Spirit Dental Blog
Braces are a common and effective orthodontic treatment for straightening and aligning teeth in both kids and adults. In this post we’ll discuss the advantages of braces, options, and what you can expect from the procedure. Benefits of braces Braces help with a variety of bite issues in children, including: Crooked teeth Crowded teeth Gapped teeth Malocclusion/misalignment Fixing these problems provides a number of benefits. It doesn't just give your child a more beautiful smile, but it also helps to prevent tooth decay, gum disease and other oral health conditions. It’s also much easier to brush and floss when teeth are aligned. Types of braces When opting for orthodontics for your child, there are different types of braces to choose from: Metal braces: Stainless steel bands, brackets and wires that shift teeth into the desired position over time. Ceramic braces: Similar to metal braces, but with tooth-colored brackets and wires to blend in better. Lingual braces: Similar to metal braces, but they go on the back surfaces of the teeth instead of the front. Self-litigating braces: Similar to metal braces, but hold archwire together without the elastic bands. Clear aligners: A series of clear, custom-made trays swapped out every two weeks to straighten teeth over time. When is the right time to get my child braces? While in theory, a person is never too old to get braces, the best time is typically between ages nine and 14. At this age, your child’s facial bones are more flexible, meaning teeth shift more easily into their desired position. Braces are still effective for adults, but since their bones are less malleable, it may take longer to achieve results. How braces work The procedure Initial consultation. Your child’s dentist will refer you to an orthodontist, who will examine the teeth and discuss the child’s oral health history at the first appointment. They will recommend a course of treatment—if braces are determined to be the best option, you'll work with the orthodontist to decide the type of braces and duration of treatment. Braces are fitted. Teeth are cleaned, dried and primed; then brackets are cemented to tooth surfaces, with high-intensity light used to strengthen the bond. Finally, the arch wires are placed. Regular visits to get braces adjusted. The orthodontist will also have a cadence in place for returning to have the braces adjusted. At these appointments, the arch wires and elastic bands are removed and replaced with new ones. Your child may have some soreness for up to 24 hours following an adjustment. Braces are removed. When teeth have been appropriately repositioned, the braces will be removed. Ties and wires are taken off first, then the bonding cement is gently broken with pressure and a special tool. The gums may be inflamed immediately following removal but should subside within a day or two. Maintain a beautiful smile with a retainer. You’ll have to visit the orthodontist for a couple of follow-up appointments to get a retainer made for your child. To ensure the results of the braces last, your child should wear the retainer at night and as recommended. Side effects of braces Although braces are proven to be an effective approach for fixing a person’s smile, your child may experience some temporary side effects, including: Discomfort Irritation on the inside of the mouth Difficulty eating Jaw pain In time, these should subside; however, if you have any concerns contact the orthodontist right away. Caring for braces For the braces to have the best impact, your child will need to: Brush, floss, and rinse with mouthwash daily Clean and store clear aligners Avoid sticky and hard foods Visit orthodontist as scheduled for maintenance Visit dentist for regular cleanings and exams The length of time your child will have to wear braces will depend on the severity of the problem you’re trying to fix, as well as their own dental health. Typically, kids wear braces for between one and three years. How to pay for braces The total cost of braces is anywhere between $3,000 and $10,000, depending on the type and duration of treatment, as well as where you live. Most dental insurance plans partially cover braces for children under the age of 18. While the most common coverage is 50%, it’s important to check your policy details before starting the treatment process. If your plan doesn’t include orthodontic coverage, look into supplemental orthodontic insurance. Find the best no-wait dental and orthodontic insurance plan from Spirit Dental to ensure your child’s smile stays beautiful and healthy for a lifetime.
Prioritizing your health — including oral health — gets only more important with age. Dental insurance doesn’t just help you maintain a healthy smile; it also reduces the stress of unexpected care costs. Seniors on Medicare may believe dental is included in their policy, but chances are they have less coverage than they expect — or even none at all. Standalone dental plans are add-on plans that ensure you aren’t stuck paying hefty bills for preventative, basic, and major dental services. Keep reading to learn more. Selecting the right plan Most seniors qualify for Medicare, but not all Medicare policies cover dental services. Medicare Part A only provides coverage for care deemed medically-necessary. Medicare Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage, includes dental coverage, but this may come with an extra fee. The level of coverage you’ll get from Medicare Advantage varies. Standalone dental insurance is a separate plan that has its own monthly premium. By taking this route, you have access to a broad range of policies and can choose the one that offers the right amount of coverage at an affordable price. Evaluate your needs Since you’ve got dozens of options in terms of carriers and specific policies, it’s important to put some thought into selecting your standalone plan. First and foremost, think about your current oral health condition and what may be required in the foreseeable future. The whole purpose of enrolling in a plan is to save money on care, so check that procedures and treatments you may need will be covered. Additionally, weigh the cost of available plans against your budget. Remember that beyond preventative care, your plan’s cost includes more than just a monthly premium. You’ll likely have a deductible, copay, co-insurance, and an annual maximum — all of which have an impact on how much you’ll pay for your policy as well as for dental services. Finally, compare coverage details. While preventative care is fully covered by most dental insurance, whether basic and major restorative treatments are covered — and how much is covered — varies greatly across carriers and plans. Many policies also have a six or 12 month waiting period, meaning coverage won’t kick in until then. How much do full coverage standalone plans cost? A full coverage dental plan, depending on where you live among other factors, can cost anywhere between $25 and $80 per month. Keep in mind that comprehensive coverage doesn’t mean every dental service will be covered in full by your plan. Instead, it means you’ve got some level of coverage on a broader array of services. It’s critical to look at your plan details to ensure your coverage fits what you’re looking for. While insurance costs might seem steep, consider how much you’ll have to pay for unexpected treatments out of pocket. More often than not, the investment in dental insurance is worth it for seniors. Get an immediate full coverage standalone dental plan with Spirit Find affordable coverage from Spirit Dental & Vision. With no waiting periods, high annual maximums, and a variety of plans offering different levels of coverage, you’re sure to find the standalone plan that fits your needs. [Get Your Free Quote]
There are a number of procedures and treatments for missing, broken, or decaying teeth. Dental implants are a long-term solution for restoring your smile. It’s a procedure involving the replacement of tooth roots with screw-like metal posts that fuse to the jawbone, then replacing the damaged or missing teeth with artificial — yet realistic — teeth. Keep reading to learn more about how dental implants can restore your smile and keep your mouth healthy for years to come. The benefits of dental implants The advantages of dental implants are plentiful. From aesthetic improvements to better dental health, they are the chosen treatment for many with damaged or missing teeth. Dental implants improve your confidence Those with cracked or missing teeth may be self-conscious and shy away from social and professional situations. Dental implants will give you a smile you can’t wait to show off! You won’t look like a different person — you’ll just look like the best version of yourself. Dental implants make eating easier Missing or decaying teeth can lead to discomfort and difficulty eating. Dentures or other appliances used to replace teeth may also slip or shift after a meal. Dental implants feel and act just like natural teeth, allowing you to regain full functionality of your mouth and chew normally. Dental implants prevent bone loss Bone loss can weaken the jaw and even cause changes in your facial structure and overall appearance. Since the implant becomes part of your jawbone, it also helps to preserve the health of the surrounding bone and gums. Dental implants keep adjacent teeth stable When a tooth is missing, the surrounding teeth may start to shift to fill the gap. In filling the gap with a dental implant, nearby teeth don’t need to be altered to support it like they do with a bridge, so adjacent teeth stay in place and are left intact. This improves long-term oral health. Dental implants can last a lifetime Yes, you read that right. With proper oral care, it’s possible for implants to last decades. And where fillings, crowns and bridges can fall out or wear over time, implants fuse with the jawbone, serving as a far more permanent solution. Dental implants are cost-effective The price tag of a set of implants may leave your jaw on the floor — but remember, these implants are permanent and can last decades. They also don’t require tools, adhesives, special cleaning products, or adjustments to maintain; you treat the implants as natural teeth. Considering the convenience and the fact that you may never have to replace dental implants, they are well worth it. The potential risks of dental implants As with any medical treatment, there are possible risks associated with dental implants, and it’s our responsibility to mention them so you’re as informed as possible. However, keep in mind that most dental implant procedures are done without issue. Sinus damage In extremely rare cases, dental implants placed improperly in the upper jaw can protrude into the sinus cavity. While it may not cause problems, it will likely require a sinus lift procedure, which involves adding some bone into the sinus cavity to keep the implant stable. Infections There is a minute risk of getting an infection at the implant site. Symptoms of infection include bad breath that doesn’t go away, loose teeth or new gaps between teeth, swollen gums or pus. Nerve damage In the process of the implants being placed, there’s a small chance that they can injure nerves that connect to the face and gums. If you notice pain, numbness or tingling, contact your dental professional right away. This can cause issues for your gums, lips, chin or other natural teeth. What happens if you don’t get dental implants? A greater risk for health complications comes from choosing not to get dental implant treatment. By leaving one or more missing or damaged teeth, you’ll potentially experience one or more of the following: Bone loss Bite alignment issues Diminished ability to chew Decay of adjacent teeth Feelings of insecurity and hiding your smile The verdict: yes, dental implants are worth it Life-changing benefits; a small risk for complications; results that last a lifetime. If that’s not enough to convince you dental implants are worth it, we don’t know what is! If you’re still concerned with cost, there are dental plans available that provide some coverage for an implant procedure. Find the right dental plan for your needs and reach out to us today for dental implant insurance.with Spirit Dental.
The lens of your eye, which is located behind the iris, is normally clear, allowing for light to pass through so you can see well. But when a cataract forms on the lens, it causes it to become cloudy or foggy, inhibiting the amount of light that can get through. And that results in changes in your vision because your eye isn’t able to focus like it should. Cataracts are a common problem, and many seniors end up needing surgery to replace the lens and restore vision in one or both eyes. Being aware of the causes may help you take steps to reduce the risk of cataracts, while being familiar with the symptoms can help you recognize the problem if it develops, so we cover both the causes and symptoms of cataracts below. What can cause cataracts? You might develop a cataract simply as a result of the aging process. Basically, as you get older, the lens changes and the proteins in it break down. As they clump together, those proteins can cause clouding. These changes to the lens might start when you’re around 40 years old, but you might not notice a problem until years later. That’s right: a cataract can progress over time, making the cloudiness—and your vision—worse. In addition to being a part of the aging process, there are certain conditions, medications, injuries, and habits that might lead to cataracts or speed up their development. Here are some examples: Diabetes Certain genetic disorders Other eye problems Eye injury (the cataract might even form years after an injury!) Certain medications, such as steroids Radiation treatment, particularly to the upper part of the body Exposing the eyes to too much sunlight by not wearing sunglasses or hats Drinking a lot of alocohol Smoking What are the symptoms of cataracts? When a cataract is first forming, you might not realize that there’s a problem. Over time, though, as the cataract expands and covers more of the lens, you may start to notice changes in your vision. Here are some of the ways in which your vision might change because of cataracts: Blurriness Vision that’s described as foggy, hazy, or cloudy Faced colors Difficulty seeing at night Needing more light for doing things like reading Double vision Halos or glare surrounding lights Sensitivity to lights (such as from lamps or sunlight), which might appear brighter than they should The need to change your prescription more often than usual Your eye doctor can be there to help you see clearly again Keep in mind that cataracts symptoms may come on slowly because this condition typically develops slowly. And it’s important to talk to an eye doctor as soon as you notice changes in your vision so you can figure out if a cataract is to blame. At first, your eye doctor might recommend changing your prescription to cope with the changes caused by a cataract. But if it gets to the point that you’re finding it really hard to see clearly and do things like drive or read, your doctor might recommend surgery to remove the cataract and prevent further vision loss. Take great care of your eyes with the help of vision insurance! A last note: the symptoms caused by cataracts might also be associated with other conditions, so it’s critical that you get the right diagnosis and pursue the best treatment to save your vision. Again, don’t hesitate to talk about your symptoms and have your eyes carefully examined by a professional. If you’re concerned about being able to afford trips to the eye doctor, Spirit is here to help. With the right vision insurance, you can worry less about the cost of eye exams and prescription glasses or contacts, so you won’t need to waste any time when you need to address changes in your vision. Sources: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/8589-cataracts https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cataracts/symptoms-causes/syc-20353790 https://www.nei.nih.gov/learn-about-eye-health/eye-conditions-and-diseases/cataracts https://www.nei.nih.gov/learn-about-eye-health/eye-conditions-and-diseases/cataracts/causes-cataract https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/cataracts https://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/cataracts.htm
Vitamin C is known for supporting your immune system, but here’s something you might not know about this vital nutrient: it can also support your dental health! That’s right, getting enough vitamin C is a smart move if you want to keep your gums and pearly whites strong. Check out the information below to learn more. Do Your Gums Bleed? You Might Need More Vitamin C Researchers have found that, in addition to brushing, flossing, and seeing your dentist regularly, another important step that may help support the health and strength of your gums is getting enough vitamin C. What happens if you don’t have enough vitamin C in your blood? Well, you might end up with gum problems. More specifically, you might be at a greater risk of bleeding gums, which is a symptom of gingivitis. In that case, increasing the level of vitamin C in the body might help resolve these issues. If your gums are bleeding or you are experiencing other gum problems, talk to your dentist, and consider consulting with your physician as well. They can help you determine if you’re deficient in this vitamin, and can also give you advice on how to bring the level up safely, if necessary. Where Can You Get Vitamin C? Water-soluble vitamins like vitamin C aren’t stored in your body, so you need to get enough of it daily to maintain the right amount of it in your system. The good news is there are a lot of delicious foods that can provide plenty of vitamin C. Eating a nutritious and balanced diet that consists of various fruits and veggies is a great place to start. Here are some examples of foods that contain vitamin C: Citrus fruits, such as oranges Carrots Cantaloupe Berries Kiwi Sweet potatoes Spinach Kale Red peppers Broccoli Note: Even though you can also get vitamin C from fruit juice like orange juice, it’s a good idea to enjoy it in moderation because it may be acidic and high in sugar—not good for your chompers! You can also take vitamin C supplements In addition to getting this vitamin from your diet, you can take a high-quality vitamin C supplement. Or, you might decide to take a multivitamin that provides enough of this nutrient. This simple step may help ensure that, no matter what you eat, you’re getting enough of this vitamin on a consistent basis. How Much Vitamin C Should You Aim to Get Daily? Experts recommend that adult men get around 90 mg of vitamin C every day. On the other hand, adult women can aim to get around 75 mg each day. If you want to take a vitamin C supplement to help support your gums, you might consider taking one that provides anywhere from 100-200 mg of vitamin C daily. But the amount you need may depend on various factors. For example, you might need more vitamin C if you’re following a low-carb diet. To figure out just how much is right for you, consult with your doctor for personalized guidance. He or she might check your current level to determine how much you need to get from a supplement. Plus, your doctor can also share valuable tips on how you can improve your diet. Talk to Your Dentist About Vitamin C If Your Gums Bleed Easily Bleeding gums is a symptom that should be addressed, so don’t hesitate to discuss this problem with your dentist as soon as possible. By figuring out the cause—whether it’s a low level of vitamin C or not—you can receive the right treatment and prevent further damage. Bottom line: brush, floss, and keep an eye out for gum irritation, inflammation, or bleeding. Also, improving and supplementing your diet so you get adequate amounts of vitamin C every day might make a big difference in the health of your teeth and gums. Sources: https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/nutrition-and-oral-health/5-essential-vitamins-for-teeth-and-gum-health https://oralb.com/en-us/oral-health/conditions/gums/vitamin-c-calcium-oral-health/ https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/can-increasing-vitamin-c-intake-help-stop-bleeding-gums https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/threats-to-dental-health/how-acidic-drinks-affect-teeth https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/bleeding-gums-you-may-need-more-vitamin-c