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Don’t Lose Your Benefits


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You Could be Losing Your Dental Benefits. Schedule a Visit by Year’s End

There are only a couple of weeks left until 2018 rolls around. Did you know that the end of the year is one of the most important times to take advantage of your dental insurance benefits? If you’re wondering why, it’s because you lose all of them once the clock strikes midnight on January 1st. Yes, you read that correctly. Come New Years’ Day, all of the benefits you qualify for in 2017 go away.

 

Benefits Reset on New Years’ Day

Whatever dental benefits you have under your insurance plan, most policies expire on December 31st. You can’t “roll over” anything that’s left over from 2017 to 2018, even if you didn’t use them all up. Your annual benefits are just that…annual.

Even if you didn’t go to the dentist at all, each of those monthly premiums you’ve been paying have gone into your benefits account. You’ve basically already paid for the checkup visits that you haven’t made. While it would make sense to you to have that money roll into 2018, your insurance company counts on it to expire, so that they can make a profit. They are a business, after all.

Playing the “insurance game” the right way can help you maximize your investment, keep your teeth healthy, and reduce your cost of dental treatments when tooth decay or gum disease pop up unexpectedly.

 

Have You Reached Your Maximum Allowable? Your Deductible?

Every new year, the first treatment you schedule will mean that you’ll need to reach your deductible. That’s the dollar amount you pay out of pocket before your dental insurance kick in. Dental deductibles are usually lower than medical deductibles, typically around two or three hundred dollars or so.

After your deductible is paid, there’s another set amount of insurance funds you’re entitled to, called the “maximum allowable”. On average, this amount is about $1,500 for Anchorage patients. If you’re only scheduling a couple of cleanings a year or a filling here and there, you’re probably not using up even half of your benefits.

 

Reduce the Cost of Your Dental Treatment

Here’s where the math comes in. Big treatments like root canals, crowns, etc. can often be spread out over the end of 2017 and into 2018, giving you access to two “maximum allowable” amounts in a row. Scheduling the treatments now mean you can take advantage of the benefits still sitting in your insurance account, rather than throwing them away and re-setting on New Years’ Day with everyone else. Book half of your treatment now, and the other half at the beginning of 2018!

If you have active dental disease, now is the time to treat it. December appointments can help save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in dental care, as opposed to delaying them into the next year. Not only that, but untreated oral health conditions usually worsen, becoming more expensive and extensive to treat.

 

Schedule Your Dental Appointment in South Anchorage Today

At South Anchorage Dental, Dr. Brimhall does everything possible to help you reduce the amount of out of pocket costs you spend on your dental care. We have a few more openings for exams and treatments through the end of 2017, but it’s important that you call right away. These spots usually fill up very quickly.

New patients are always welcome! Contact our Anchorage dentist today for your next emergency, dental filling, or checkup!


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Five Reasons to Consider Sedation Dentistry for Your Next Appointment


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Does the thought of visiting your family dentist make you feel a little nervous? Do your palms start to sweat as soon as you sit down in the dental chair? Maybe you haven’t gone to the dentist in years, even though you know you need to. At South Anchorage Dental Center, we take added steps to ensure that your visit is an enjoyable experience. Whether you suffer from severe dental phobia or just have a mild aversion to letting someone work on your teeth, we have five reasons why you should consider requesting sedation during your next procedure.

 

  1. It Goes by Faster

Sedation dentistry helps you relax, which means you’re more comfortable from start to finish. Because our South Anchorage dentist puts so much effort into keeping you comfortable, it impacts the length of your appointment. Knowing that you’re at ease from the very beginning means that Dr. Brimhall can work more efficiently, completing the procedure in less time.

 

  1. You Won’t Mind as Much

The best part about having sedation during your dental treatment is that you just won’t care as much about what’s going on. Depending on the type of sedative or medication that we use, you’ll feel light hearted or sleepy. Some people experience amnesia with certain sleep dentistry medications, making them forget everything altogether. If you feel like you worry about the treatment before it even starts, then choosing an anxiety-free sedation option is an obvious choice.

 

  1. Take Care of Everything at Once

Looking to have same day dental implants? Do you need a root canal? What about those three cavities that you keep putting off? Instead of scheduling three, four, or five different appointments, why not nap through the entire thing and have them done at once? Sedation dentistry keeps you comfortable, so that multiple procedures can be performed in one longer appointment.

  1. Save Money by Staying Ahead of Dental Problems

When your smile is healthy, it’s easier to maintain. Thanks to sedation and your ability to treat ongoing dental problems, you won’t have to worry about them getting bigger or spreading to other teeth. It’s like you get a second chance to have a cavity-free smile. With great preventive care (thanks to routine checkups and cleanings) you can keep new decay and gum disease at bay.

 

  1. It Will Change Your Perspective

A lot of our sedation dentistry patients find that their experience is such a positive one, that they don’t even need anti-anxiety medication during their next visit. Our compassionate Anchorage family dentist treats you just like family, so that you don’t have to feel nervous about taking care of your smile’s needs.

 

Types of Dental Treatments When Sedation is Used

You can request dental sedation at any time. Whether you need to have a tooth extracted, implant placed, or just get a small filling, this option is available upon request. Be sure to bring a list of your current medications and discuss any underlying health concerns with us first, so that we can make sure you’re a candidate.

We have something for everyone. If you’re in pain and need emergency care, or are finally ready to schedule that next filling, we invite you to give us a call. Our South Anchorage dentist is currently accepting new patients. 0% financing plans are available!

 


Call Us With Your Sedation Dentistry Questions & Book an Appt.

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8 Effective Ways to Beat Bad Breath


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8 Effective Ways To Beat Bad Breath

 

Bad breath is something that everyone has experienced, and obviously no one ever really wants to have it on a frequent basis. That’s why it’s important to learn simple and efficient ways to get rid of it. Whether you’re suffering from this common condition or you want to prevent from having it, make sure to try these simple steps to have a clean and healthy oral health.

1. Brush and floss

Every time we eat and drink, plaque builds up in our teeth. The plaque then collects bacteria that causes bad breath. That’s why it’s best to brush immediately after you eat.

Food trapped in between our teeth can also cause bad breath. Make sure to floss at least once a day; however, don’t overdo flossing and brushing to avoid wearing down your teeth which can make it susceptible to decay.

2. Scrape your tongue

Yes, your tongue also plays a significant role in ensuring tip-top oral health. Your tongue’s coating can be a rich environment for smelly bacteria. After brushing your teeth, make sure to brush your tongue gently.

If you’re uncomfortable brushing your tongue, you can also use a scraper. These are designed to clean your tongue and remove the bacteria and even dead cells which cannot easily be removed by brushing.

3. Don’t forget to rinse your mouth

Simply rinsing your mouth can also go a long way. Rinse with your mouthwash to freshen your breath and get rid of bacteria. It’s important that your mouthwash gives you more than just fresh breath. This means that it doesn’t only get rid the smell, but it also effectively cleans and protects your mouth.

4. Chew sugarless gum instead of mints

Remember that sugar is bacteria’s best friend. They love sugar and use it to make acid which is what deteriorates your teeth. So make sure to drop the mints and replace it with sugarless gum.

Gum is also the best option because it stimulates the saliva. For those who don’t know, saliva is our mouth’s natural defense mechanism against plaque acids.

5. Make sure your gums are healthy, too.

I know you’ve heard a lot about gum disease; however, this doesn’t only harm our gums, it can also cause bad breath. How? Bacteria can also live in our gum pockets that house the base of our teeth. These bacteria then create bad odor that causes bad breath.

This is why you shouldn’t skip your dental appointment. If you have gum disease, you need to see a Periodontist to treat it.

6. Stop smoking.

We all know that smoking is dangerous to our health. However, aside from gum damage and teeth stain, tobacco smoking also causes bad breath. Yikes!

If you need help quitting, see a doctor immediately.

7. Avoid food that can stink your breath.

The most common food culprits for bad breath are garlic and onion. And have you noticed that you can’t get rid of the smell even after brushing?

It’s because their smell makes its way into our bloodstream and travels to our lungs. That’s why brushing doesn’t help because the smell comes from our breath and not from our mouth.

8.  Moisten your mouth.

Remember that saliva is an important part of our mouth’s defense mechanism. If you’re dehydrated or suffer from dry mouth, you’re more prone to bad breath. The fix? Stay hydrated by drinking at least eight glasses of water a day.


Make sure to follow these steps and, of course, make sure to visit your dentist regularly.

Here at South Anchorage Dental Center, we provide the highest quality dental services and only use the most advanced techniques that are available. We would be happy to answer any questions you might have at >>> 907-248-7275

 

7 Secrets To Achieve Whiter Teeth Safely


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They say that you’re never fully dressed without a smile and what’s the best way to do it than have a bright set of teeth. Unfortunately, the majority of us really can’t maintain our teeth’s luster because of stains from what we drink, eat, and the mouthwash products that we use. That’s why many patients ask about simple steps in restoring their bright and white smile. That’s why we’ve come up with these simple steps you can start implementing right now.

1. Whitening toothpastes

Let’s start with the basics. Whitening toothpastes can be bought over-the-counter and can easily be used at home. Although all toothpastes have abrasive actions and polishing, whitening toothpastes have additional polishing chemicals. There are also whitening rinses that can help reduce the surface stains on your teeth.

2. Stop or avoid smoking

We all know that smoking a cigarette is dangerous to our health and to the people around us too. Everyone should also be aware that smoking tobacco can stain your teeth. It leaves a brown stain that penetrates the enamel of the tooth.

Avoid this pitfall especially because tobacco stains are hard to remove from brushing alone. The longer you’ve been smoking, the deeper the stains left on your teeth.

3. Drink wisely

And no, we’re not just talking about beer here. This also includes coffee, wine, and tea. Remember that anything that can stain a white cloth can stain your teeth. It may not be immediately visible, but the stain can grow noticeable over time.

So for the coffee lovers, take your coffee during your break. Avoid sipping it the entire day because this can cause more stains. For wine drinkers, make sure to drink a glass or two without swirling the wine.

4. DIY teeth whitening

If you’re up for it, you can also try using home kits for teeth stain removal. However, don’t get your hopes too high as these only lighten and not remove stains from the teeth. There are also kits available that don’t just remove stains but can also change your natural color of your teeth. These products contain mild bleach. Some are available in gel types.

5. Teeth maintenance

You can also achieve a whiter smile by making sure that you brush your teeth regularly. Brushing at least twice a day or after every meal helps in preventing teeth stains.

Traditional brushes are great, but you can also use an electric toothbrush to easily remove stains on the surface of your teeth and plaque. Don’t forget to floss too.

White teeth are great, but healthy teeth are even better.

6. Teeth whitening by your dentist

There are different approaches in teeth whitening. If you have crowns, fillings, bondings, and the likes, then it’s best to visit your dentist.

Professional teeth whitening are popular nowadays especially to those who are not into DIYs. Here at South Anchorage Dental Center, we offer in-house laser whitening that usually takes about an hour.  

7. See your dentist

Last but not the least, schedule regular appointments and check-ups. Remember that expert advice is important especially if you have specific concerns. One day at the dentist couldn’t hurt. Especially if it gives you a healthier whiter smile, right?

What are your DIY teeth whitening hacks? We’d love to hear them. If you want to know more about teeth whitening, we’re just a phone call away!

 

Do You Really Need to Floss?


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Do You Really Need To Floss?

You don’t have to floss all of your teeth. Just the ones you want to keep.”

Most people follow the recommendation of brushing their teeth twice a day, but only a few follow the advice of flossing their teeth regularly. Why? Some say it’s time consuming and others don’t really know the exact importance of flossing.

What a lot of people don’t know is that flossing plays an important role in our dental health. Even though brushing the teeth cleans the outer surfaces and a mouthwash can help kill the bacteria that form plaque, flossing is the only thing that can remove tartar and food particles stuck in the tight spaces between the teeth and in the gum line. That’s why it is called an interdental cleaner.

Brushing our teeth and flossing regularly amounts to more than just having a healthy smile. Having great oral health can help prevent more serious diseases that can be life threatening if left untreated.

 

Improve Overall Health

Dental health is closely related to the overall health of a person. Several studies have linked heart disease to poor oral health. “Oral health and heart disease are connected by the spread of bacteria – and other germs – from your mouth to other parts of your body through the bloodstream. When these bacteria reach the heart, they can attach themselves to any damaged area and cause inflammation”, according to Colgate.

 

Gingivitis and Cavities

Two major dental problems that can arise when you don’t floss is having cavities between your teeth and gingivitis. Dental plaque is full of bacteria and this will lead to gum tissue irritation causing it to bleed easily which breeds more bacteria and will likely develop gingivitis. These harmful bacteria will slowly destroy the enamel between your teeth and before you know it, cavities are starting to form.

 

Which comes first – brushing or flossing?

To keep your mouth and body healthy, make sure to brush your teeth and floss regularly as recommended and complement it with a routine dental check up.

But which should come first? Brushing or flossing?

There is no right sequence as long as you’re brushing and flossing right.

Make sure to floss before you go to sleep to remove any food debris and plaque between the teeth and in the gum line. If food particles are not removed after a certain time, gum tissue will become inflamed and early stages of gum disease will occur.

 

Preventive Measures
Make flossing a habit by making it readily available. Put a dental floss near your toothbrush, inside your bag and even in your vanity kit.

Having an excellent oral hygiene and dental examinations are the best way to combat gum disease even in its early stages.

Do you have any questions about flossing or any concerns regarding oral health? Here at South Anchorage Dental Center, we provide the highest quality dental services. We would be happy to answer your queries and any questions that you might have. Call our office to at >>> 907-248-7275

5 Things You Can Do To Maintain Great Gum Health


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Having healthy gums is one of the things that contributes to a tip-top oral health and a beautiful smile. Even though brushing and flossing helps in maintaining a great gum health, there are other things you can do to take care of your gums.

If you are looking for ways on how to have a better gum health, here are some helpful things you can do:

 

Go for a Fluoride Toothpaste

If you are not using a toothpaste with fluoride, it’s about time that you do. Using a Fluoride toothpaste has a lot of benefits which includes:

 

  • Reducing cavities
  • Prevents tooth decay
  • Helps develop the enamel with newly grown tooth
  • Prevents plaque build-up
  • Makes teeth more resistant to acid

So the next time you go shopping for a toothpaste, make sure to buy one with the ADA (American Dental Association) stamp and Fluoride ingredient.

 

Use a Gentle Mouthwash

Brushing and flossing are effective in cleaning certain areas of the mouth. However, adding a mouthwash in your routine will help minimize bacteria on the tongue, gums and the roof of your mouth. When used regularly, it will help fight gum disease and prevent cavities that can lead to tooth decay. Find a mouthwash that’s gentle enough for your mouth but tough on bacteria.


Add Calcium in your Diet

Our body needs calcium for so many reasons. One of them is because calcium helps make bones and teeth stronger. Having enough calcium aids in developing healthy teeth and gums. But in order to absorb calcium, ensure that you’re also getting enough Vitamin D.

Eating foods that are high in calcium is necessary if you want to maintain strong teeth and healthy gums. If you’re not a big fan of milk and dairy, Kale and Sardines are a great alternative!

 

Stay Away from Cigarettes

“Smoking cigarettes is dangerous to your health” has been used so many times in commercials and even in various products. If you want to achieve a healthy smile, smoking can be the worst habit to have.

Aside from tooth discoloration, smokers are more prone to gum diseases because smoking affects the soft tissues of the teeth. The effects of smoking is not only limited to oral health but it can affect your overall health too. Chronic smokers have lower immune system which is why when they develop gum diseases, it is harder for them to heal than those who doesn’t smoke.

 

Visit your Dentist

It is recommended to visit your dentist every 6 months to maintain healthy oral health but if you see any changes in your gums or teeth, it’s important to have it checked right away. It may not mean anything but like they say, “better to be safe than sorry”. While having a dental appointment, make sure to raise any concerns or ask tips so you’ll have proper guidance in maintaining a great oral health.

Do you have any questions about taking care of your gums or any concerns regarding oral health? Here at South Anchorage Dental Center, we provide the highest quality dental services and only use the most advanced techniques that are available. We would be happy to answer your queries and any questions you might have. We’re only a call away – 907-248-7275

The Only Toothpaste Guide You’ll Ever Need


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Have you ever wondered how you ended up using your current toothpaste? You’re probably using it because it’s what your family has been using for years or your dentist recommended it you. However, one thing’s for sure – toothpastes give us that fresh clean feeling every time we brush our teeth.

Having a fresh breath is like having a good hair day, it sets out the tone in every moment of our day. And using the right toothpaste will do just that.

If you’re wondering what’s the perfect toothpaste for you, then here’s a guide that will definitely be useful the next time you buy a new tube.


What is a toothpaste?

It’s a product that helps prevent tartar or hardened plaque and gum diseases. Toothpaste comes in different forms. However, it all contains, more or less, the same ingredients. The most common types of toothpaste are gel and paste.

Gel type is less abrasive because of its smooth texture. It also doesn’t produce a foamy texture similar to paste. Paste toothpastes, on the other hand, are thicker and have a solid color. The taste also varies between the two.

For many years, majority of the toothpastes were sold in mint flavor. Today, flavors like cinnamon-clove, apricot and bubblegum are readily available in stores.


What to consider when choosing a toothpaste?

There are a couple of things to consider when choosing a toothpaste. Here are some things you should know:

Tartar Control

Some people want to control their tartar build up; a toothpaste with fluoride is the best choice for this objective. However, keep in mind that hardened tartar can’t be easily removed, especially the tartar on the gumline. It’s best to visit your dental hygienist regularly for a deep and thorough cleaning.


Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth

Our teeth are protected with enamel – the outer layer of our teeth. Enamel is worn out as we eat and drink. One of the effects of worn out enamel is sensitive teeth. We often feel tooth sensitivity when we consume cold and hot drinks or food.

So what toothpaste is best for those who have sensitive teeth? Make sure that your toothpaste contains desensitizing ingredients. These ingredients include potassium nitrate, stannous fluoride, and strontium chloride.

You must take note that the toothpaste only takes effect after weeks of use and it only treats the symptoms. No toothpaste will cure the actual problem of tooth sensitivity, it will only mask it.


Teeth Whitening

The teeth whitening industry has amassed a networth larger than one billion dollars in clients. It’s safe to say that whitening toothpastes are in-demand and popular especially amongst teens.

For starters, the whitening toothpastes that you should be looking at are those that contain peroxide. Peroxide can remove stains and help in preventing gingivitis.

However, whitening toothpaste may also cause tooth sensitivity so it’s important to consult your dentist first for practical advice and usage.


Toothpaste for Children


Parents must know that by the time their kids starts sprouting teeth, they should also start brushing. However, the majority of the toothpaste for children sold in the market are for two years old and over. So what should you do?

Ask your dentist what toothpaste and toothbrush are best for your child to use.

 

So, what’s the right toothpaste for me?

This depends on your current oral health. That’s why it’s important to get your regular dental checkup and ask your dentist which toothpaste will suit your needs.

Although you need to keep in mind that no matter how effective your toothpaste is, the actual brushing motion and how long you brush your teeth will affect its efficacy.

Remember to always find time to take care of your gums and teeth. Learn the proper brushing motions, see what toothpaste best suits you and, of course, don’t forget to show up to your next dentist’s appointment!

6 Daily Activities That Can Seriously Damage Your Teeth


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“A genuine smile comes from the heart, but a healthy smile needs good dental care.” -Wayne Chirisa

 

A healthy smile means great oral health. That’s why it’s important to always make a conscious effort in avoiding activities that are harmful to your teeth. What we do daily has a huge impact on the future of our oral health. Read on to find out which daily activities are sabotaging your teeth.

1. Eating Sugary Foods

We all know that sugar is bad for our teeth, especially those that stick to your teeth longer, like jelly candies and dried fruits. Actually, sugar itself isn’t the enemy; it’s Streptococcus mutans.

Streptococcus mutans is a bacteria that dwells in our mouth and consumes the sugar and starch that we eat. They will then create an acidic environment that strips the tooth’s enamel. So the next time you eat sweet snacks and meals, make sure to floss and remove food debris that’s stuck between your teeth.

2. Regularly swimming in chlorine-filled pool

 

Swimming is a healthy exercise. Unfortunately, too much swimming in chlorine-filled pool can also weaken your teeth and here’s how it happens.

As we swim in a pool that has too much chlorine, the water occasionally seeps into our mouth and our teeth. As such, the chlorine wears down the enamel on your teeth.

Obviously, you don’t have to stop swimming. Just make sure that the pH level of the pool is below 7 to ensure that it’s safe for your teeth.

3. Too much wine

Yes, we all know that too much of everything can harm us, and unfortunately, that includes wine too! To all wine lovers, avoid too much wine swirling around your teeth. Though it’s good for wine tasting, it’s unhealthy for your teeth.

Red wine and especially white wine are acidic. So when you swirl it around your mouth, you’re also covering your teeth with acid that can erode your teeth.

4. Drinking tea and coffee

There are two types of people in the world. Those that drink coffee in the morning and those that drink tea; however, these two have one thing in common. They both stain our teeth. The enamel on our teeth isn’t smooth and flat. It has microscopic ridges and pits that can hold the particles of what we’re eating and drinking. That’s why coffee and tea can stain our teeth. It seeps into the enamel and discolors your teeth.

It’s understandable that we can’t easily give up drinking coffee and tea. So how can you get your daily coffee or tea fix? Drink it during your break rather than mindlessly sipping it the entire day at work. Once you’re done drinking, it’s best to brush your teeth to remove pigments on your teeth.

5. Overbrushing

It’s important to note that brushing harder and longer doesn’t mean that you’re cleaning your teeth better. It can even result in enamel or gum abrasion. So, what should you do then?

To ensure that your teeth are properly cleaned, learn how to properly brush your teeth. For example, tilt your toothbrush at a  45° angle away from your gum line. Then start from the upper outer surface going to the lower end of the teeth. Brush your inner, upper and lower teeth next.  Then finish with the chewing surfaces.

Don’t do it longer than 2 minutes and make sure you apply just the right amount of pressure. And don’t forget to clean your tongue, too!

6. Using your teeth as a bottle opener

Even though you have healthy teeth, refrain from using it to open a bottle, rip a packet of chips, or other similar activities as it can weaken your teeth. It can even chip off or fracture your teeth which can also become a bigger dental problem.

Make sure to have a bottle opener and scissors at bay. And use them instead of your teeth.

These are just some of the common activities that can harm your teeth. So if possible, avoid or minimize these activities and don’t forget to brush your teeth to keep a healthy smile!

 

Have more questions? Here at South Anchorage Dental Center, we provide the highest quality dental services and only use the most advanced techniques that are available. We would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

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