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Keep Your Sweet Tooth Healthy This Holiday Season

Posted By Kristi DeWitt, Delta Dental of AZ, Thursday, December 7, 2017
Updated: Thursday, November 30, 2017

 

Family gatherings, cookie decorating, work celebrations, friend
get-togethers, school performances – calendars fill up quickly during the
holiday season. When the days are jam-packed, it’s easy to skip an evening
brushing session or munch on sweets instead of healthy snacks. The
occasional slip-up won’t harm your oral health – just don’t make it a habit.

 

Here are a few ways to stay in a good oral health groove during
the holidays:

 

  • Try to enjoy sweets with a meal
    If you’re going to indulge in some sugary sweets, do it with a meal instead of as a stand-alone snack. Eating other foods stimulates saliva, which helps wash harmful sugars and acids away from teeth and gums.1
  • Stay away from between-meal snacks
    If your mother ever scolded you for snacking between meals, well, she was onto something. It’s not just cakes and cookies that harm teeth – snacks like chips, crackers and pretzels all contain sugars and starches that can harm teeth.2 If you’re going to snack between meals, stick to veggies, nuts and cheeses.3
  • Drink more water, especially after enjoying sweets
    Avoid cleansing your palate with sweet and sugary drinks. Water will wash away stray food particles in your mouth and keep you hydrated.
  • Keep up good oral health habits
    The holidays are usually a time of overindulgence, but don’t let that keep you from maintaining good oral health habits. Remember to brush twice a day for two minutes, and don’t forget to floss!
  • Be prepared
    Planning ahead will set you up for success. It’s a good idea to keep a toothbrush, travel-size toothpaste and floss handy when visiting friends and family.

 

With a few extra precautions, your smile will stay sparkling well into the new year!

 

Want to learn more about ASBA's exclusive Delta Dental plans for ASBA members?  Contact Ashley Vizzerra.

 

Sources:

1 http://oralhealth.deltadental.com/Search/22,DD18
2 http://oralhealth.deltadental.com/Search/22,21562
3 http://oralhealth.deltadental.com/Search/22,DD18

Tags:  delta dental  dental  healthcare  insurance 

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Promote Good Oral health With Elf on the Shelf

Posted By Kristi DeWitt, Delta Dental of AZ, Thursday, November 30, 2017

 

Families across the U.S. have welcomed Elf on the Shelf, Mensch on a Bench or other toys to get their kids to embrace good behavior around the holidays. But the elves and their pals don’t have to limit their lessons to the season – why not use them to promote good oral health habits?

 

Here are a few ways your little helper can keep your child off the naughty list
and on the “Nice Smile” list:

  • Place the elf on the bathroom counter with a toothbrush and a
    reminder to brush for the full two minutes twice a day.
  • Wrap the elf in dental floss and leave a note about flossing daily. Dental
    floss also makes a great elf zip line.
  • Put a tiny cup of mouthwash next to the elf with a reminder to rinse.
  • Have the elf leave a new, fun flavor of toothpaste in the bathroom.
  • Encourage healthy snacking by perching the elf on the edge of the fruit
    bowl. Add googly eyes to the apples and oranges for a fun twist.
  • The elf can also promote nutritious snacks by sitting in the fridge with a
    stick of string cheese or some baby carrots.
  • Have your elf sit on the faucet in the kitchen as a reminder to drink
    more water.

 

Whether you have Elf on the Shelf, Mensch on a Bench or other holiday helpers, have fun figuring out how they can encourage your kids to take care of their smiles. Happy holidays!

 

Want to learn about ASBA's exclusive Delta Dental packages for members?  Contact Ashley Vizzerra, Member Services Manager at ASBA.

Tags:  delta dental  dental  healthcare 

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What Your Tongue Can Say About Your Oral Health

Posted By Kristi DeWitt, Delta Dental of AZ, Monday, November 20, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, November 8, 2017

 

Your tongue can say a lot – even without speaking a word. The color, texture and patterns of your tongue can provide insight into the state of your oral and overall health. Here are some things your tongue may be trying to tell you.

 

  • White coating. A tongue that appears white is usually the result of overgrown papillae, the small bumps found on the surface of the tongue, and a buildup of food debris or plaque bacteria. It is more common in people with dry mouth or poor oral hygiene. When this overgrowth becomes stained by food, drink or other causes, your tongue may develop the next condition on this list.
  • Black or brown tint.7 Dark discoloration, a condition known as black hairy tongue, is usually the result of an overgrowth of the little projections on the surface of the tongue called “papillae.” The overgrowth can pick up stains from smoking or various foods, drinks and medications. It may be the result of poor oral hygiene, dry mouth, tobacco use or certain medications. Most of the time, black hairy tongue goes away with proper hygiene and the elimination of causes such as tobacco.8
  • White patches. These may be linked to an overgrowth of yeast in your mouth, also called “thrush,” or “candidiasis.” It occurs most often in newborns, pregnant women, the elderly, people with dry mouth, denture wearers, people on antibiotics and people with weakened immune systems and certain health conditions such as diabetes.9 This is usually easily treated with anti-fungal medication.
  • Smooth, red and patchy looking with a white border. Areas resembling this description can be indicative of a harmless and common condition known as “geographic tongue.” These areas may appear to move around and may be sore and irritated by spicy foods. The cause of geographic tongue is not known, but it can run in families.
  • White lacy pattern. A pattern like this on your tongue and/or inner cheeks may be a sign of oral lichen planus, which means your immune system is fighting against the cells in your mouth.10 There may also be sore red patches.
  • Yellow. A yellowy-tinted tongue may indicate acid reflux, infection or an early stage of black hairy tongue.11
  • Pale and smooth. A pale tongue can indicate low iron levels or anemia.12
  • “Strawberry” patterned. A swollen and bumpy tongue (the color and bumps look a little like a strawberry) may be an indication of strep throat, food or drug allergies or a blood vessel disease called Kawasaki disease.13

 

Most common tongue conditions are harmless and go away on their own or with some simple measures such as good oral hygiene, better diet, hydration and lifestyle changes like quitting tobacco use. Sometimes tongue signs and symptoms may indicate more serious problems, including oral cancer, infections or systemic disorders. Be sure to contact your dentist or physician after a week or two if you notice your tongue has turned a peculiar hue, looks abnormal or feels sore or painful. They can diagnose and treat the problem as necessary.

 

Want more oral health tips and news?
Visit the Delta Dental of Arizona Blog

 

Contact Ashley Vizzerra to learn about our ASBA exclusive dental plans!

 

Sources

7 https://health.clevelandclinic.org/2016/06/3-colors-tongue-not-infographic/
8 http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/black-hairy-tongue/basics/definition/con-20034518
9 http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/tongue-problem-basics-sore-or-discolored-tongue-and-tongue-bumps#1
10 http://www.prevention.com/health/health-concerns/what-white-tongue-means-and-other-weird-symptoms
11 http://naturallysavvy.com/care/what-is-your-tongue-trying-to-tell-you-about-your-health
12 http://naturallysavvy.com/care/what-is-your-tongue-trying-to-tell-you-about-your-health
13 http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/strawberry-tongue-facts

Tags:  delta dental  dental  healthcare  insurance 

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Enhanced Benefits for Improved Oral Health

Posted By Kristi DeWitt, Delta Dental of AZ, Monday, November 13, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Good oral health care is beneficial to more than just your mouth. Oral health and overall health are connected, so people with specific health conditions can often benefit from additional oral health care.

That’s why Delta Dental offers enhanced benefits, a program that covers extra cleanings and exams for members with specific health conditions. Based on your dental plan and medical condition, these benefits may include additional cleanings, periodontal maintenance and fluoride treatments.

Some examples of conditions that may be eligible for enhanced benefits include:

  • Cancer-related chemotherapy or radiation treatments. Patients undergoing these therapies may have weakened immune systems and dry mouth, which put them at increased risk for
  • Diabetes. People with diabetes are more susceptible to periodontal (gum) disease. Extra cleanings may help improve periodontal health.
  • Cardiovascular diseases or stroke. People with cardiovascular disease share many common risk factors with individuals with gum disease.
  • Kidney failure or dialysis. Additional preventive care may help decrease dental infections, which can be harmful to kidney functions in people with kidney disease.
  • Pregnant women. Hormonal changes can make a pregnant woman’s mouth more susceptible to bacteria and to the development of gum problems. Good preventive care and extra cleanings can help keep these issues at bay.
  • Suppressed immune systems. More frequent oral exams and cleanings may help patients with weakened immune systems, including those with HIV and people who have received organ transplants, avoid severe mouth infections and improve quality of life.

 

In some cases, you have to sign up for enhanced benefits before receiving extra coverage. Check your benefits plan to confirm eligibility. If you’re eligible for these additional benefits, just log in at deltadentalaz.com/member to sign up or ask your HR administrator for more information.

 

Want more oral health tips and news?
Visit the Delta Dental of Arizona blog

 

Contact Ashley Vizzerra to learn about our ASBA exclusive dental plans!

Tags:  delta dental  dental  healthcare  insurance 

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Diabetes and Your Oral Health

Posted By Kristi DeWitt, Delta Dental of AZ, Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Oral health and overall health are connected in many ways – several health
issues have oral health complications. On the flip side, poor oral health can
indicate overall health problems.


Though diabetes doesn’t cause gum disease, and gum disease doesn’t cause
diabetes, people who have one of them are more likely to have the other when
compared to people with no diabetes or gum disease. Diabetes reduces the
body’s ability to fight infection. Because gum disease is a type of infection in
the gums and the bone surrounding gums, people with diabetes can have a
harder time getting rid of gum disease than their non-diabetic counterparts.
People who are in control of their diabetes tend to have less gum disease than
those who aren’t managing the disease well.1


If you have diabetes, it’s important to make your dentist aware of your condition
so they know you have an increased risk for gum disease. You should also
pay close attention to your oral health, making sure to brush twice a day, floss
daily and visit your dentist regularly for checkups.2 People with diabetes or gum
disease may also be eligible for enhanced benefits through your dental plan,
which may cover extra cleanings and exams. Some studies have shown that
people with diabetes who receive regular oral health care may even lower their
overall medical costs from diabetes.3

 

Want more oral health tips and news?
Visit the Delta Dental of Arizona Blog

 

Contact Ashley Vizzerra to learn about our ASBA exclusive dental plans.

Sources

1http://oralhealth.deltadental.com/Search/22,periodiabresearch
2http://oralhealth.deltadental.com/Search/22,DD15
3Nasseh K, Vujicic M, and Glick M. The Relationship between Periodontal Interventions and Healthcare Costs and Utilization. Evidence
from an Integrated Dental, Medical, and Pharmacy Commercial Claims Database. Health Economics. Vol 26 (4) 2017 p 519-527.

Tags:  delta dental  Dental  Healthcare  insurance 

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