffy gums, Dusky red or dark red gums, and tender gums. I suggest visiting your dentist as soon as possible, so if you have the start of gingivitis, your dentist can treat it before it becomes a more significant issue. Consider buying dental insurance if you do not have any current, as it will help to keep your dental care cost more affordable.

Posted on Mar. 26th 2024, by Gina, in Dental Care, Dental help, Dental Oral Health, Gingivitis, Gum Pain, No Comments »

Dental 4 Less, What Are The Warning Signs of Dry Socket

I had my wisdom teeth pulled two days ago and now the extraction sites really hurting me more then before. Is this a sign of dry socket?

Reply: You will want to look at the site where the tooth was extracted. If you have dry socket you will probably notice a dry looking opening. Instead of a dark blood clot you will notice there will just be whitish bone. The pain typically starts about two days after the tooth was pulled. Over time it becomes more severe and can radiate to your ear. Additional symptoms of dry socket include bad breath and an unpleasant smell and taste in your mouth. If you are noticing these symptoms you should consult with your dentist right away.

Posted on Nov. 15th 2017, by Dental, in Dental Oral Health, No Comments »

Dental 4 Less, Teeth Whiting, The Good and Bad of Baking Soda

When you do not have your teeth as white as you may like but can not afford whitening treatment many people turn to baking soda as a home home remedy. However there are good and bads to baking soda being use to white your teeth which should be consider before using.


* Cost: One of the main driving factor is that baking soda is the poor man way to whiten teeth. Since baking soda can be bough for under five dollars.

* Baking soda is also a mild abrasive, and that is why it is so effective for removing surface stains from your teeth.

* As a bonus, baking soda has been found to neutralize bacterial acids and other components that cause bad breath.


* Baking soda does not whiten your tooth color it only helps to remove surface stains from your teeth.

* It is also believed that baking soda can erode orthodontic glue and fasteners for bridges.

* The most notable mark in the negative column for baking soda as a tooth whitening product is that it is highly abrasive. Teeth are rather delicate and can be easily damaged by products like this.

Posted on Nov. 9th 2017, by Dental, in Dental Oral Health, No Comments »

Dental 4 Less, Dental Insurance

Because dental insurance is usually acquired as part of a job benefit package, most persons lose their dental insurance coverage when they retire. In some states, Medicaid provides limited dental coverage for routine dental care for low income and disabled elderly persons. Medicare, on the other hand, does not cover routine dental care for older adults, but provides a few, very limited services considered to be “medically necessary.” With only 22 percent of the adults 65 years and older covered by private dental insurance in 1995, most dental care expenses for the elderly were paid out of pocket.

This website offers affordable low cost dental insurance that will greatly help with dental care cost. Take a moment to review our dental insurance plan options and call member services if you should have any questions at 310-534-3444 M-F 8-5. We are always happy to help you with any of our dental insurance plan options.

Posted on Oct. 21st 2017, by Dental, in Dental Oral Health, No Comments »

Dental 4 Less, Seniors Dental Care and the Increase Risk of Oral Cancer

Oral cancer, which includes lip, oral cavity, and pharynx cancer, is a particular concern for persons 65 years of age and older, because they are seven times more likely to be diagnosed with oral cancer than persons under age 65. In 1997, 4,775 people 65 years and older died as a result of oral cancer. More older adults died from oral cancer than from skin cancer (3,978) As with other cancers, survival improves when the cancer is diagnosed at an early stage rather than at a later, more advanced stage. Because patients with an early stage of oral cancer rarely have pain or other symptoms, detecting an early oral cancer is primarily dependent upon the clinician providing a comprehensive oral cancer examination.

Posted on Oct. 19th 2017, by Dental, in Dental Oral Health, No Comments »

Dental 4 Less, Medications and Oral Health

Due to that chronic diseases are so prevalent among older adults, many seniors take multiple prescriptions and over-the-counter medications. Therefore it is not unusual for at least one of these medications to have a side effect that is detrimental to their oral health. For example, antihistamines, diuretics, antipsychotics, and antidepressants can reduce salivary flow which can result in dry mouth.

Dry mouth is one of the most common side effects of both prescription and over-the-counter medications. Having a dry mouth can cause difficulty chewing, speaking, and swallowing. It also increases the risk of developing cavities and soft tissue problems. Dry mouth may also decrease the ability to wear dentures

Posted on Oct. 9th 2017, by Dental, in Dental Oral Health, No Comments »

Dental 4 Less, Review confirms link between drug use and poor dental health

A new review published online today in the scientific journal Addiction has found that dental patients with substance use disorders have more tooth decay and periodontal disease than the general population, but are less likely to receive dental care. With drug use increasing by approximately three million new users each year, this is a problem that won’t disappear anytime soon.

Posted on Aug. 11th 2017, by Dental, in Dental Oral Health, Individual Dental Insurance Plans, No Comments »

Dental 4 Less, Anterior Teeth

When reviewing dental insurance plan you may note that some dental services refer to Anterior teeth. Anterior teeth are the front teeth. The six upper and six lower teeth in your mouth.

Posted on Aug. 9th 2017, by Dental, in Dental Oral Health, No Comments »

Dental 4 Less, Health Teeth and Gums

Question: I brush my teeth with a hard bristle brush so that I get my teeth clean but then when I do my gums bleed. I brush hard because I tend to have bad breath and I want to make sure that my breath dose not stink. What can I do to have healthy teeth and gums?

Answer: You may be brushing too hard. Changing to a soft bristle may help you. You also may want to look into getting products that have gum care included. You can find this in tooth paste as well as mouth wash.

As for your bad breath. It could be caused by the foods you are eating. Some foods will just cause you to have bad breath even though you are brushing and taking good care of your teeth. Try looking into that and see if that makes sense for you.

Also I would suggest talking to your dentist about your dental care habits. Your dental can go over them with you to make sure you are taking proper care of your dental health. They can also check to see if there are any dental issues (such as tooth decay) going on that is causing you to have bad breath.

Posted on May. 11th 2017, by Dental, in Dental Oral Health, No Comments »

Dental 4 Less, Dental Care and Seeing a Dentist

Question: I never been to the dentist. My mom says they will hurt me if they did a cleaning. I feel I should go to the dentist but I do not want to be hurt by one and my mom dose not seem to want to take me to one.

Answer: Normally it dose not hurt just to have a basic cleaning done. Since you never had a cleaning done by a dentist before it may hurt you a little. Yet what the bigger issue is that by not going to the dentist you may need more then just a general cleaning. Should you go to a dentist? Yes. However, maybe there other factors that your mom must deal with that makes it so that she can not for whatever reason take you to a dentist. With that being said you can either wait until you are 18 and pay for the dentist yourself, and in the mean time take extra care of your brushing and dental hygiene. Or you may want to speak to your mom one more time. Explain to her that you would really like to be able to go to the dentist. However try to understand if she still will not take you. You are not in her shoes to know her full reasons.

Posted on May. 5th 2017, by Dental, in Dental Oral Health, No Comments »

Dental 4 Less, Chewing and Dental Health

Question: I do chew daily, I am wanting to stop but until I do if I brush often will that help prevent dental health issues?

Answer: The side effects of chewing tobacco are numerous, but since we are talking about your teeth here are the side effects related to just your mouth.

1) Stained teeth
2) Bad breath
3) Sores on the gums and in the mouth that are stubborn to heal
4) Some of the effects on dental health are escalated by the sugar that is added to the tobacco during processing to improve the taste.
5) Risk of developing oral cancer

It is a good idea to stop chewing as soon as possible brushing your teeth is important but when chewing you are still increasing your risks for dental health issues.

Posted on Apr. 27th 2017, by Dental, in Dental Oral Health, No Comments »

Dental 4 Less, Are you telling the whole truth to your dentist?

According to a recent survey, it reveals that more than a quarter of us admit to lying to our dentist about our flossing and dental care habits. The study reveals that 27 per cent of us lie to our dentists on a regular basis, telling them that we floss every day. Astonishingly the findings also show that 14 per cent find cleaning the toilet more appealing than flossing every day.

Posted on Mar. 25th 2017, by Dental, in Dental Oral Health, No Comments »

Dental 4 Less, Oral Cancer Screen, What You Can Expect.

When you go to your dentist and he/she dose an oral cancer screening exam, your dentist will look over the inside of your mouth to check for red or white patches or mouth sores. Using gloved hands, your dentist will also feels the tissues in your mouth to check for lumps or other abnormalities.

If your dentist spot any lumps or other abnormalities they may use special tests in addition to the oral exam to screen for oral cancer. It is not clear if these tests offer any additional benefit over the oral exam. Special oral cancer screening tests may involve:

* Rinsing your mouth with a special blue dye before an exam. Abnormal cells in your mouth may take up the dye and appear blue.
* Shining a light in your mouth during an exam. The light makes healthy tissue appear dark and makes abnormal tissue appear white.

Posted on Feb. 27th 2017, by Dental, in Dental Oral Health, No Comments »

Oral cancer screening can not detect all mouth cancers.

It is important to know that oral cancer screening can not detect all mouth cancers. It can be difficult to detect areas of abnormal cells just by looking at your mouth, so it is possible that a small cancer or precancerous lesion could still go undetected.

Posted on Feb. 25th 2017, by Dental, in Dental Oral Health, No Comments »

Dental 4 Less, Why Have An Oral Cancer Screening.

The goal of oral cancer screening is to detect mouth cancer or precancerous lesions that may lead to mouth cancer at an early stage. When cancer or lesions are found at the early stage they are easier to remove and have a larger chance of being cured.  Although no studies have proven that oral cancer screening saves lives,  Some groups agree about the benefits of an oral exam for oral cancer screening where as other do not.  Yet people with a high risk of oral cancer may be more likely to benefit from oral cancer screening. Risk factors that can increase your risk of oral cancer include:

* Tobacco use of any kind, including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco and snuff, among others
* Heavy alcohol use
* Previous oral cancer diagnosis
* History of significant sun exposure, which increases the risk of lip cancer

Ask your dentist whether oral cancer screening is appropriate for you.

Posted on Feb. 23rd 2017, by Dental, in Dental Oral Health, No Comments »

Dental 4 Less, How is Mouth/Oral Cancer Diagnosed?

A GP (general practitioner, primary care physician) will carry out a physical examination and ask the patient questions about his/her symptoms. If oral cancer is suspected the patient will be referred to either an oncologist or an ENT (ear, nose and throat) specialist. An oncologist is a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating cancers. ENT specialists are also known as Otolaryngologists.

  • Biopsy – the doctor may take a small sample of tissue to see if there are cancerous cells. In most cases the patient will be under general anesthetic. In some instances, just a local anesthetic is used, especially if the biopsy involves taking a sample from the surface of the tissue (fine needle aspiration biopsy).

As soon as mouth cancer is diagnosed the doctor will determine the extent (stage) of the cancer. Tests to help staging may include:

  • Endoscopy – the doctor passes a lighted scope down the patient’s throat to see whether the cancer has spread beyond the mouth.
  •  Imaging tests – the following tests may help the doctor determine whether the cancer has spread:
  •  X-rays
  • Computerized tomography (CT) scans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans
  • PET (positron emission tomography) scans

Staging the cancer (identifying its stage) provides a universally understood definition of a particular cancer’s progress. It helps in the planning of treatment protocol for that particular cancer, helps in determining prognosis (predicting likely outcomes), and also allows accurate end-results reporting.

Posted on Feb. 21st 2017, by Dental, in Dental Oral Health, No Comments »

Dental 4 Less, Oral Caner Screening

Most dentists perform an examination of your mouth during a routine dental visit to screen for oral cancer. Oral cancer screening is an examination performed by a dentist to look for signs of cancer or precancerous conditions in your mouth. The main goal of oral cancer screening at your dental check up, is to identify mouth cancer early, when there is a greater chance for a cure. To do this some dentists may use additional tests to aid in identifying areas of abnormal cells in your mouth.

Although medical organizations have disagree on whether healthy people without risk factors for mouth cancer really need oral cancer screening. No single oral exam or oral cancer screening test is proved to reduce the risk of dying of oral cancer. However, you and your dentist may decide that an oral exam or a special test is right for you based on your own risk factors.

Posted on Feb. 19th 2017, by Dental, in Dental Oral Health, No Comments »

Dental 4 Less, Some of the Risk Factors For Mouth Cancer

What is a “risk factor”, a risk factor is anything that increases that likelihood of developing a disease or condition. Such as, regular smoking increases your risks of developing lung cancer, therefore smoking is a risk factor for lung cancer. The risk factors for mouth cancer include:

* Smoking: Studies indicate that smokers have a risk five times great than a lifetime non-smoker of developing oral cancer.

* Chewing tobacco.

* Both heavy and regular alcohol consumption:  Somebody who consumes an average of 30 pints of beer per week has a risk five times greater than a teetotaler or somebody who drinks moderately.

* Heavy smoking combined with heavy drinking:  As tobacco and alcohol have a synergistic effect (their combined effect is greater than each one added together separately), people who drink and also smoke a lot have a significantly higher risk of developing oral cancer compared to others. Somebody who smokes 40 cigarettes per day AND consumes an average of 30 pints of beer a week is 38 times more likely to develop oral cancer compared to other people.

* Too much sun exposure on the lips, as well as sunlamps or sunbeds.

* Diet: People who consume lots of red meat, processed meat and fried foods are more likely to develop oral cancer than others.

* GERD(gastro-esophageal reflux disease): People with this digestive condition where acid from the stomach leaks back up through the gullet (esophagus) have a higher risk of oral cancer.

* HPV (human papillomavirus) infection.


Posted on Feb. 17th 2017, by Dental, in Dental Oral Health, No Comments »

Dental 4 Less, Warning Signs and Symptoms of Oral Cancer

Oral cancer for many people have no detectable symptoms during the early stages. However smokers, heavy drinkers and people with a family history of oral cancer should have regular checkups at the dentists, that because dentists are often able to identify signs of oral cancer. Below is a list of signs and symptoms to be mindful of:

* Patches on the lining of the mouth or tongue, usually red or red and white in color.
* Mouth ulcers that do not go away.
* A sore that does not heal.
* A swelling in the mouth that persists for over three weeks.
* A lump or thickening of the skin or lining of the mouth.
* Pain when swallowing.
* Loosening teeth (tooth) for no clear reason.
* Jaw pain.
* Jaw stiffness.
* Sore throat.
* A sensation that something is stuck in your throat.
* Painful tongue.
* A hoarse voice.
* Pain in the neck that does not go away.

If you have some of these symptoms you should see our doctor as soon as possible. Note that there are many other conditions and diseases with similar symptoms.

Posted on Feb. 15th 2017, by Dental, in Dental Oral Health, No Comments »
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