Category Archives: Preventive

If You Have Insurance, Your Cleanings Are Free!

woman at teeth cleaning appointmentWe know many dental patients find the ins & outs of dental insurance confusing, but if you have dental insurance the most important thing for you to know is that you get two free cleanings per year!

Nearly all dental insurance plans are set up in favor of preventive care. Most plan benefits cover two annual teeth cleanings (also referred to as hygiene or prophylaxis in clinical terms) at 100%, meaning you won’t pay anything out of pocket for your visit & the insurance company covers the cost of your annual cleanings. This is one of the ways that insurance companies & your dentist encourage you to prevent dental problems. By seeing the dentist for a cleaning every six months, which usually includes a brief exam, we can catch problems before they become painful, costly or both!

At a typical dental clinic, teeth cleanings are the most common reason patients come in to the office. If your teeth are relatively health, you’ve avoided having a dental injury, & you haven’t chosen to have cosmetic dentistry, most of time your visits to our office will not involve a financial transaction on your part at all. That being said, we will bill your insurance for your cleaning, meaning each cleaning won’t cost you cash, but it will cost you one of your annually allotted teeth cleaning benefits from your dental plan.

In some very rare situations, your insurance company may request you pay a small out-of-pocket cost for your cleaning. However, this shouldn’t be a reason not to get your cleaning. The $10 copay you pay twice a year for your cleaning if you have this kind of insurance plan is small compared to the hundreds or thousands you might pay out of pocket if something goes wrong & you need a crown because you haven’t been going to the dentist!

We don’t want anything to stand between you & optimal dental health. That’s why we offer teeth cleaning appointments that fit your busy schedule. We strive to provide appointment times that don’t require you to take off work (or school). We’d much rather see you before or after work for your teeth cleaning than pull you away from your obligations in the middle of the day. If you don’t already have your next 6-month teeth cleaning appointment scheduled, call us today so we can arrange it!

Take advantage of your teeth cleaning benefits! They’re made available to you in order to keep both your smile & your wallet healthy!

What’s unique about Columbia #24

Christian Siriano, fashion designer & winner of the fourth season of Project Runway, was born in Columbia.

How Often Should You Replace Your Toothbrush?

how often to replace your toothbrushWe’ve all heard that the pen is mightier than the sword. You might also say that the toothbrush is mightier than the drill! That’s because if you wield your toothbrush properly, it’s a very powerful weapon against tooth decay & gum disease. But like any tool, if you want it to work best, you need to take care of it. That’s why you need to replace your toothbrush frequently to maintain proper oral hygiene!

Change Your Toothbrush Every 3 Months

The American Dental Association recommends replacing your toothbrush every 3-4 months. Toothbrushes become worn over time & bristles bend & fray they become less effective at cleaning your teeth. A toothbrush with straight, stiff (not hard!) bristles will do the best job.

If you find you often forget to replace your toothbrush on time, try putting a note or a reminder in your personal calendar every 3 months to buy a new one. Always buy soft-bristled toothbrushes. Hard or medium bristles are not necessary to properly or effectively clean your teeth, & may even damage your enamel, making your teeth more vulnerable to tooth decay.

Another good reminder of when to change your toothbrush is when we hand you a new one at your 6-month cleaning appointment! You should replace your toothbrush at least once between every bi-yearly oral hygiene appointment with us.

Signs It’s Time to Change

Not everyone knows this, but toothbrushes will actually show physical signs that it’s time for them to be replaced. The most obvious sign is that the bristles will start to fray & splay outward instead of standing up straight.

(This effect will be more severe if you brush your teeth to hard. If you notice your brush’s bristles fraying very soon after they’re new, it may be a sign that you’re brushing so hard you can damage your teeth or cause sensitivity. How thorough you are is much more important than how hard you brush. Be gentle!)

Many toothbrush manufacturers also build a wear guide into the bristles of their brushes. Most of the time this is in the form of a colored strip of bristles. Once the color on these bristles has faded significantly, it’s time to replace your toothbrush.

What’s unique about Columbia #23: Aaron McGruder, cartoonist & writer best known for the series The Boondocks, grew up in Columbia.

We Respect the Schedules of Our Working Patients

convenient teeth cleaning appointments for working patientsWe know the majority of our patients work during the middle of the day. You may not work 9 to 5 exactly (maybe you work 8 to 4) but chances are that in the middle of the day, your employer or clients expect you to be at work or available. That’s why we do our best to offer teeth cleaning appointments that fit your work schedule.

We don’t want anything to come between you & your regular preventive dental care appointments. That being said, we also don’t want you to view 6-month visits to our office as something that disrupts your ability to provide for yourself & your family. That’s why we go the extra mile to provide appointments that are convenient for your work schedule.

We have morning appointments available so that you can stop in before work for your cleaning. We also have evening appointments available so that you can stop by on your way home. Our teeth cleaning appointments are less than an hour long, so you’ll be in & out quickly. We work early & late so you don’t have to take time off!

The best way to ensure your long term dental health is to see us regularly for preventive dental care. Catching problems early & getting a professional cleaning every 6 months (or however often the dentist or dental hygienist recommends) can prevent potentially costly & painful dental problems in the future. We don’t say this to scare you, just as a reminder that an once of prevention is worth a pound of cure! Or in this case, a one-hour cleaning is worth sparing yourself the expense & inconvenience of dental disease & tooth decay!

The importance of preventive teeth cleaning visits is why we always strive to pre-appoint you for your next visit in a time that fits with your work schedule. Please don’t hesitate to let us know when you need to be at work. If it’s very unlikely you’ll be able to make it for a 4pm appointment, we’d much rather see you at 5:30pm than have you miss or cancel! Our goal is always to make dentistry as easy as possible for you. It’s how we keep our family of patients smiling!

What’s unique about Columbia #20: Columbia has 80 miles of public paths for jogging, strolling & biking.