Tag Archive for: dental health

Five Ways to Help You Relieve Stress

From Business Health Trust dental provider Delta Dental of Washington

Whether it’s work demands, family obligations, or a busy social calendar, stress can take a serious toll on our mental and physical health. Stress can even impact the health of our mouth – issues like teeth grinding, gum disease, canker sores, and TMJ dysfunction can all be made worse in times of stress.

Here is a list of 5 easy tips for managing stress.

  1. Exercise regularly
    Exercise increases concentrations of a hormone called norepinephrine, which studies show helps the brain manage its response to stress and stressful situations.
  2. Kick the unhealthy habits
    When we’re stressed, we sometimes turn to not-so-healthy ways to deal with it – perhaps we drink a little more than we intended or light up a cigarette after finally quitting.
  3. Practice the art of saying “no”
    Sometimes, graciously turning down plans can be the best way to relieve some pressure from a busy schedule.
  4. Get in touch with yourself
    If you haven’t tried meditation, this is your sign to start. Practicing mindfulness meditation significantly reduced the body’s inflammatory response to stress when compared to other traditional stress-relieving habits.
  5. Talk to someone
    Call up a trusted friend or loved one and talk to them about what’s stressing you out. Just the simple act of them lending their ear can make a world of difference.

To read more about ways to reduce your stress, visit the Delta Dental blog.

Eat for Your Teeth

From Business Health Trust dental provider Delta Dental of Washington.

When you think about eating for a healthy body, why not add eating for great oral health!

So, what is eating for your teeth? It means consider caring for your whole mouth, minerals that are part of the teeth structure, and bone health to protect your teeth and hold them securely in your jaw. Like your body, your mouth needs the right amount of nutrition to stay strong and healthy.

A few basic rules to follow are:

  • Eat foods high in calcium like low-fat cheese, fat-free or low-fat milk, plain yogurt, and leafy greens: They provide the nourishment you need for healthy teeth.
  • Eat protein like eggs, fish, meat, and poultry: This will help protect the enamel on your teeth and improve bone density.
  • Eat foods high in water content and fiber, like fruits and vegetables: They not only stimulate saliva — which helps wash away food particles, neutralize acids, and prevent decay — but also help to balance out the sugar you may be consuming in other foods.
  • Drink water! Your best beverage option is always water. Drinking water flushes away food particles from hard-to-reach places, and promotes saliva production, both of which keep your teeth clean and harmful bacteria at bay.

Warning! Don’t forget to avoid foods that contain sugar and little nutritional value — candy, sweets and savory snacks like crackers or chips. These are among the worst foods for your dental health. Sugars and carbohydrates in these foods stick to your teeth, providing a feast for the harmful bacteria that cause plaque and cavities.

For more information about sugar, visit the Delta Dental of Washington blog post The Truth Behind Sugar’s Bad Rap. For good nutrition information, follow the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s dietary guidelines, which include recommended amounts of dairy, protein, grains, and fruits and vegetables.

Other resources:



Preparing for Your Home Oral Health Routine

From Business Health Trust dental provider Delta Dental of Washington.

Sounds easy right, but there is more to this simple daily routine! Not only do good oral health habits help protect you from gum disease and cavities, but a twice-daily brushing and flossing can actually save you serious money. One study performed by Delta Dental states that practicing good oral health hygiene can save $2,187 for every cavity prevented in your lifetime.

Let’s look at the top three things to do.

  1. If nothing else brushing your teeth twice a day will help fight off cavities and gum disease. Removing the plaque with your brush removes the sticky film that contains harmful bacteria. When this becomes hardened it is called tartar and will take more to remove. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends using a toothpaste with fluoride. Check out the ADA website.
  2. We know we are supposed to floss after meals because it is crucial in preventing gum disease and periodontitis. Building this habit into your routine will help remove food particles from between teeth where brushing cannot reach. The good news is flossing can be achieved many ways:
    • Tiny brushes
    • Pointed rubber tips
    • Powerful water flushing tools
    • Pre-threaded flossers
  3. Mouthwash washes away any particles left behind from flossing. This way you are ensuring nothing gets left behind in your teeth. So, using a mouthwash should come after you floss and before you brush your teeth. There are many to choose from with many different flavors. Look for the ADA seal of approval, meaning scientific evidence of safety and efficacy has been provided. Remember children younger than 6 are not recommended to use mouthwash unless directed by a dentist as there is the possibility of them swallowing too much.

For full details on each of these topics visit the Delta Dental blog, where our Tooth Fairy will also share best practices through a video.

Tips for Teaching Kids Good Oral Hygiene

From Business Health Trust dental provider Delta Dental of Washington.

Teaching a kid good oral hygiene is probably the last battle you want to take on at the end of a long day, especially when just getting them to bed can be a struggle. However, brushing and flossing is an extremely important part of children’s oral and overall health.

Start good habits at an early age and clean your baby’s teeth by wiping them with a soft cloth or brushing with a small soft toothbrush and water. This gets them used to establishing a tooth brushing routine. When children are around 18 months of age, they can be introduced to daily brushing by using a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste, and encouraged to spit, but not rinse. By age 2, or when teeth start touching, kids should be introduced to flossing. Tip: Some parents find flossing sticks much easier to start with than traditional floss.

Here are three more tips for teaching a child good brushing and flossing habits:

Tip #1: Use Visuals

Flossing and brushing doesn’t automatically make sense to kids. To demonstrate the importance of flossing and good oral health, have your child watch as you dig your teeth into some chocolate. Next, brush and floss your teeth to demonstrate how well both activities remove leftover food particles. Once they’re thoroughly intrigued, break out a toothbrush with their favorite TV character on it or a dental flosser pick (little kids find these easier to handle) and try it out on their teeth.

Tip #2: Give Rewards

As a parent, you know how well positive reinforcement works on kids. They love when something fun waits for them at the end of a task. Why not use this same idea for your children’s oral health? Create a chart and give your child a gold star each day they brush or floss. At the end of the week, reward them with a fun activity or a small toy (not candy). They’ll consider it a fun game, but you’ll know that, secretly, they’re building solid habits and learning how to take care of their smile.

Tip #3: Create Activities

Activities are a great oral health motivator for kids of all ages! All you need is play dough, a large Duplo block, and some yarn. The block represents the teeth, the play dough represents food and gunk caught between teeth, and the yarn is the floss. Use the yarn just like dental floss to show your kids how easily it removes food from teeth. This is a great visual, and kids love jamming the dough in the blocks. Plus, not only do you teach your child how to floss, but you’ve found a way to occupy her for a solid ten minutes — win, win.

If you need help finding a pediatric or family dentist visit our find a dentist tool and use the drop-down tool to select the type of dentist you’re looking for.

Sign up for MySmile to access your dental benefits, get reminders, find your ID card and access the cost estimator for treatment planning.

Avoid the Emergency Room – Get Preventive Dental Visits

Preventive dental care isn’t only about keeping your smile perfect — it’s also about saving you money and time.

The time it takes to see a doctor in an emergency room can last anywhere from 30 minutes to hours at a time. Even so, 79 percent of people who go to the emergency room seeking dental-related care will be told to visit a dental office.

Research shows that if these emergency room visits were replaced with preventive care visits, there would be a savings of nearly $1.7 million dollars per year — enough to put toward dental premiums or other treatment.

Business Health Trust members enrolled in dental benefits through Delta Dental of Washington can get preventive care started with MySmile. Use your MySmile account to:

  • Find a dentist near you
  • Check your benefits
  • Get treatment estimates
  • View treatment history

For more oral health tips, visit Delta Dental of Washington’s oral health blog.

Is Your Diet Damaging Your Smile?

Dieting is more convenient and popular than it’s ever been, with around 45 million Americans dieting each year.

But not every diet is a win-win situation for your body. In fact, some of the most mainstream diets — like the keto diet and intermittent fasting — can help slim your waste line, but they may also do harm to your oral health. For example, the keto diet is known to cause bad breath. The best way to know whether your diet is hurting your smile is to go see a dentist.

Ready to find a dentist near you? For Business Health Trust members enrolled in dental plan through Delta Dental of Washington, you can use your MySmile Account!

In addition to helping you find a dentist, your MySmile account can also help you:

  • Track your benefits
  • Calculate treatment costs
  • Locate a dental specialist
  • Review treatment history

For more tips like this, visit Delta Dental of Washington’s oral health blog.

Young boy at dentist's office.

Understanding Oral Health Disparities

Although we live in one of the more health conscious states in the United States, at least 144,300 children are affected by tooth decay each year.

In Washington state, Hispanic and Alaskan native children have a 50 percent higher rate of tooth decay compared to white children. While the state is working hard to develop programs and policies to advance children’s health, the best way to eliminate oral health disparities is to ensure all children get their regular preventive care treatment.

Use MySmile to manage your child’s benefits

For Business Health Trust members enrolled in affordable dental insurance through Delta Dental of Washington, your MySmile account can help you can find a dentist and more for your kids.

  • Monitor your Benefits
  • Endorse a Dentist
  • View Your Treatment History
  • Get Treatment Estimates

For more tips like this, visit Delta Dental of Washington’s oral health blog.

Safeguard Your Smile

When it comes to keeping your smile healthy, your dental benefits are like a personal safety net for your mouth.

But unless you are taking advantage of things like preventive care cleanings, you might be putting your smile at risk.

The good news? For Business Health Trust members enrolled in dental coverage, everything you need to start using your dental benefits can be found online in your MySmile account. With your MySmile account, you’ll also be able to:

  • Monitor your benefits
  • Find a dentist near you
  • Get treatment estimates
  • Review your treatment history

For more tips like this, visit the oral health blog from Delta Dental of Washington.

Use Your Dental Benefits for Good

Want to do something that’s good for your teeth and good for the environment? Go paperless!

In honor of Earth Day, we’re reminding you that going paperless is an easy way to help the environment and ultimately reduce waste. As a Delta Dental of Washington member, you can go paperless by using your free MySmile account to monitor your billing and dental coverage online without the hassle of snail mail.

Get started with MySmile today!

Going paperless isn’t the only benefit of using your MySmile account. Use MySmile to:

  • Find a dentist in your area
  • Get treatment estimates
  • Monitor your benefits
  • Review your treatment history

For oral health tips, visit Delta Dental of Washington’s oral health blog.

Preventive Care Pays Off

For Business Health Trust partner Delta Dental of Washington, preventive care means having a healthy smile that doesn’t break the bank.

But research by the American Dental Association shows the majority of patients don’t see the dentist due to finances. This is a problem because ignoring mouth and tooth pain can lead to something much more painful (and expensive) over time.

Fortunately, getting proper oral care doesn’t have to break your personal budget. Use these tips to get help make preventive care a regular and affordable part of your oral care routine.

Step 1 – Activate Your free MySmile account. All you need is your Delta Dental ID number.

Step 2 – Learn about your dental plan and get familiar with how it works.

Step 3Find a dentist If you don’t have one already.

Step 4 – Get your teeth cleaned every year. Your insurance covers it!

Step 5 – Use our cost estimator tool to avoid surprises, just in case you do need dental treatment.

For more tips like this, visit Delta Dental of Washington’s oral health blog.