Understanding insurance maximums and frequencies can be very confusing and frustrating to a dental patient, but hopefully by reading this blog, we can help those patients tackle that frustration.
Most insurance plans start over every calendar year (January 1 to December 31). This means the maximum dollar amount patients are eligible for on their plan also starts over. The denomination of this maximum is either pre-set by the employer with the insurance company, or by whichever option the patient chose with the insurance company (if it is a personal plan). Plan maximums can range anywhere from $500 to $5000, however it is ultimately the patient’s responsibility to know this maximum, and to keep track of how much they have accumulated towards it. At Braeside Dental Centre, we are more than happy to send an estimate to insurance companies before any treatment is done so our patients can be aware of what could be covered. Most insurance companies will only send the response to the member, whether it is the patient or their spouse or parent. Therefore, we will kindly remind the patient to forward that to us once they have received it, ensuring that we become aware of what could be covered as well. While we understand that insurance can be a large factor in making decisions regarding your dental work, we also want to ensure that every patient receives the care that they need to maintain healthy smiles. Sometimes, the care necessary to conserve great oral health is not covered under the patient’s insurance plan. We are all unique, and so are our dental needs. In these instances, we will most definitely prioritize your health, but we will have also established a relationship with our patient that allows for us to work together to maximize what we can out of their plan.
Another aspect that patients need to remember when it comes to the annual maximum under their plan, is if it is a combined maximum. Some insurance companies may provide two separate maximums for basic treatment (exams, hygiene, x-rays, fillings, etc.) and major treatment (dentures, crowns, bridges) or combine the two. At Braeside Dental Centre, we encourage our patients to become familiar with the details of their plan so we have a better understanding of what is expected by patients regarding their appointments.
Patients may have been asked from their dental providers: What are the frequencies and amount of scaling units on your plan? This simply means that we are asking how frequent patients are covered to come in for their regular exams with the dentist and hygiene. When patients hear scaling, they are most likely not inclined to know what that is. Scaling is done by the hygienist, who uses a scaler to remove the plaque from patients’ teeth. Scaling units are determined by time. One scaling unit is approximately 8 to 15 minutes, and two units would be approximately 15 to 30 minutes. Some insurance plans have a maximum amount of scaling units included per year, though that may fall short of what is necessary to a patient’s health. However, as I mentioned before, Braeside Dental Centre wants to make sure your dental needs are being met above all else.
I hope that by reading this blog post, our valued Braeside Dental patients will be more secured in their understanding of their insurance benefits. I, as well as Jody and Faye, are always happy to assist our patients with any questions they may have regarding their insurance.
Cold weather, shorter days, holiday stress, and indulging in lots of food and sweets, can make us all feel sluggish and tired. The winter blues are normal, but feeling tired all the time, all winter, can be hard. These are some ways to help you get out of the winter blues and start feeling like yourself again:
Getting up and moving around can improve your mood. Even just making a point of taking a short walk during your lunch break at work can give you a burst of energy to take on the rest of your day.
If it’s nice enough, take that walk outside. Getting that natural daylight while you absorb the extra Vitamin D can give you the energy needed to boost your system.
Staying warm can help reduce those winter blues. Grab a warm drink, put your favourite scarf on, and put on some nice cozy boots. Keeping warm can also help fight off those winter colds and flus.
It’s not often that we see the sun during the winter. It’s dark in the morning on our way to work/school and the sun is setting by the time we are coming home. Other times, it might just be cloudy and we don’t see the sun at all. Getting outside, while the sun is out, is important to making you feel happier (get that Vitamin D into our systems while we can). Try taking that walk mentioned above outside in the sunshine (bundled up) and feel that warm sun on your face for even just 15 minutes.
Now that we’ve all eaten too much from the holidays, you likely feel tired, slow, and crave those sweets after meals. It’s hard to want to eat healthy again but it can help make you feel better. Eating healthier will make you feel lighter and less bloated, giving you more energy throughout the day. Try kicking those sweets cravings and get that sugar kick from fruit.
Make the effort
It’s easy to want to just stay in bed on a cold, dreary day and sleep the day away. You might feel tired, but it’s important to see your friends and family. Making the effort to get out with some people (even if it’s just a quick visit over coffee) can improve your mood and energy.
Staying positive can be hard when you know you have go outside in the cold when you’d rather be inside your nice warm house. Try to make the best of the situation you’re in to make it more bearable. Perhaps shovel the snow with the kids while making a game out if it. Maybe you could help them build a snow fort while you’re there, or go out and buy some new winter gear you’ll be excited to wear. Staying positive is the going to be the most important aspect in helping you make it through the winter.
In addition to celebrating our baby’s first words, first food, and first steps, we can also anticipate our baby’s first tooth anywhere from 3 to 14 months of age. Before the appearance of the first tooth, a damp cloth run over the upper and lower gums is a excellent way to begin your baby’s oral health journey.
It is recommended that you bring your baby in to see the dentist within 6 months of your baby’s first tooth or by their first birthday. During that first visit, you can expect the dental professionals to guide you through steps on how to ensure excellent oral care for your infants. Using a soft bristled toothbrush with water (or non fluoride toothpaste) two/three times a day is a great beginning.
As parents, we celebrate the joy of our infants reaching these milestones, however our babies may be experiencing discomfort.
Possible signs of teething are as follows:
1. Restlessness/distribution of sleep
3. Excessive drooling
4. Chewing on solids
5. Swollen gum tissue
6. Consistently rubbing eyes, cheeks or ears.
Luckily for us parents, there are few avenues that can assist us in easing the pain. To name a few: over the counter numbing agents, refrigerated baby teethers, or over the counter pain relief. Most importantly though, the warm love and gentle comfort from a parent/loved one always goes a long way.
At Braeside Dental Centre, we know how precious your infants are. It is a true privilege to care for them and accompany them as they begin their dental journey.
Best wishes to you and your loved ones in 2018!
The Orthodontist is a specialist in the dental community who straightens and aligns teeth into their proper occlusion (how your teeth fit together when you close your teeth together or when one is chewing).
There are many reasons why someone may go to an orthodontist, though your family dentist is likely give you the best reasons.
“Reasons for orthodontic treatment (braces) for adults & children:
If you would like more information, do not hesitate to visit the website:
Once you have seen the orthodontist, and they have presented you with a plan on how to best treat your condition, it is extremely important to maintain a partnership between the Orthodontist and your Family Dentist.
You will likely visit the Orthodontist every 4-6 weeks. During this time they monitor the movement of you or your child’s teeth. They will take x-rays and digital photos, both of which are procedures that will be used only for the purpose of viewing moving teeth. An Orthodontist does not look for cavities in your mouth or in your child’s mouth, nor do they do any teeth cleaning.
It is important to maintain regular cleanings and for some, it may be best to see the dentist and hygienist even more regularly, as frequently as 3 month intervals. Teeth move more predictably when you have healthy teeth and gums.
This will be the year, unlike every other year, when you will finally make a resolution and stick to it. The problem with most resolutions is that they are too large of a change. This year, make a small, meaningful, change in your life that will last. This year you are going to be SMART about your goal. You are going to create a Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Rewarding, and Time bound goal.
Specific- The more specific the goal, and more importantly, the more specific of an action you will take towards your goal, the better. Deciding you want to lose weight is good, but not creating a process of how you are going to lose the weight, is setting yourself up for failure. Instead of saying I want to eat healthier, make the decision to eat more vegetables at supper or pack a lunch more often. Creating the small planned steps towards your goal makes the goal more achievable.
Measureable- Being able to measure your progress lets you see the small improvements towards your final goal. If you are trying to lose 20 lbs, being able to see the scale slowly go down can help motivate you towards meeting your goal weight.
Attainable- Your goal needs to be reasonable and within reach. Wanting to run a marathon is an admirable long-term goal, but if you haven’t ran since high school gym class, a marathon is out of your reach, at least for the time being. Your goal shouldn’t be easy, it should require thought and some effort, but creating a too large of a goal will not help you.
Rewarding- Allow yourself to feel a sense of accomplishment. Achieving a goal is very rewarding, especially if you finally achieve something you’ve wanted for a long time. Finally completing the 5k you’ve always talked about doing will give you a sense of pride and accomplishment, which will then motivate you to keep pushing yourself.
Time-bound- Similarly to Measurable, being able to assess your progress throughout the process with small improvements can push you to keep going. Use a calendar to track daily progresses you’ve made, and plan out treat days to give you something to look forward to.
Now here’s an example: “I want to lose weight“.
The problem here is that you have nothing to work with. Instead, try to be SMART and make a concrete goal like this:
Specific- “I will lose 10 lbs by May 1st by eating more vegetables and drinking less pop”. You’ve given yourself a specific number to lose and a way to do it.
Measureable- I will increase the vegetable intake 3 days of the week, and drink water with supper instead of pop the other 4 days of the week.
Attainable- 5 months to lose 10 lbs is very doable if you improve your eating habits.
Rewarding- I will buy myself something nice once I lose the weight
Time Bound- I will take a picture of myself on the first day and once I’ve lost the weight. As well, I will record my weight every time I weigh myself. I will use a calendar to record the data and when my next cheat day is for motivation.
Now let’s be SMART this year when making (and keeping) our New Year’s resolutions!
That question is not uncommon, as many people believe that primary teeth (also known as baby teeth or deciduous teeth) are not important to a child's dental health because these teeth are replaced with adult teeth.
Over time however, what we’ve come to understand is that primary teeth perform many functions. Just because primary teeth are not permanent, does not mean they are not important to your child’s dental health.
Of course, healthy teeth equates to easy chewing (and thereby lots of eating) and helping the child learn how to speak, both crucial parts of growth. Beyond that, baby teeth that have been in good care aid in setting the scene for their adult teeth. This includes guiding the adult teeth into the correct position, correct development of the jaws, aligned bites, and minimizing the chances of overlapping teeth.
As primary teeth may need to last for at least 10 years, at which point the root of the tooth breaks down and allows for the adult tooth to take its place, it is necessary for children to maintain great oral health.
Taking care while brushing their teeth and flossing is honestly the greatest help in securing healthy teeth. While this is not groundbreaking advice, trust in its legitimacy, for it is the attention to simple actions that keeps us the healthiest.
What doesn’t this little tube of greatness do?
If you have: sensitive teeth, recession, braces, dry mouth, a high acidic diet, gastric reflux, a high caries index, or are caring for an infant … LISTEN UP!!
MI paste is the only take home dental product that contains RECALDENT. This milk-derived protein releases calcium and phosphate minerals to produce a saliva-like environment. With this more stable environment, we are able to maintain normal pH levels and allow the possibility of remineralization and strengthen weak areas on your teeth. MI paste is also a great preventive addition to our regular home care routine.
As we all know, no one needs or wants another onerous step to add to their daily hygiene routine… so it is great that MI paste is as easy to use as 1, 2, 3.
Brush and floss as per usual, then:
Did I mention this product is safe for babies and children to use? No need to worry about them not being able to spit.
Does this sound like a product that can help you? Feel free to ask us for more information at your next appointment. We have some stock on hand with several low key flavors to choose from. We are offering this product at cost for only $20.00 to help ensure everyone has the opportunity to better their oral health.
Once a year, our dental team and spouses gather together for our year end celebration. This past weekend, we enjoyed festivities, a wonderful opportunity to meet some new extensions to our dental family, and to catch up with those we haven’t seen in a long time. Good food and great people made for a memorable night, a night in which our team became a closer nit family. Throughout the evening, it became all the more clear that I am lucky to have such a kind and caring group of people to work with every day. This summation of individuals combine to form a strong collective, an extraordinary community that reach extraordinary ends.
The year has been an eventful one. Braeside’s family members have gotten married, engaged, travelled, celebrated 1st birthdays, and seen children go off to college. These joyful events are setting the tone for a new year that is full of excitement and new memories. I know that everyone at Braeside Dental Centre is anticipating 2018 with high hopes.
From our large family to yours, we wish you all a happy holiday! I hope that time with your loved ones is plentiful, merry, and relaxing. After a year full of long-lasting memories and milestones, I hope for a happy beginning to the new year for everyone.
All the best from Braeside Dental Centre!
My early childhood memories of going to the dentist consist of being asked by the assistant if I wanted the blue or the pink room. At the end of the appointment, I’d be offered a ring for good behavior. I always asked if I could take one for my twin sister as well. At Braeside Dental, we don’t have a pink or blue operatory, but we definitely enjoy seeing children. Best of all, we have great prizes for the children. When the little people of the practice require restorations, we try to make it easy and comfortable for all those involved.
Mom and Dad are encouraged to stay in the reception area. They will be more comfortable there and if they are needed, we know where they are. Often, if parents are nervous about a dental procedure, the children will pick up on it and begin to feel anxious too. It is always best if the parents don’t explain too much about the procedure, especially the freezing. Less is definitely more. Most of the time, children aren’t aware that they are getting freezing, as we use a topical anesthetic that goes on the soft tissue and helps to make it more comfortable. Also, children are distracted in the operators with televisions (they’re mounted on the ceiling for easy viewing). Some young ones benefit from having nitrous oxide. This is a procedure that will help them relax. A nose piece is placed over their nose and they’re instructed to breathe through their nose, not their mouth, which can be a challenge when your mouth is open. After the procedure has been completed, they will breathe oxygen for ten minutes. By doing this, the nitrous oxide will be flushed completely out of their system. This is a great option to help with nerves.
We always try to work fast and efficiently with children. Also, Dr. Goel almost always takes photos of the process with an intra oral camera. After the procedure, Mom or Dad are brought back and the photos are reviewed with them so that they can be a part of the process.
Most importantly, local anesthetic can last anywhere from 2-6 hours. It is important to supervise the child so they don’t bite, scratch, or chew their tongue or cheek while frozen. It is best not to eat at all, however soft foods such as pudding, yogurt and smoothies… mmm mmm good. Children are all rewarded for trying hard by being able to choose one or two great prizes. Sometimes even a high five…
We are excited to see all of you soon!
As a fellow germophobe, who was never a fan of being near people who have the flu, I would be absolutely repulsed by the thought of having unsanitary instruments near my mouth. I’m sure many others would agree to that particular sentiment.
And yet, when entering hospitals or dental clinics, we are immediately struck by the oh-so-welcoming smell of antiseptic. That is always a delight. However, I suppose that we must accept this most unfortunate of smells since the alternative is to be exposed to killer bacteria. Laozi’s “Sometimes gain comes from losing, and sometimes loss comes from gaining” has never felt so real until this moment.
This past summer, I had the opportunity to work as a sterilization clerk, ensuring that all materials and instruments were clean. After that experience, I can safely conclude that everything that comes near your mouth at the clinic is probably cleaner than anything else that you came in contact with since your last visit. For anyone who was concerned, don’t be. Your mouth is safe from incoming infection. Of course, you must brush your teeth to keep it that way.
I genuinely can assure patients that go to Braeside Dental Center that they will be treated with impeccable instruments only. I don’t know how many times I threw away latex gloves in one day, having to wear new gloves every time I touched a sterile material. Even every instrument kit that leaves the sterilization room will be re-sterilized, whether or not it was used.
Germophobes, or even the average-Joe who prefers not to get sick, you all need not fear. Braeside is as clean as they come!