Thursday, June 28, 2012

How Healthcare Financing Credit Cards Can Help...or Hurt

How to Use Healthcare Financing Credit Cards to Your Advantage, 
and What to Look Out For. 

Healthcare financing credit cards are quickly becoming more and more popular, with more companies starting to offer them. They're a great tool for some people if used correctly and a great way to get yourself into massive debt if used incorrectly. So, what are they and how can you use them to your advantage?

A healthcare financing credit card is just that- a credit card that you can use to finance any kind of medical procedure. You sign up for the card often at your doctor's office, are approved or denied almost immediately based on your credit history, and then put the entire bill of your medical procedure on the card at the time of service. You work out a payment plan with the credit card company and not with your medical provider. CareCredit is the most popular of these healthcare financing companies. If you choose to pay your bill during a shorter plan between 6-24 months and as long as you consistently make monthly payments you can avoid ever having to pay any interest. This is the only way that we will recommend CareCredit to our patients. 

You can get yourself in trouble when you don't pay attention to the amount of interest being charged on your card. When you opt to pay over a longer period of time or you miss a payment these companies charge an obscene amount of interest- up to 29% or even more! So be careful! While a healthcare financing credit card can be really useful in paying your medical bills over time, it can also be really dangerous to your bank account if you're not responsible with it. 

As an office we love CareCredit, patients that need work done to maintain a healthy mouth, or even that want cosmetic work done, are given the opportunity to when financially they may otherwise not be able to. Also, we get paid up front and don't have to worry about chasing the patients down for money since CareCredit takes care of that by sending them monthly statements. Wells Fargo and Chase are other companies that also provide patient financing credit cards are. 

A Family Dental Care Center: Dr. Seth Rosen
2030 West Main Street, Norristown PA 19403

Friday, June 22, 2012

Are You Too Old For Braces?

3 Alternatives to Braces for Fixing Crooked Adult Teeth

While metal braces are never an attractive look, they are often an especially unappealing option for adults. Even if you had braces as a kid your teeth may have shifted slightly, something that is normal with age. If you have slightly crooked teeth that have been irking you, or even just one or two teeth that are out of line, there are options for you that are cheaper and less cosmetically invasive than metal braces. 

Invisalign- Invisalign is the most popular system of clear invisible braces. These are a great option if you have never had braces before and a great alternative to metal braces. They can be used to fix most crooked smiles and even many bite problems. You are given a series of clear custom-made aligners that you wear all day and switch out every few weeks to gradually straighten your teeth. Treatment time varies but it is usually only about a year before you have a perfect straight smile! 

Veneers- Porcelain veneers are a great option if you have one or two teeth that are out of line and keeping you from smiling, or even a lot of teeth that are just slightly misshapen. Veneers can also be used to close gaps between teeth. They are a lot cheaper than braces and are sometimes referred to as "instant orthodontics" since they instantly fix your smile! The downside to veneers: you have to keep up with them and they can never be taken off- once you have them you have to keep them for life. 

Snap-on-Smile- The Snap-on-Smile is the most affordable option to straight teeth. This is a removable arch of teeth that fit comfortably onto your actual teeth. It's totally non-invasive, non-painful, and completely reversible since you just snap the Snap-on-Smile in every day and take it out at night. This isn't a permanent option to fixing crooked teeth, but it can hide your teeth under a perfect set. 
Before and after picture taken at our office of a Snap-on-Smile case. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

When Your Breath is Melting the Walls....

Bad Breath Causes, and How to Fix Them 

Bad breath affects most people at one point or another. Usually keeping up with brushing and flossing is enough to keep bad breath at bay. Bad breath that won't go away is called chronic halitosis, a condition that affects an estimated 60 million people in the United States. Here's how to handle a few bad breath causes: 

Cause: Certain foods, such as garlic (the biggest offender) and onions, can cause bad breath that doesn't disappear with brushing or mouthwash. This is because particles of food are absorbed into the bloodstream and transferred to the lungs as food is digested. You can continue to breathe out these molecules until the food has been completely digested, causing bad breath that can't be masked.
Fix: While there are many home remedies to fixing garlic breath, such as eating a teaspoon of mustard, vegetables, or mint tea, the only way to totally avoid it is to avoid eating smelly foods in general. 

Cause: Bacteria is normal and can fester inside your mouth for a variety of reasons, causing very bad breath. 
Fix: Eat yogurt! A Japanese study discovered that plain yogurt eaten every day can change the environment in your mouth to eliminate bad breath caused by bacteria. This is because plain yogurt contains healthy probiotics that help replace the harmful bacteria that cause bad breath, gum disease, and cavities. 

Cause: Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, can be caused by sleeping with your mouth open, smoking, chewing tobacco, dehydration, nerve damage, or as a side effect of certain medications and medical conditions. Besides an uncomfortable dryness in your throat and mouth, this can cause chronic bad breath and increase your risk of gingivitis, tooth decay, and mouth infections. Since saliva is necessary in rinsing away bacteria in your mouth, dry mouth allows this bacteria to hang around and continue producing foul odors.
Fix: If your dry mouth is caused by a medication, speak to your doctor to find a solution. There are oral rinses that can be prescribed to restore moisture in your mouth as well as medications that stimulate saliva production. Easier solutions to dry mouth are: chew sugar free gum, drink plenty of water (at least 2 liters a day!), and use a room vaporizer at night to add moisture to the air while you're sleeping. 

Cause: Gum disease can cause persistent bad breath that won't go away with brushing. If left untreated, gum disease can cause permanent damage to your teeth, gums, and jaw bone. 
Fix: See your dentist, gum disease will have to be treated with a series of very thorough cleanings and antibiotics. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Dental Fun Facts

Here are 10 facts you probably didn't know: 

  • The average toothbrush has about 2,000 bristles that are grouped in to the about 40 tufts that you see. 

  • The average American spends about 38days brushing their teeth over the course of their lifetime.

  • Dental floss has been used in many attempted, although unsuccessful, prison escapes. A West Virginian inmate once braided a 20 foot rope of dental floss and used it to escape through a window and down a wall. Dental floss can also be used to cut through prison bars. 

  • George Washington's teeth were not actually made from wood. The dentures were carved out of hippo and elephant ivory and held together with a spring. Inserted in the ivory were human teeth (probably from slaves), and bits of donkey and horse teeth.

A miswak.
  • The first description of a toothbrush dates back to around 1600 BC in China, it was called a chew stick and was simply a twig with a frayed end. You can still buy this today: the miswak teeth cleaning twig. 

  • 32% of Americans say their co-workers have bad breath.

  • More people use blue toothbrushes than red ones. 

  • The ancient Egyptians invented toothpaste 5000 years ago. Ingredients included rock salt, mint, dried iris flower, and 20 grains of pepper all mixed with saliva. 

  • Dog's are less likely than humans to develope cavities because their saliva has a very high PH, preventing the loss of tooth enamel. 

  • Some babies are born with visible teeth, known as neonatal teeth. 
A Family Dental Care Center: Dr. Seth Rosen