George D. Chen, D.D.S. – Esthetic Reflections in Dentistry

3 Fun Summer Dental Tips For Folsom’s Scorching Weather

It’s hot. It’s been hot for several weeks and it will be hot again throughout this month. The sun is shining, the days are longer, and the temperature is almost high enough to make a pancake on the hood of your car.

Hopefully, you have been able to stay cool and still enjoy the sun. But as dentists, we can’t help but care about how this summer’s heat may affect your teeth. So here are a few thoughts on ensuring your dental health this summer.

Tips for Dental Health in Summer Heat

Summer is a great time to see the dentist, as the kids are out of school, the days are longer, and nothing says “summer fun” like a filling or dental cleaning. But there are also some specific tips for this type of heat that should be mentioned, including:

  • Watch Your Lips – Your teeth can’t sunburn. But your lips can. Indeed, they may be the most easily sunburned part of your body. Dentists are more likely to diagnose lip cancer than nearly any other profession. So make sure you’re protecting your lips from the sun and using a lip balm with a good SPF.
  • Drink Water – You’re sweating a lot, even if you don’t realize it. On humid days it’s easy to feel yourself sweating, but on dry days, your sweat evaporates almost instantly. That means there is a good chance that you’re dehydrated. Hydration is important for oral health, so make sure you’re drinking your water.
  • Watch Your Sugars – Watching your sugar intake is always a good idea, but in summer it’s not uncommon to find yourself accidentally consuming more than you thought. For example, if you drink soda to hydrate yourself, you’re getting a lot of tooth damaging sugar. If you suck on a popsicle or treating your family to ice cream, you’re adding a lot of sugar into your diet.

Also, the heat usually means more time outside, and more time outside means more risk of injury. Watch out for your teeth. If you play any sports, or do a lot of running, consider mouth guards and other protection so your teeth are not damaged.

Let the Sun Reflect Off Your Brighter Smile This Summer

We hope you and your family are having a wonderful summer, even in this almost unbearable heat. If you have a little time available to come to visit, we are offering $75 off of our tooth whitening treatments, and an ADDITIONAL $25 off if you let us know you shared this important summer heat article with at least one of your friends.

Show off your smile all summer with pride with a tooth whitening at Esthetic Reflections in Folsom.

How to Integrate Better Oral Hygiene Into Your Life

At Esthetic Reflections in Dentistry, we know that not all of our patients are taking the best possible care of their oral health, and that’s okay. But dental health is not only about your teeth. Proper dental care can reduce the amount of bacteria and pathogens you swallow, strengthening your immune system and improving your physical health as well. Oral healthcare really is so important.

So, maybe you need to improve how you care for your teeth. But how do you do that without it feeling like a tremendous inconvenience?

Tips to Make Oral Hygiene Easier

  • Have a 2 Minute Song or Video

It takes time to brush your teeth – an average of 2 minutes each time you brush, according to the ADA. Most people brush for 30 seconds or less. Consider watching a short YouTube video or listening to a short 2 minute song while you brush. That way, brushing your teeth won’t feel as long.

  • Have New Brushes at the Ready

The bristles of toothbrushes tend to break down over time, leading to a less efficient clean. You’re advised to replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months, but as many as 75% of patients continue using the same brush or brush head. Simply placing your “next” brush in a place that is easy to grab will increase your chances of switching the new brush when you need to.

  • Schedule Your Dental Appointments Early

Most people wait anywhere from 2 to 4 years in between dental appointments, despite an ADA recommendation of 3 to 6 months. Schedule your appointments early, at times that are convenient, and place them on your calendar so that you don’t find yourself forgetting to call for your cleaning.

  • Keep Your Floss Out/Use Sticks

Most patients say they floss once in a while. Very few do. But when we talk to patients, we know that they are willing to floss, they simply put it off. To increase your chances of flossing, keep it in a visible, easy to reach area and consider floss sticks if you’re uncomfortable with string floss. Also, you can combine flossing with the video watching or music that you use to make sure you brush for 2 minutes.

Oral Hygiene is Easier Than You Think

Taking care of your teeth is more about routine than anything else. If you’re able to take the time to build and grow that habit, and integrate these small changes into your schedule, eventually it will become a regular part of your day. If you’re ready to schedule your next dental appointment, call us today at 916-983-6051.

What Do You Need to Smile Brighter After Braces?

Braces are the most common way to straighten crooked teeth, and the main reason that both teens and adults get braces is because they want a straighter, healthier smile. But those that wear braces often develop a habit of hiding their teeth when they smile, because they are ashamed of smiling with their metal braces.

Your smile is always worth showing off, with or without braces. But it can become especially problematic when you find yourself continuing to hide your smile, even after your braces have been removed.

Cosmetic Dentistry After Braces

After your orthodontic treatment is over, see if you continue to hide your teeth and smile, especially in photos. If so, the first step is to practice smiling with your newly straightened teeth. The second step is to consider cosmetic dentistry.

Braces are an excellent treatment for misaligned teeth. Yet they may cause some problems, including:

  • Stained Teeth or White Spots on Teeth
  • “Gummy” Smiles
  • Uneven Teeth, and More

If you’re hiding your smile out of habit, then it is best to focus on breaking the habit. But if you are hiding your smile because do not feel confident in your teeth, then there are several cosmetic dental treatments available after braces that may be worthwhile. Call Esthetic Reflections in Dentistry today to schedule an appointment, and we’ll let you know what we think may be the best solution to your smile.

In Other News

  • In the UK, May is National Smile Month, designed to build awareness around oral hygiene. We may not be in the UK, but it’s still a good time to remind yourself and your family to care for your teeth.
  • May 15th is National Chocolate Chip day, May 17th is National Cherry Cobbler Day, May 19th is Devil’s Food Cake Day, and May 26th is National Blueberry Cheesecake Day. Please don’t forget to brush your teeth.
  • Esthetic Reflections in Dentistry is a candidate for best dentist in Folsom! Voting began on May 10th and continues until July. If you’ve enjoyed your time with us, please consider sending a vote our way. You can find a link to vote for us here :http://stylerca.com/

As always, thanks for being our valued patients here at Esthetic Reflections in Folsom, and don’t forget to continue to take good care of your teeth.

 

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April is Oral Cancer Detection Month – Schedule Early Detection Today

Dental health is physical health. At Esthetic Reflections in Dentistry, we want to make sure that we do anything we can to make sure that you are as healthy and happy as possible, and since this month is Oral Cancer Detection Month, we’d love to schedule an appointment and make sure that you are oral cancer free.

What is Oral Cancer?

Oral cancer is a cancer of the mouth, and a very common form of cancer. Although it is heavily linked to smoking and alcohol abuse, it can occur at any time in a person’s life, which is why it is recommended that all adults (especially those that smoke or have struggled with addiction), make sure to ask for oral cancer screenings at their appointment. Detection is simple, easy, and a great way to catch it early.

Surviving Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is considered to be a deadly cancer, with thousands of people losing their lives each year to the disease. But it also responds incredibly well to early detection, and treating early-stage oral cancer is much simpler than treating late stage cancer. That is why it is so important to be screened, especially if you have risk factors, as early detection may be the key to a long and healthy life.

This April, we recommend you schedule a cleaning and ask about our oral cancer screening program. We’re happy to provide you with a free oral cancer screening to ensure that you are safe and healthy, and we’ll let you know what you can do to prevent oral cancer in the future.

You can find out more about oral cancer at any time. If you or someone you love would benefit from a screening but has questions, they are welcome to call our office at any time at 916-983-6051. At Esthetic Reflections in Dentistry, we use the latest technology, including Velscope, to detect oral cancer, and Dr. Chen and Dr. Skelton are both highly trained in cancer assessment.

Please contact us today to learn more, and always remember to get checked with your dental visits to ensure that you remain free of oral cancer, and other dental diseases.

Common Questions About Invisalign in Teens

Over the past several years, the number of parents and teens that have come into our office asking for Invisalign has increased dramatically. This unique, teeth straightening procedure is one of the only ways to straighten teeth without the look and feel of metal braces. It uses a series of clear, removable aligners, each one moving teeth slightly further until they are in their correct location.

Invisalign is a great procedure. But here at Esthetic Reflections in Dentistry, we want to make sure you’re making the right decision – especially when it comes to your child’s smile. Here are the answers to several common questions we’re asked about Invisalign for Folsom teens.

Q: How Young Can You Be For Invisalign?

A: There’s no specific age minimum for Invisalign. Instead, we look at two factors. First, we look at whether your child’s smile has fully formed, including whether they have their adult teeth, the location of their teeth, etc. Then, we talk to you about your child’s maturity level. Invisalign needs to be in the mouth 23 hours a day, taken out only to eat. That does involve a lot of discipline, so we’ll talk to you about your teen’s strengths.

Q: What is the Difference Between Invisalign Teen and Invisalign for Adults?

A: We know that teens can be a tad on the energetic side, as they learn responsibility while managing friends and school. Invisalign Teen comes with free aligner replacements. The ridges on the sides are stronger to help move these new, healthy teeth. There is also a blue dot on each aligner that wears away only when it’s being worn, so you have a way to check to ensure your teen is following instructions.

Q: I Heard Teeth Like to Move Back Over Time. Will That Happen with My Teen?

A: After any orthodontic treatment, including adult braces, Invisalign, and more, there is a risk that teeth may move back to the original location. We’ll talk about retainers, and any other solutions that your teen may need to keep his or her smile.

Q: Is Invisalign a Good Choice for My Teen?

A: Invisalign is loved by teens. It straightens teeth without the self-consciousness caused by metal braces, it doesn’t scratch the inside of their mouths, and it won’t cause your teen to hide their smiles. But Invisalign is not right for all teens.

The best way to determine if Invisalign Teen is right for your child is to call us today at 916-983-6051. We’ll look at your teen’s mouth, talk to you about your teen’s readiness for Invisalign, and discuss whether it is the best option for your child.

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February is National Children’s Dental Health Month!

Most of our dental hygiene habits we learn in our youth. From brushing to flossing to the willingness to receive dental care, these behaviors are taught at a young age and grow with your child as they get older. Get your child’s 2017 off to the right start by booking an appointment for a cleaning and checkup today.

The Benefits of Good Dental Hygiene – and Dangers of Bad Dental Hygiene

It’s easy to forget about your child’s teeth, especially since new ones seem to fall out every month. But caring for your child’s teeth is just as important for baby teeth as it is for adults, possibly more so. In addition to developing healthy habits, which will aid them in caring for their teeth in the future, childhood dental health has many benefits, including:

  • Baby Tooth Decay and Adult Teeth – If your child’s teeth suffer from tooth decay, that decay can spread to the adult teeth beneath (and growing within).
  • Swallowing Bacteria – Dental hygiene helps eliminate harmful bacteria. Poor dental care can cause your child to swallow some of this harmful bacteria, which may affect their health.
  • Catching Problems Early – Children’s teeth are at greater risk for decay, and when they decay they can decay quickly. Catching it early will help avoid any problematic tooth pain.

Yet perhaps more important is simply showing your child how important it is for him/her to care for their teeth and gums. The time you spend right now teaching them the importance of flossing, brushing, and good dental hygiene, the better they will care for their adult teeth in the future.

Let this National Children’s Dental Health Month be the month where you prioritize training your child on good dental hygiene, and don’t forget to book their appointment – and yours – with Dr. Chen or Dr. Skelton today.

 

Why to Make a Healthy Smile Your New Year’s Resolution

Every year you make the same promises to yourself. You promise to improve your fitness. You promise to eat better. Maybe you promise to “live” more and take more trips. These resolutions are always exciting, but by February the gym is empty, the Jack in the Box line is full, and your couch has become your favorite place in the home.

This year, give yourself a New Year’s resolution worth keeping. Let this be the year you prioritize your smile, and make sure that you’re taking care of your teeth.

How to Make a Healthy Smile a New Year’s Priority

Healthy smiles provide more than confidence. When your teeth are healthy, you avoid tooth pain and decay, you reduce the amount of bacteria you swallow, and you make sure that your teeth remain stronger, whiter, and healthier for years to come.

That’s why we encourage you to make a healthy smile your priority, with changes that are easy to fit into your lifestyle. For example:

  • Get Your 3 Month/6 Month Cleanings – Your dental insurance likely has a budget for 2 to 4 dental cleanings a year. Take advantage of this insurance by scheduling all of your dental cleaning appointments. There is no easier way to make sure you have healthy teeth and gums than with regular cleanings.
  • Floss – You likely already brush your teeth twice a day. But if you haven’t been flossing, perhaps this year is when you start. Flossing becomes much easier the more you do it, and if you find that you’re not wild about sticking your hands in your mouth, there are floss picks that can reach all the way to your back teeth with ease. Flossing only once a day is more than enough to see benefits.
  • Replace Your Toothbrush – Toothbrushes have a lifespan. Every 3 months or so, the bristles will have lost their strength. Replacing your toothbrush (or toothbrush head, for Sonicare brushes) ensures that you are still getting the best possible clean.

These are three simple changes – getting your regular dental cleaning, flossing, and replacing your toothbrush – that will all help pave the way to a healthier smile in no time.

Visit Esthetic Reflections Today – Now Open Fridays!

Esthetic Reflections is now open 2 Fridays per month, which means more availability for your teeth cleanings. Now there are fewer excuses for avoiding your dental care.

With only a few easy changes, you can have a healthier smile and make changes to your dental routine that will last a lifetime. If you’re interested in getting started, call us today at 916-983-6051.

Are You Managing Your Own Dental Benefits?

It helps to have dental insurance. Dental insurance can cover many of the costs of routine dental care, including teeth cleaning, filling cavities, and more. Without dental insurance, all of those payments would be out of pocket, in addition to the costs of any emergency dental work.

You may know that you need dental insurance. But you may not know that you can actually manage your benefits yourself, and if you want to both make the most of your benefits and make sure you don’t go over your maximum, it is always a good idea to stay up to date with your dental limits.

Managing Your Benefit Responsibilities

There are many services in dental care that are “free.” Regular dental cleanings, for example, often cost nothing out of pocket. But these services are not actually free. They are simply built in to your maximum yearly allowance with little to no copayment.

As a Folsom dental care provider, when we provide you with dental services, we send the service to your insurance and they send us back the costs from your dental benefits. When we refer you out to another provider for other services, such as wisdom tooth removal or a root canal, those providers bill against the same dental benefits.

Throughout the year, it is important that you keep track of the amount you have available from your insurance. This allows you to:

  • Track Remaining Allowance – As a provider, we can’t always tell you how much you have left in your account for the year, nor can we see what other procedures you’ve had completed. If you know how much you have left, you won’t receive any unexpected billings.
  • Know When to Use Them – Dental benefits are “use them or lose them.” Every year they reset on nearly every insurance plan. If the end of the year is coming up and you find you still have quite a bit remaining, it may be a good idea to see if you need any dental care and try to use them.

These dental benefits belong to you. While we can provide curtesy calls and try to find out what you have remaining, most dental insurances won’t share that information. But they will let you view your own dental benefits. Call your dental insurer, find out your subscriber information, and monitor your dental benefits throughout the year so that you can use them all up correctly, and avoid any unforeseen expenses.

Benefits of Veneers – A Popular Cosmetic Dentistry Option in Sacramento

As we age, our teeth start to lose their white shine and shape. It doesn’t matter if you avoid coffee, skip wine, and brush your teeth perfectly three times a day – your teeth are eventually going to lose their healthy color, and you may find yourself losing faith in your smile.

Porcelain veneers are one of the most common procedures in cosmetic dentistry. Simple and long lasting, dental veneers give your teeth a look of youth and health in a way that will make you proud to show off your smile again. If you’re interested in seeing if you are a good candidate for dental veneers, please don’t hesitate to call us at 916-983-6051.

Why Porcelain Veneers?

Porcelain veneers are ultra-thin pieces of porcelain that have been shaped to perfectly cover your teeth. They are inherently strongly – as strong as regular teeth – and are given the same texture and feel as other teeth in your mouth. Veneers are a great choice for anyone that has lost confidence in their smile, with many different benefits for your dental aesthetics, including:

  • Whiter Teeth – Porcelain veneers make your teeth look naturally white. They are also resistant to stains, which means that once you have these whiter teeth, you’ll be able to enjoy them for years to come.
  • Complete Teeth – Porcelain veneers can also repair chipped teeth, cracked teeth, and teeth that simply look uneven or unnatural. The veneer gives your smile the look and appearance of healthy, full natural teeth.
  • Natural Feel – Veneers have a much more natural feel than many other types of cosmetic procedures. The veneers look like teeth, feel like teeth, and are as strong as teeth.

Veneers are simply one of the easiest, most effective ways to have whiter teeth that stay white for years to come. It is a great choice for those that have issues with their smile, and something you should certainly consider if you find yourself in need of whiter, healthier looking teeth. For a dental veneer consultation, please contact us today at 916-983-6051.

 

Use – Don’t Lose – Your Insurance Benefits This Year

We at Esthetic Reflections are entering the final quarter of the year. This is often a time when dentists across Folsom and Sacramento get very busy, as more and more families are back from vacation and ready to take care of their teeth.

We want to remind you that now is the time to schedule an appointment, because you have only three months left to use your 2016 insurance benefits before they are gone forever.

Why Use Your Dental Benefits?

Most insurance companies have a maximum amount of money that they set aside for your dental care every year. With some exceptions, these insurance companies will only provide a specific dollar value of support for your fillings, dental restorations, root canals, and more, and if you go over that dollar value, you will have to pay the remainder out of pocket.

This amount resets every year, starting on January 1st for most insurers. For the patient that has already used up their budget, dental care can be costly. But for patients that have not yet used up their dental insurance benefits, waiting until next year to get your dental care completed can be just as costly.

That is because dental benefits are “use it or lose it.”

If you have dental work that needs to be completed, and you have insurance benefits remaining this year, it is better for your budget to schedule your dental work before the year is over. This allows you to use up the remainder of your insurance benefits with little cost to you, and then start fresh in 2017 with next year’s insurance benefits in the event you need additional dental work.

These benefits belong to you. If you let them expire, you risk paying more out of pocket next year if any dental work needs to be completed.

Call Esthetic Reflections in Dentistry today at 916-983-6051 to schedule your appointment, and make sure that you use up those dental benefits before they reset on January 1st.