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Ways to Avoid a Painful Dentist Bill

A trip to the dentist can result in a big bill you hadn’t budgeted for. Or maybe things have been so tight that after you’ve paid other bills, dental care doesn’t even make the list. While cleanings, check-ups and X-rays have fairly predictable costs, any problems detected may result in significant bills. man in dental pain   According to Dr. Ryne Johnson, Prosthodontist at Newton Wellesley Dental Partners, here are some tips on making dental care less expensive. 1. Brush Your Teeth & Floss This is the best — and cheapest — way to minimize your expenses. “It’s amazing how many people don’t brush and floss,” he said. “Dentists like to say, ‘Only floss the teeth you want to keep.'” Bonus: You’ll have better breath. 2. Make Checkups & X-Rays a Priority Twice a year is a good rule of thumb, and that’s probably what insurance will pay for, if your insurance covers dental health. But you may need more or less. People who may need more include those who have a weakened immune system or gum disease, according to the Cleveland Clinic. And detection and treatment of a problem early can save you hundreds (or thousands) over waiting until it is much worse. 3. Shop Around for Braces — & Financing for Them If your child needs braces, you have some time to check to see what your options are. Ask around about treatment plans, costs and payment plans. Practitioners may not agree on the kind of treatment or how long it will take. Be sure you understand what your choices are. Sadler said sometimes patients can get a discount by paying for the whole treatment upfront. Ask. (And if you have dental insurance, see what it covers. You may have at least some coverage.) This is also a great time to check on your credit — you may find getting a new low-interest card or using a credit card with an interest-free period to finance the braces can give you both a discount for paying upfront and allow you to repay over time. Before you apply, make sure you can qualify for a credit card by checking your credit scores. 4. Get a Second Opinion The procedure your dentist is recommending may not be your only option. As with other types of medicine, there is sometimes disagreement on the best way to proceed. Other times, the optimal way may not be the one you choose, if you let your savings account have a vote.  Ask your dentist if there are healthy, more economical alternatives to the “best” way. The bottom line is, tempting as it may be to skimp on dental care (if nothing hurts, it may always seem safe to put it off one more month), it is part of medical care. A dental checkup can reveal other health issues, and catching a problem early almost always results in a simpler and cheaper solution. As frustrating as it can be to go in with no known problem and to leave with the news that you need a root canal or bridge, it’s better to know sooner than later. And knowing you have options can make it just a little less painful.   Original article:  Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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One-fourth of Americans lie to dentists about flossing

One-fourth of Americans lie to dentists about flossing: survey More than a quarter of Americans lie about it, and 36 percent say they would rather do an unpleasant activity like cleaning the toilet or working on their taxes. Flossing one's teeth, according to a Harris Poll survey, is in some cases a less desirable activity than listening to the sound of nails on a chalkboard or to small children crying on a bus or plane. But according to Dr. Ryne Johnson, prosthodontist and director of Newton Wellesley Dental Partners who jokes, "Only floss the teeth you wish to keep". The survey was conducted as part of the American Academy of Periodontology's national campaign called "Love The Gums You're With." The industry group seeks to bring more awareness to gum disease. The survey found that the top three unpleasant activities that people would rather do than floss were washing a sink full of dirty dishes (18 percent preferred), cleaning the toilet (14 percent) and waiting in a long check-out line (14 percent). When analyzed by city, New Yorkers said they were more likely to floss daily, while people in Atlanta were more likely to be honest about flossing when asked by their dentists. Those in Chicago were more likely to prefer sitting in an hour of gridlock traffic than flossing. Overall, more than one-quarter of those surveyed said they lied to their dentists about flossing. The survey also showed that 88 percent of Americans would be somewhat or very likely to tell a friend if they had something stuck in their teeth, with those living in the Washington area the least likely to do so. The poll was conducted online March 20-30 on behalf of the American Academy of Periodontology. Harris Poll surveyed 2,021 American adults in the 10 largest U.S. cities. (Reporting by Kylie Gumpert)flossing

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What are you drinking after your workouts?

Dr. Ryne Johnson asks "What are you drinking AFTER your workouts"? sports drinks According to recent research conducted by Texas A&M University Baylor College of Dentistry, you might want to think about what’s more important to you: healthy teeth or an energy boost?
While most athletes want their sports drinks to be delicious, researchers say the added acids used for taste can lead to greater risk of tooth demineralization. When frequently consumed, acids from sports drinks could have an erosive effect on the teeth. Luckily, scientists say there are easy substitutes for those who depend on endurance drinks. Dr. Ryne Johnson, prosthodontist and director of Newton Wellesley Dental Partners suggests, “Consuming ‘plain old water’ is always best.” For both hydration and antioxidants, Johnson suggests consuming more fruits and vegetables with high H2O. Another all natural alternative is coconut water, which is low calories and sodium, but high in potassium. “Natural, unflavored coconut water is best. Otherwise, it’s no better than soft drinks or juice because of the added sugars. A lot of people turn to sports drinks to replenish electrolytes lost while sweating through a workout but natural electrolytes can be found in fruits like berries, bananas, grapes, and cantaloupe. Next time you hit the gym, you might want to grab some natural alternatives as opposed to the go-to sports drink. Who knows? You might even see a better result. Original article found at CBS local media - DFW

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