Month: December 2017

Toothbrushes: Manual or Electric?

Though many of us rely on the sample toothbrush we get from the dentist at our six-month checkups, the right tool for job really does apply in terms of oral health, and not all toothbrushes are alike. Many people wonder which is better: a manual or electric toothbrush.

Dentists usually recommend that adults use a toothbrush with a small- to medium-sized head with multi-tufted, soft to medium filaments (bristles). Using a manual brush is better than nothing, but many oral health professionals are encouraging patients to switch to electric. In general, these brushes help patients get their mouths as clean as possible. Studies show that an electric brush of one sort or another removes more bacteria than a manual brush.

Furthermore, because so many people are in a hurry, they don’t do a great job brushing.  Electric toothbrushes facilitate a better probability of accomplishing what we need to do – remove plaque and bacteria. Generally using vibration, rotation, or oscillation to get the job done, they also tend to have larger handles than manual toothbrushes making them a good choice for people with dexterity issues.

Frankly, electric toothbrushes offer a variety of advantages. Not only do these brushes do most of the work, some feature a timer to make sure you brush for a full two minutes, or a pressure indicator light to let you know you’re brushing too hard.

There are a lot of options when it comes to electric toothbrushes. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends choosing toothbrushes with soft bristles. Anything too hard can damage your gums and even create little marks in your teeth – look for toothbrushes with the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance.

Electric toothbrushes are also great options for children, especially if they have braces. Practically everyone needs expensive orthodontic work these days, and if you aren’t brushing effectively you end up collecting bacteria and gunk around and under their brackets, which may leave white boxes on your teeth. There are power toothbrushes specially designed for children to use, and the ADA recommends children under the age of 7 be supervised while brushing.

You should buy a new toothbrush every three to four months, or replace the head of your electric toothbrush as instructed. Frayed bristles can’t get into the crevices around your teeth and won’t be efficient in plaque removal.

The bottom line is that you don’t have to have an electric toothbrush for great oral health, but it can be very beneficial. Sometimes an electric toothbrush helps folks stay healthy and avoid accumulating additional decay. However, people have been brushing their teeth with manual toothbrushes forever, and it works great for some.

Even the best dental plans and best dental insurance companies agree, keeping your teeth as clean and bacteria free as possible is the most healthy and cost-effective way to keep dental expenses down.  As an American Dental Group member, you’ll save even more on professional dental services and because our providers are all independent, hometown dentists our members know they’re in good hands.

Open Enrollment: The right dental coverage for you

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Health Interview Survey, one-third of Americans have not been to the dentist in the past year. Approximately 40 percent of the adults not visiting a dentist designate cost as the primary factor, according to the American Dental Association. While Open Enrollment is the normal time to obtain dental coverage for the next year, Discount Plans like ours can be purchased any time of the year, providing coverage immediately.

Studies show that despite the out-of-pocket expenses, having dental coverage makes people more likely to see the dentist. Unfortunately, approximately 130 million Americans lack dental coverage including; 22 percent of children between ages 1 and 17, 40 percent of adults between 21 and 64 and 70 percent of seniors age 65 and older.

Millions of people are not offered dental coverage through their employer, or still consider the premiums outside of their budget. For those without the option of group coverage, private dental insurance is commonly disregarded due to the high cost. Others miss the open enrollment period to sign up for traditionally expensive dental insurance plans. It is great to know that dental discount plans can be joined at any time of the year, and coverage begins immediately.

There are many reasons why even the best dental insurance isn’t the right answer for most.  Unlike health insurance, which will pick up the bulk of costs towards large healthcare bills, dental insurance primarily focuses on covering low-cost, preventive treatment. And, typically you must be a member of the insurance plan for at least one year before coverage will cover the costlier procedures.

Most dental insurance policies cap benefits at $1000 -$1,500 a year. When you reach your annual cap, you have to pay your dental costs out-of-pocket for the rest of the year. Because the average cost for a crown is $750-1200, and the cost of a single implant starts at $1500, you can exhaust your annual maximum benefits allowance pretty fast.

American Dental Group’s (ADG) membership plans offer discounts of 20-60 percent on average dental care rates for members. As an affordable alternative to insurance, ADG has no annual caps, no waiting period, and no restrictions on obtaining care for preexisting conditions. Open Enrollment is a good time to compare plans and learn more about why our membership plan may be your best choice.

For seniors, American Dental Groups affordable dental plans make even more sense.  AARP dental insurance and Medicare Dental do not offer affordable, cost-effective plans to help seniors manage their care. And because ADG also includes orthodontics, cosmetic dentistry, and specialists, our dental plans give members more control of their care.

ADG is a Colorado, family owned company working with independent, hometown dentists.  Unlike national companies, for 25 years we have cultivated relationships with our network of dental providers. As a patient advocate, we strive to work closely with our partners to ensure our members receive high quality care at affordable prices.

See the example of savings below:

Open Enrollment Discount Dental Plan Savings