fbpx

ANOTHER YEAR IS COMING to a close, and that means another year of insurance benefits is about to expire. If you haven’t taken advantage of your dental insurance yet, that’s okay, but the year is almost over, so the time to use them is now. To help you prepare, we’ve put together some information about how dental insurance works at our practice.

Dental Insurance And Treatment

At our practice, typically partial or complete coverage is offered for elective procedures. Depending on what insurance you have coverage will vary. If your insurance is In-network with our practice, we will accept and file your insurance for you. Major medical insurance plans do not typically include dental coverage. It is most often a supplemental plan that you need to purchase separately.

 

Do You Have Compatible Insurance?

Lane & Associates accepts over 18 Dental Insurance providers. Please see the complete list on our Insurance page to find out more. To ask more questions about your coverage, please reach out to our patient services representative to discuss your options by emailing us at info@lanedds.com. Please have your insurance card ready so that we can give you an estimate over the phone.

Getting Everything Done On Time

In order to utilize your benefits before the end of the year our offices recommend making an appointment before December 20th. Typically appointments fill up at the end of the year due to insurance benefits and Holidays. Our offices will be closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Years Day so the last day of the year you can make an appointment will be on the 31st of December. We recommend coming in much sooner so your insurance company can process your benefits in a timely manner.

If It’s Been A While, Let’s Chat!

If you have more questions regarding your insurance and how to use it, just stop by! We can answer all the questions you have and get you on the right path to affordable dental treatment! And even if your dental insurance doesn’t cover certain procedures, you should still schedule an appointment with your dentist to make the most of your benefits.

Take advantage of those benefits while there’s still time! Schedule your appointment at Lane & Associates today.

Are you seeing red when you floss those pearly whites?

We’ve probably all experienced it: You brush like you always have, swish and rinse. Then you pull out a length of that innocent-looking white string and begin to floss. You’ve hardly started when you notice your drool is turning pink, then crimson. What’s going on? It’s like that flimsy little strand turned into a lethal weapon—and your gums are the victim.

To worry or not to worry

Bleeding gums are definite evidence that something’s amiss in your mouth. Assuming you’re not attacking your gums with floss like a lumberjack trying to take down a tree, it probably isn’t caused by flossing too hard.

Bleeding gums can be a sign of gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease. When remnants of food, the bits you cannot reach with the bristles of your toothbrush, are left between the teeth, they quickly start to colonize and turn into a film of sticky bacteria that becomes plaque. The plaque, in turn, irritates your gums, causing inflammation and swelling.

The good news is that the condition is reversible.

Keep on flossing

When you notice your gums bleeding during flossing, you might think it’s better to quit and let your gums heal. Actually, you should do just the opposite.

Continue with gentle flossing every day, and in a week or so you should see improvement. Healthy gums don’t normally bleed. If the bleeding doesn’t stop after a period of flossing daily, make an appointment with your dentist. You could have a buildup of tartar that you’re not going to be able to brush away or some other issue with your gums.

And while you’re at the dentist’s office, it’s a good idea to check with your dental hygienist on the proper flossing technique. Incorrect flossing can lead to gums that bleed simply because you aren’t effectively removing the plaque between the surfaces of your teeth.

Other causes of bleeding while flossing

If you’re new to flossing, your gums are most likely going to bleed. Think of it like exercising. The first couple of times you work out your muscles are sore. But with time and regular workouts, the soreness (like the bleeding) disappears.

Vitamin deficiencies from poor nutrition can also cause the gums to bleed. Try to cut back on eating processed foods and nourish not only your gums but your entire body with a diet of healthier whole foods—fruits, vegetables, grains, meats, fish and dairy.

And if there weren’t already enough reasons to quit smoking, use of tobacco products negatively impacts your oral health and can contribute to bloody gums.

A healthy habit for life

According to the American Dental Association, flossing is an important part of your daily oral routine and can reduce the chance of gum disease and cavities.

But recently there’s been some discussion about the best time to floss. Before or after brushing? The strongest argument seems to support before simply because you will be more likely to do it. And if you regularly do it, you’ll have healthy gums. And that’s something to smile about.

If your gums are bleeding regularly and the above information isn’t putting your mind at ease, contact Lane and Associates Family Dentistry today to set up an appointment and let us help.

Happy Valentine’s Day from Lane & Associates!

Let’s be honest, by this time in the year people are ready to indulge in some delicious candy and sweets – especially if they have been dieting since January 1st. It’s time for a treat! But what if we could choose some candies that not only taste delicious but that our teeth will thank us for later.

 

Today got us thinking, what treats should patients avoid the most on Valentine’s Day and how can we let our patients know of some healthier alternatives? Let’s dive in!

 

Our Top 5 Treats that you should avoid on Valentine’s Day include:

1. Hard Candy

2. Chewy Candy & Dried Fruit

3. Sour Candy & Acidic Foods

4. Sugary Drinks & Alcohol

5. Caramel Popcorn

 

HARD CANDY

Generally, these candies (Jolly Ranchers, BlowPops, Werther’s) take the longest to eat and therefore have a longer amount of time exposing your teeth to sugar. The sugar coats your teeth when mixing with saliva and makes it very difficult to wash away. Since the bacteria in your mouth also feed on sugar, this begins to break down your tooth enamel. Hard candy enthusiasts also love to chew on candy which makes them vulnerable to chipping, breaking, or cracking your teeth.

 

CHEWY CANDY & DRIED FRUIT

Chewy and sticky foods (like dried fruit) aren’t good for your teeth because they stick to the surface of your teeth and are even more difficult to remove. The longer the caramel inside of a chocolate surprise sticks to your teeth, the longer your teeth are exposed to sugar that leads to tooth decay.

 

SOUR CANDY & ACIDIC FOODS

This combination is a double whammy. In one instance, sour candy has a lot of extra sugar to compensate for the sour taste but it also has a ton of acidity that is known to break down the tooth enamel.

 

SUGARY DRINKS & ALCOHOL

If you suffer from dry mouth, sugary drinks and especially alcohol will only worsen the situation. Alcohol has a lot of added sugars and will also remove the amount of saliva your produce. Saliva is the mouth’s natural defense system to fight plaque and acid so try to avoid especially sweet drinks this Valentine’s Day.

 

CARAMEL POPCORN

Popcorn, as we all know, has a tendency to get stuck in between our teeth. When food is trapped in between our teeth it creates a nice place for bacteria to grow. The added combination of caramel to our popcorn is almost the worst snack that we could choose on Valentine’s Day for our teeth.

 

SO WHAT CAN I EAT THIS VALENTINE’S DAY?

Some alternative snacks to indulge that sweet tooth:

  • Sugar-free candies that contain Xylitol
  • Non-acidic fruit
  • Dark chocolate-dipped fruit
  • Fruit popsicles
  • Banana ice cream
  • Frozen grapes
  • Smoothies
  • Pudding
  • Peanut butter
  • Chocolate milk

Of course, we always encourage you to floss after indulging and rinse with mouthwash to keep your smile free of leftover plaque that sticks to your teeth.

 

Embrace your sweet tooth once more with these healthy alternatives and keep your smile looking “Be My Valentine” perfect.

 

Have more ideas for healthy Valentine’s Day alternatives? Reach out to your dentist today and let us know!

DID YOU KNOW THAT FEBRUARY is not only Children’s Dental Health Month but also Pet Dental Health Month? That’s right! Your pets need their teeth taken care of too! While their teeth don’t require quite as much attention as ours or our kids’ do, your pet’s teeth still need a little tender loving care to keep them healthy.

Brush Your Pet’s Teeth

Brushing our teeth removes plaque and prevents gum disease; the same goes for dogs and cats! Brushing your dog or cat’s teeth three to four times per week can prevent dental disease and extend their life. It can also save them a lot of pain and you a lot of money on veterinary visits!

Use The Right Toothpaste

It’s important not to use regular human toothpaste for your pet. Since dogs and cats can’t spit the toothpaste out, the high fluoride content can really upset their stomachs and can even be toxic. You can find toothpaste specifically made for pets that are not only safe but appeals to their taste buds too!

Chew Toys Help Remove Plaque

Just as chewing sugarless gum after you eat helps increase saliva production and remove plaque, chew toys contribute to your pet’s dental health in between brushing sessions. Getting your pet a chew toy or hard bone can strengthen their teeth and gums as well as scrub plaque off of their teeth!

They Need Regular Checkups Just Like We Do

Biannual or annual visits to your veterinarian help keep your pet’s mouth and body healthy. When you come into the dentist for your bi-annual visit, we not only clean your teeth but check for signs of more serious conditions such as periodontal disease and oral cancer. Routine checkups for your pet are just as essential for their health.

A Healthy Mouth Makes A Healthy Pet

Sadly, statistics suggest that over 80 percent of dogs and cats have some degree of dental disease by the time they are three years old. Remember, a healthy mouth means a happy life. That goes for you and Sparky! If you have any questions about YOUR dental health, call us or come in today!

We love our patients (and their pets)!

 

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

THE CDC REPORTS that 1 in 5 children (between ages 5 and 11) in the US have untreated tooth decay. Not only should tooth decay be treated in regular dental appointments, but it should also be prevented! Tooth decay is 100 percent preventable with effective personal care and regular dental cleanings.

In honor of Children’s Dental Health Month, we’re spreading the word about children’s dental health.

 

YOU Can Help Little Ones Have Healthier Smiles!

  1. Encourage them to brush for two full minutes. 
  2. Pick a song about two minutes long and sing it to them during brushing time.
  3. Set reminders to brush twice a day. Brushing after breakfast and just before bed are the best times for preventing bacteria growth from food.
  4. Show them flossing is fun, not harmful. Be gentle at first when doing it for them. A bad experience can stop them from flossing on their own.
  5. Be persistent. Don’t let fussy children off the hook. Be motivating! Kids may gladly brush for a sticker or star if you make it an activity.
  6. Set their first dental appointment before age 1. Having positive dental experiences early will make dental visits easier and less frightening when older.

To celebrate Children’s Dental Health Month Lane & Associates Family Dentistry is sponsoring a Coloring Contest! Enter your completed coloring sheet via our Facebook pages for your chance to win a $100 Gift Card to www.marblesthebrainstore.com! We are giving away one gift card at each of our 27 locations! Coloring sheets can be downloaded and printed at https://www.lanedds.com/coloring-contest. There are 4 designs to choose from.

Contest rules can be found on our Facebook pages and directly on the coloring pages.

Help Us Spread The Word!

Share this message with your friends and family, and especially with the children in your life. Thanks for being our valued patients and friends!

FEELING A BIT TIRED at times during the day is completely normal, even with a good night’s sleep. Some people, however, struggle every night for a restful sleep, especially those with sleep apnea.

Did you know that one in five adults has obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) with 80 percent of cases going undiagnosed? This condition can disrupt your sleep and increase your risk of severe health problems.

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea occurs when your muscles relax during sleep, allowing soft tissue to collapse and block the airway. This can cause a person to stop breathing hundreds of times per night, immensely disrupting their sleep. Here are some indications of a problem:

  1. Morning headaches
  2. Excessive daytime drowsiness
  3. Irritability
  4. Impaired mental or emotional functioning
  5. Insomnia
  6. Excessive snoring, choking or gasping during sleep
  7. Waking with a dry mouth or a sore throat

We Can Help

Dentists are often the first professionals to become aware of a potential case of OSA and many are specially trained for the treatment of sleep apnea. We are just such a practice!

Married couple in bed with man snoring

While the most common treatment for sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, oral appliance therapy that dentists provide is the increasingly preferred form of treatment. This is due to the high rejection rate of CPAP therapy and the fact that oral appliances are much more convenient, portable, and easy to care for.

Oral Appliance Therapy

Oral appliance therapy uses a mouth guard-like device to maintain an open, unobstructed airway while you sleep. They are typically as easy to wear as most retainers. There are two ways the oral appliance works to open up your airway:

By repositioning your lower jaw, it keeps your throat muscles engaged as you sleep, preventing them from collapsing.
Oral appliances can also move your tongue forward, keeping it from falling back and blocking the throat.

At Lane & Associates, Oral Appliance Therapy is covered by your medical insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid! Call us to see if an oral appliance might be right for you or for more information about sleep apnea.

Don’t Ignore Sleep Apnea

Never underestimate the power of a good night’s rest! The quality of your sleep is extremely important to your overall health and well-being. Ask us today how you can better your life by treating sleep apnea through oral appliance therapy!

MANY PARENTS mention how difficult it can be to get their teenagers to practice good oral hygiene. The teenage years are rife with junk food, soda consumption, and in some cases, an indifference to daily brushing and flossing.

Although it may be challenging, motivating teens toward better oral health care is extremely important. For the teenagers of this generation, a parent’s best bet of making oral hygiene more fun may be technology!

Oral Health Tech Can Pique Your Teen’s Interest

Motivate your teenagers to engage in good oral hygiene by showing them these gadgets for their morning and nightly routine!

  • Oral Irrigator: Flossing the old-fashioned way can seem tedious. Using a water flosser is quicker and more fun! Even teenagers seem to love the idea of power washing their teeth.
  • Shower Flosser: A spin on oral irrigation, the shower flosser makes it even more convenient to floss your teeth. Simply attach an oral irrigation unit to your shower head for mess-free flossing!
  • Power Flosser: With a flexible nylon tip that slips easily in between teeth, a power flosser will floss your teeth with up to 10,000 gentle tip strokes per minute. It’s fast and fun!
  • Air Flosser: Another alternative to conventional flossing, the air flosser cleans out debris and plaque by shooting quick bursts of air and water in between teeth.
  • Natural Sweeteners: Many trendy new snacks and candies contain non-sugar sweeteners. Xylitol, for example, is effective in fighting off plaque and cavities. Research shows that xylitol protects teeth from tooth decay by preventing bacteria from sticking to teeth and keeping a neutral pH level in the mouth. Buy your kids some sugar-free, xylitol-sweetened gum or mints and encourage them to use them after eating.

Start Good Habits When They’re Young

Dental decay is the most common chronic disease in young people between the ages of five and 17, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Good oral health habits should be taught early so that when your children do become teenagers, they have already established an oral hygiene routine and have a sound understanding of why it is important.

After all, if they keep up good dental habits, they could end up like this hip grandma who still has all of her teeth!

Partners In Promoting Oral Health

As your trusted dental professionals, we are your partners in promoting the oral health of your whole family. We are here to help motivate children and teenagers toward better oral care so that your family can remain happy and healthy!

IS YOUR SMILE AS WHITE as it used to be? Even good oral hygiene won’t prevent tooth discoloration forever. While daily brushing and flossing help keep your teeth clean and healthy, it’s normal to feel like your smile is lacking some sparkle as you get older. If you’re looking to bring that sparkle back, cosmetic tooth whitening in our Fuquay Varina, Garner, Raleigh, and Cary NC offices may be the answer!

Teeth Whitening on Older Woman in Garner NC

Teeth Change Color Over Time

Here are some reasons our teeth may be a bit more discolored than we’d like:

  • Food and Drink: Coffee, tea, red wine, and cola are all drinks with strong color pigments that easily attach to enamel, the outer part of the tooth.
  • Age: Over time, tooth enamel gets thinner, allowing the more yellow dentin to show through.
  • Tobacco Use: The tar in tobacco is naturally dark, and nicotine, when mixed with oxygen in the air, turns into a yellow surface-staining substance.

Tooth Whitening Is A Simple Process

Whitening agents use hydrogen peroxide in one form or another to brighten your smile. Hydrogen peroxide acts as a strong bleaching agent that breaks up deep stains into smaller pieces, making the color less concentrated and your teeth brighter. It’s that simple!

There Are Whitening Options For Everyone

In-office bleaching is done at the dentist’s office and is a fast, effective way to whiten your teeth. You can usually get your whitening done in one to three visits, depending on the method used and the severity of tooth discoloration.

When you come in to get your teeth whitened, a substance is applied to cover and protect your gums. The whitening gel is then applied directly to the tooth surface. This gel is then activated, usually by a laser light, enhancing the action of the whitening agent. These professional tools produce the fastest tooth-whitening results.

At-home bleaching is another option! Many use at-home whitening kits to supplement their in-office whitening treatments. Ask us about our at-home whitening kits after your in-office whitening procedure to keep your newly white smile sparkling!

Over-the-counter whitening kits are also widely available for home use. These provide trays to hold whitening gel or whitening strips that stick to your teeth. Over-the-counter products contain a weaker whitening agent than the products you can get from your dentist and as a result, require a longer treatment period. Feel free to reach out to us with any questions when using at-home products and always follow package directions. 

Whitening toothpaste is another simple option for those who want a whiter smile! Whitening kinds of toothpaste contain abrasives that remove stains on the enamel, helping your teeth stay clean and bright.

Put The Shine Back In Your Smile!

Whitening procedures are a fast and simple way to boost your confidence and brighten your smile. And getting that white, sparkly smile you’ve always wanted has never been easier.

Did you know we offer FREE Teeth Whitening for LIFE? Learn how our professional Teeth Whitening Program works. Give us a call or stop by. We’d love to discuss what whitening options would be best for you and your teeth!

Thank you for placing your trust in Lane & Associates Family Dentistry!