Marianna Digioia’s Top Tips for Effective Dental Care

Marianna Digioia’s Top Tips for Effective Dental Care (Posted By selenacowell, Community Contributor / October 10, 2013)

Most of us don’t take our dental health seriously, and in times like this it is worth paying even more attention to dental professionals like Marianna Digioia.

If you feel like you’re taking care of your dental health, or you believe there is nothing really special about dental health, then you will find these facts shocking:

An article on Scientific American (Failure to brush your teeth twice a day increases risk of heart disease, Katherine Harmon Courage) has revealed that failure to brush your teeth twice daily increases your risk of heart disease by 70%.
A study by the New York University has linked gum disease to Alzheimer’s
A study published in the Journal of Periodontolgy has linked gum disease to heart disease
A 2010 article, Oral Health: The Silent Epidemic, published on the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine (NIH/NLM) website reveals that around 53 million Americans live their whole life with untreated tooth decay they aren’t aware of.

There are a lot of shocking statistics and discoveries like the above ones, and the reality is that you are probably not taking your dental health as seriously as you should. If your dental health is linked to your well-being, shouldn’t you be more serious about it?
5 Things Marianna Digioia Can Teach You About Proper Dental Care

Here are some of the top lessons I’ve learned from Marianna Digioia about having good dental health.

1.Avoid Smoking or Drinking Alcohol

: Most dentists discourage smoking or the use of any tobacco products, and Marianna Digioia also suggests staying away from tobacco products.

If you feel like you have an addiction to smoking, then it is time to start working on a solution to it. Data from the NHS website has revealed that the number one cause of oral cancer is smoking, citing a research that shows that you are 5 times more likely to develop oral cancer, compared to someone who doesn’t smoke, if you smoke 40 cigarettes a day.

Also, it is important to realize that drinking alcohol is just as dangerous as smoking, and you’re doing something really toxic to your oral health if you both smoke and drink.

2. Eat Well, and Avoid Snacks when Possible

: Another key lesson I’ve learned from Marianna Digioia is the importance of eating a balanced diet. Dental experts, and research, have revealed that eating high-sugar foods can increase your risks of oral diseases. Not eating well will increase your cravings for food later in the day, and in an attempt to satisfy this craving you’ll probably consider taking snacks. The problem with snacks is that they contain a lot of sugar, which can eventually cause oral problems for you.

3. Brush Twice Daily

: You’ve probably been told to brush twice daily, and you feel great doing that. However, health experts suggest that brushing once a day is not enough; to ensure you’re consistently orally healthy, you need to make sure you brush your teeth at least twice daily.

Marianna Digioia suggests doing this early in the morning and late in the evening before going to bed.

4. Floss Daily

: Research has shown that brushing daily isn’t going to be enough, and a recent article published on Livescience (5 Experts Answer: Is Flossing Really Necessary?) that interviewed 5 health experts revealed that brushing daily is incomplete without flossing; even if you brush twice daily, you haven’t completed the necessary steps for the day to make yourself orally healthy until you floss.

How often you floss is another issue, and most health experts recommend doing this once or twice a day. According to Marianna Digioia, no matter how irritating or annoying you find flossing daily, it is important to your overall dental health.

5. Use Products that Have Fluoride in Them: Research has shown that fluoride can make our teeth stronger, and it can also prevent cavities.

Using products that contain fluoride, like toothpaste and mouthwash, can go a long way to protect your teeth from various problems, including developing cavities in your teeth.

Also, health experts recommend making sure your kids are getting fluoride from water, or from a supplement, so that they can develop strong, healthy teeth from a young age.

Conclusion

What are you doing to improve your oral health? I’ve learned a lot from health experts like Marianna Digioia and I hope you find this article revealing.

 

Source: Chicago Tribune / http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/suburbs/community/chi-ugc-article-marianna-digioias-top-tips-for-effective-den-2-2013-10-10,0,5254062.story

Obamacare and kids dental, vision coverage

Washington Post

Bigstock – Millions of children are expected to gain dental benefits by 2018 under the federal health-care law.

 

One part of the Affordable Care Act is intended to improve dental coverage for children, prompted by the 2007 death of an uninsured Maryland boy named Deamonte Driver, who was killed by a bacterial infection that spread from an abscessed tooth to his brain.

Supporters of better dental care for children successfully pushed to have dental and vision services for children included in the law’s 10 categories of essential benefits.

With the launch of the new health-care marketplaces, here are some questions and answers about purchasing dental and vision coverage.

Will I be required to buy pediatric dental care if I purchase insurance on t he exchange?

Most likely, no. Children’s dental care may be included in some plans offered on the marketplaces. But many insurers may offer it as a stand-alone policy, which you are not required to buy under federal law, though people in some states are required to do so. Nevada and Washington state, for example, are requiring this coverage. The insurance will cover visits to a dentist for basic or preventive services, such teeth cleaning, X-rays and fillings, and medically necessary orthodontics.

Is it common for health insurers to not offer dental care as part of comprehensive health insurance?

Overwhelmingly, dental benefits are contracted and sold separately from medical plans in the current market. The National Association of Dental Plans says 99 percent of dental benefits are sold under a policy that is separate from medical coverage.

How many children may benefit from expanded coverage?

Approximately 8.7 million children are expected to gain some form of dental benefits by 2018 as a result of the ACA. This will reduce the number of children without dental benefits by about 55 percent compared with 2010, according to a report from the American Dental Association. About a third of these children will be covered through their parents’ employer-sponsored insurance, while about another third will be covered through Medicaid. The remainder will be covered by new policies from the health insurance exchanges.

Would I still have out-of-pocket dental expenses?

If purchased from a federally run exchange as a stand-alone policy, pediatric dental coverage can include annual out-of-pocket expenses as high as $700 per child or $1,400 per family, according to Colin Reusch, a senior policy analyst with the Children’s Dental Health Project, a nonprofit based in Washington. And the cost of stand-alone coverage won’t count toward the medical out-of-pocket limit built into the health-care insurance policy. In addition, while some people get tax credits to help pay medical premiums, there are none for stand-alone pediatric dental plans.

 

Source: Washington Post

 

Health: Kids’ teeth and the health law

One part of the Affordable Care Act is intended to improve dental coverage for children, prompted by the 2007 death of an uninsured Maryland boy named Deamonte Driver, who was killed by a bacterial infection that spread from an abscessed tooth to his brain.

Supporters of better dental care for children successfully pushed to have dental and vision services for children included in the law’s 10 categories of essential benefits.

With the launch of the new health-care marketplaces, here are some questions and answers about purchasing dental and vision coverage.

Q: Will I be required to buy pediatric dental care if I purchase insurance on the exchange?

A: Most likely, no. Children’s dental care may be included in some plans offered on the marketplaces. But many insurers may offer it as a stand-alone policy, which you are not required to buy under federal law, though people in some states are required to do so. Nevada and Washington state, for example, are requiring this coverage. The insurance will cover visits to a dentist for basic or preventive services, such as teeth cleaning, X-rays and fillings, and medically necessary orthodontics.

Q: Is it common for health insurers to not offer dental care as part of comprehensive health insurance?

A: Overwhelmingly, dental benefits are contracted and sold separately from medical plans in the current market. The National Association of Dental Plans says 99 percent of dental benefits are sold under a policy that is separate from medical coverage.

Q: How many children may benefit from expanded coverage?

A: Approximately 8.7 million children are expected to gain some form of dental benefits by 2018 as a result of the ACA. This will reduce the number of children without dental benefits by about 55 percent compared with 2010, according to a report from the American Dental Association. About a third of these children will be covered through their parents’ employer-sponsored insurance, while about another third will be covered through Medicaid. The remainder will be covered by new policies from the health insurance exchanges.

Q: Would I still have out-of-pocket dental expenses?

A: If purchased from a federally run exchange as a stand-alone policy, pediatric dental coverage can include annual out-of-pocket expenses as high as $700 per child or $1,400 per family, according to Colin Reusch, a senior policy analyst with the Children’s Dental Health Project, a nonprofit based in Washington. And the cost of stand-alone coverage won’t count toward the medical out-of-pocket limit built into the health-care insurance policy. In addition, while some people get tax credits to help pay medical premiums, there are none for stand-alone pediatric dental plans.

However, the Delta Dental Plans Association, whose member companies offer dental coverage across the country, notes that stand-alone dental plans are likely to have much lower deductibles than medical plans that also include child dental care, or possibly no deductibles.

Q: Will I be required by the Affordable Care Act to buy pediatric vision coverage?

A: Yes, but it will be included in medical plans, and will at least partially cover such things as eye exams and glasses.

This article was produced by Kaiser Health News. KHN, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health-care-policy organization that is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

 

Source: SouthCoast Today

TOO MUCH CANDY? MCKINNEY SMILES OFFERS 5 TIPS FOR HEALTHY TEETH AFTER HALLOWEEN

With Halloween fast approaching, North Texans are stocking up on candy to hand out totrick-or-treaters and parents are already worried about their kids gobbling too much sugar.

Dr. Paul Lawrence of McKinney Smiles Family and Cosmetic Dentistry is a parent too, so he understands the challenges that families face at Halloween – you want your kids to have fun but you don’t want them to overdo it. As a dentist, Dr. Lawrence has treated children with cavities caused by too much sugar and too little dental hygiene.

The good news, he says, is there are ways to sensibly approach Halloween so that everyone enjoys themselves – and avoids cavities.

Dr. Lawrence’s top five Halloween tips:

  1. Avoid sticky, extra-chewy candies, such as gummy bears, taffy, Starburst, Airheads, caramels and sugar-infused gum. “These types of candy not only stick to the teeth, but they stick between the teeth and can cause issues if you don’t properly brush and floss,” Dr. Lawrence says.
  2. Avoid hard candy, lollipops and treats that stay in your child’s mouth for a long time. “This type of candy bathes the teeth in sugar for an extended period,” Dr. Lawrence says.
  3. Limit Halloween candy and sugary foods so that your children are eating only a few treats – and always with a full meal that includes plenty of water to drink. “Eating a small amount of candy as dessert is important because saliva production increases when you eat a full meal, which helps neutralize acids and rinse away food particles,” Dr. Lawrence says. “Drink plenty of water with your meals, which also will help rinse food from your mouth.”
  4. Stock up on packets of gum with the American Dental Association (ADA) seal to hand out to trick-or-treaters. Or, hand out alternative treats, such as scary stickers, shiny pennies, mini temporary tattoos, ghostly backpack pulls, spider rings or colorful pencils.
  5. Take your child on your Halloween shopping trip to stock up on alternative treats and let them pick out a fun, new toothbrush and color-coordinated interdental cleaners. Children and adults should brush their teeth at least twice per day with an ADA-approved fluoride toothpaste and then floss as well. Interdental cleaners are often easier for children to use than floss. Be sure to have an adult supervise the child’s tooth-brushing habits to be sure they’re brushing their molars along with their front teeth.

Dr. Lawrence says that a limited amount of candy is OK, as long as children know their family’s established ground rules for Halloween – they must eat their treats with a meal and brush well afterward.

Source: Town Square Buzz

A Dentist’s View on Tackling the National Dental Health Crisis

This country is facing a dental health crisis — a gap between those with good dental health and those without. Its causes are varied and complex, and it will only get worse without a comprehensive set of solutions. The good news is that increasing attention is being paid to dental health. But the proposed solutions have been too few and too narrow in scope.

A study by Harris Interactive with the American Dental Association (ADA) found that nearly half of lower-income adults say they haven’t seen a dentist in a year or longer. Overall, more than 181 million Americans didn’t visit the dentist in 2010. Nearly half of adults over age 30 have some form of gum disease, which can lead to bone and tooth loss.

The Harris/ADA study found that 40 percent of lower-income adults believe that the Affordable Care Act will help them obtain dental care. In fact, the new law will not provide substantial dental coverage for low-income adults (although it will dramatically increase children’s coverage under Medicaid).

Dentists in America believe this crisis can be solved. How?

 

1. Provide care now to those suffering with untreated disease

People delay dental care for many reasons, ranging from a lack of insurance, education level, lack of awareness of dental health and how to stay healthy, geography, and age — often in combination. We as a society need to find those who are delaying care and deliver it to them.

One place to look is the emergency room. According to the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, dental visits to ERs increased from 1.1 million in 2000 to 2.1 million in 2010. This is a burden on overworked ERs, the majority of which are not equipped for dental cases. Most can only provide temporary pain relief and treat infection but not address underlying problems.

The fix: programs that move ER patients to a dentist. For example, Community HealthCare Connections in Michigan refers patients from the Bronson Battle Creek ER to local dentists. More than 60 percent of the community’s private practice dentists have signed on to provide free care to those patients, resulting in over $1 million of care to 4,000 people over six years. In turn, dental cases to the ER have fallen 70 percent, and the patients — as part of this innovative exchange for dental care — “pay it forward,” with over 57,000 hours of service to non-profits.

Another place to look is nursing homes. Even though poor dental hygiene can lead to broader health issues like pneumonia, funding for care is often an issue. New programs are encouraging private practice dentists to devote part of their caseloads to nursing home residents by educating dentists how an existing but little-known provision in Medicaid can fund medically necessary dental care. One Texas dentist, for example, has built her practice around caring for the elderly. She treats 60 percent of her patients in nursing homes.

These programs are highly collaborative, bringing together dentists, administrators of hospitals and nursing homes, non-profit organizations and others. Dentists are working to expand them nationwide.

 

2. Strengthen and expand the safety net to provide more care to more Americans
Most state dental Medicaid programs are woefully underfunded, and on average state Medicaid budgets allocate only 1.31 percent for dental services.

Expanding dental services covered under Medicaid and reducing administrative burdens in the system are proven solutions. For example, Connecticut expanded its Medicaid program, increasing the number of children receiving care from 88,891 before 2008 to 171,871 in 2010. Vermont in 2012 expanded its Medicaid program to provide dental services to pregnant women.

Innovative solutions like dentist partnerships with Federally Qualified Health Centers are also in the works. These partnerships allow private practice dentists to help community health facilities expand capacity to provide care to underserved people without increasing clinics’ expenses and overhead.

 

3. Bring dental health education and disease prevention into communities
Basic brushing and flossing practices may seem obvious to you, but many in the U.S. are unaware of their importance. To prevent dental problems before they start, we must encourage collaborations between health professionals and public programs to educate Americans.

The Community Dental Health Coordinators (CDHC) program places community health workers with dental training in underserved communities. Their functions are dental health education, disease prevention and helping patients navigate an often daunting public health system to receive that care from dentists. Most CDHCs come from the types of inner city, rural and Native American communities in which they work, helping eliminate cultural, educational and language barriers that could impede their effectiveness.

The CDHC program has been such a success that the ADA is working to increase the number of states with CDHCs from seven to 15 by 2015.

There are many ways to provide dental health education and preventive care to underserved populations, including school-based screening and referral programs, collaborations with physicians and other health professionals and mass media outreach, such as Kids’ Healthy Mouths, a public service campaign created by a coalition of dental groups and the Ad Council.

Dentistry will continue to advocate for fluoridated drinking water, as we have for decades. Water fluoridation is the single most effective public health measure to prevent dental decay, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recognized water fluoridation as one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century. By one estimate, the cost of providing fluoridated water throughout someone’s life is less than the cost of a single filling.

These are just a few steps we can take. In our nationwide campaign, Action for Dental Health, the American Dental Association is working with dentists in communities across the country, as well as other partners and allies, to implement a comprehensive approach to ending the dental health crisis in America.

We’ve made great progress, with each generation enjoying better dental health than the one before, but there’s still a dangerous divide between those with good dental health and those without. Our mission is to close that divide, and we call on regulators, elected officials, health policy organizations and other community leaders to join us in bridging the dental divide and giving all Americans the opportunity to enjoy good oral health.

 

Source:  Huffington Post

People with type 2 diabetes at higher risk of tooth loss

Photo Via UPI.com

 

CHICAGO, Oct. 9 (UPI) — Hollywood actor Tom Hanks said he is one of 26 million Americans with type 2 diabetes who must take care to avoid tooth loss, blindness and kidney failure.

A recent study published in The Journal of the American Dental Association found 1-in-5 cases of total tooth loss in the United States could be linked to diabetes.

When it comes to diabetes and dental health, research suggested a patient with diabetes has a lower resistance to infection. That, coupled with a longer healing process, made a person with diabetes more susceptible to developing more severe and more frequent bouts of gum disease, the researchers said.

A dentist can be a valuable member of a patient’s diabetes healthcare team to help the patient check for the signs of gum disease and provide tips on how to keep their mouth healthy, said Lydia Hall of the American Dental Association.

 

Read more: http://www.upi.com/Health_News/2013/10/09/People-with-type-2-diabetes-at-higher-risk-of-tooth-loss/UPI-45151381376145/#ixzz2hzT3yzAo

 

 

 

Tips for healthy, clean teeth

Get a sparkling smile by following simple daily habits like brushing your teeth regularly, cutting down on sugar intake between meals and limiting your alcohol intake and smoking.

Amit Rai, an award winning General Dental Practitioner based here, shares some basic tips that can help you achieve a healthy and clean set of teeth, reports femalefirst.co.uk.

Change your toothbrush
A worn out toothbrush cannot clean your teeth properly and may even damage your gums. Change your toothbrush every two or three months, or sooner if the bristles become splayed. Using an electric toothbrush can help against brushing too hard.

Brush before breakfast
You should brush twice a day and never straight after eating as acids can soften the outer layer of tooth enamel which you might wash away. Also don’t forget to brush your tongue which can help to banish bad breath.

 

Think twice about whiteness
If you are keen to have white teeth, first try toothpaste with a gentle whitener that brings out your teeth’s natural whiteness. Always visit your dentist if considering any whitening treatments to be sure that they are safe and effective.

 

Cut back on sugar between meals
Grazing on sweet treats and sugared drinks can cause dental caries since your mouth takes around an hour to neutralise sugar attacks.

 

Quit smoking
Smoking can prevent you from having gleaming, healthy teeth as it can turn your teeth yellow as well as increase your risk of developing gum disease and mouth cancer.

 

Limit your alcohol
Excessive alcohol consumption has been linked to an increased risk of developing mouth cancer. White wine, cider and alcopops are considered to be particularly erosive to teeth.

 

Limit acids
Citrus fruit can be very acidic, just like pickle and fizzy drinks. Remember to swill your mouth with water afterwards to buffer their harmful effects. Also, use a straw when drinking fizzy drinks.

 

Don’t ignore the warning signs
Suffering from twinges, dental pain or bleeding gums can be your mouth’s way of telling you that you need to see the dentist. Dental check ups should be no longer than every six months. But they might be more or less frequent depending upon what your dentist says.

 

Source: Wonder Woman