Open Mobile Menu Book Online

Blog

Making the Most of Your Dental Insurance

Posted on:

02158-13-outoftime

Don’t let time run out on your benefits package! Many insured Canadians aren’t taking full advantage of the benefits they are allowed, even though they are paying for comprehensive plans through their employer. It’s easy to forget every detail of your benefits package and what’s available to you, so it’s a good idea to refresh yourself on what’s available to you before the year ends. If you do not use up the amount available to you, it’s typically lost as opposed to being rolled over.

It’s always good to know the intricacies of your benefits provider so you can take full advantage of all the health and wellness benefits available to you, not just for your dental health, but for your overall well-being.

Not Using Benefits

It might be surprising to hear that most people do not use all their health benefits, especially with the world becoming more health conscious overall. There are a few reasons why people don’t use their benefits:

1. A belief that the balance left owing will be too much to pay out of pocket.

If you are worried about the cost of a service, call around for estimates. Most places will be happy to help, as they are seeking your business. If the cost is higher than you would like, inquire about payment plans.

2. The process of making a claim can be a hassle, and some offices don’t offer direct billing.

Many offices will bill directly to your benefits provider. In cases where they don’t, it is beneficial to sign up for automatic reimbursements when you begin a new job so your costs will be repaid in minimal time.

3. Thinking of benefits only as something to be used when ill, as opposed to a proactive resource to maintain health.

Have you been lucky enough to not need prescriptions or stitches this year? That’s great, but many modern plans offer acupuncture, massage, and other preventative health care.

4. A lack of knowing what you are entitled to.

The best thing you can do when you get on a new plan is save the brochure or bookmark the website. Reference it about half way through your annual cycle to ensure you have ample time to take advantage of the things you would like to.

Dental Benefits Cycles

Good planning allows you to take full advantage of your package. Many plans break down allowable dental benefits by time required for the service rather than number of visits, so be sure to take a close look at your dental benefits summary. If you have remaining benefits, flex dollars, or other perks, be sure to not only use them, but to remind your coworkers as well!

We can help you make the most of your benefits.

Book a Year End Visit! 

Meet Joyce, Our Dental Receptionist

Posted on:

IMG_7225

We are continuing our series of staff feature blogs with our next staff member, Joyce! Joyce has been working in the dental industry for 40 years. The majority of her career has been spent working here at ThirtyTwo Dental, initially as a dental assistant for 20 years before transitioning into a dental receptionist.

Growing up in Smoky Lake, Joyce developed a love for animals and the outdoors. She also has four nephews that she loves dearly. Joyce has done 10 volunteer trips through Kindness in Action during her career and has thoroughly enjoyed each experience. She loves being able to give back and volunteer her time with the less fortunate. Joyce has even said those were some of the best travelling experiences she’s ever had! Each time was quite humbling and reinforced her pride as a Canadian.

We asked Joyce 10 “Get to Know You” questions and here’s what she had to say:

1. What chore do you absolutely hate doing?

Vacuuming.

2. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

Play the piano.

3. If you were reincarnated as an animal, what would it be?

A cat because they love to sleep in warm places!

4. What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?

Hiking Machu Picchu was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done because it was so physically demanding – there was endless stone stairs! I had altitude sickness but I insisted on pushing through because otherwise the whole team would have had to go back down to the base to take me back.

5. What was the first thing you bought with your own money?

Clothes.

6. If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what age would it be?

40 – because that was my favorite year. I had the most fun that year. Also, Bill and Judy were kind enough to plan a surprise party for me with all of my friends and family – it was very special to me.

7. Where was your favorite vacation?

Turkey! I visited over Christmas and at one point we visited an ancient amphitheater where we sang “Holy Night”. The acoustics in the theatre made it an overall incredible experience. I also made some great friends with the people I travelled with and we had amazing food during the trip. It was also very eye-opening for me – it gave me a new perspective because I learned so much about history and Islam.

8. What was the last time you had an amazing meal?

Corso 32 in November for a birthday. The pasta dishes were so different!

9. What was your favorite toy/game as a child?

Snakes and Ladders because I could always beat my brother and sister!

10. What is your favorite thing to do in your free time?

Read books.

Feature Blog: Dental Receptionist Pam

Posted on:

IMG_3969-(1)

To help you get to know a little bit more about the staff here at ThirtyTwo Dental, we’ll be doing a series of blog posts featuring each of our staff members. First up is one of our friendly dental receptionists, Pam. She is one of the first people you encounter at ThirtyTwo Dental, whether over the phone or in person. She’s always smiling and available to help you book appointments or figure out your dental plan coverage.

Pam has 30+ years working as a dental receptionist. She moved from Edson to Edmonton four years ago, which is when she started working at ThirtyTwo Dental. She has two adult sons and here’s a fun fact: she’s Dr. B’s husband’s aunt! We asked Pam 10 ‘get to know you’ questions, and here’s what she shared:

1. What is your favourite outdoor activity?

Walking and hiking.

2. What is your favourite month of the year?

September, because it’s still summer but you can also enjoy what fall has to offer!

3. If you could witness any event past, present or future, what would it be?

See The Rolling Stones in concert.

4. What was the last movie, TV show, or book that made you cry?

The TV show This Is Us.

5. If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do?

Take my family on a holiday!

6. What do you miss most about being a kid?

Having no inhibitions.

7. When you have 30 minutes of free time, how do you pass the time?

Get outdoors!

8. If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you meet?

My sister Debbie, who passed away when I was very young. I would love to have known her better and remember more about her.

9. What is something you learned last week?

That I still have a lot to learn.

10. What is one of your favourite quotes?

‘When you know better, you do better.’

– Maya Angelou

Posted on:

spring cleaning

The best-kept secret in dentistry actually has to do with insurance. The general assumption is that your dentist appointments are covered once annually, and most people will only book as many cleanings as their benefits will accept. Some benefit plans actually allow for teeth cleaning on a schedule less than twelve months, with many choosing to offer three- to nine-month cycles. We always recommend making the most of your dental insurance plan and booking as often as possible! Spring is a great time to fit in one of your two recommended annual cleanings and checkups.

Why Spring?

As the weather warms up, so does the social life! Spring is the season that kicks off many important events. You’re bound to be taking part in a wedding, graduation, or backyard barbeque – and that means the photo ops will be abundant. A cleaning will boost your confidence and brighten your grin. If you want to get even more camera-ready, it’s quick and simple to add a teeth whitening service to your appointment.

Spring is also a great time of the year to do something refreshing that will get you out of the rut of winter. What better way to feel fresh and new than to start with polishing your smile? As a bonus, the change in the landscape serves as a cheery reminder to smile – and book a dentist appointment.

Routine Checkups

Checkups are a great way to ensure your teeth and gums are in good health. They’re also important to ensure any prior dental work is maintained, and that minor vulnerabilities are caught before they become costly, painful complications.

Even if you are diligent with the floss and toothbrush, it’s important to let a hygienist do a deep clean regularly. Toothbrushes are good at removing soft, sticky plaque but can’t remove hard, stuck-on tartar build-up.

We can help you keep your smile in tip-top shape.

Book a Spring Cleaning!

Should I Still be Flossing?

Posted on:

As I’m sure many of you saw, the media recently touted a dental study suggesting there was no need for flossing anymore. For the patients out there who are already avid flossers, I don’t believe this study has made much of a difference in their oral health care routines.

However, for the majority, news of this study’s claim that flossing is not scientifically supported was probably welcomed with open arms. Let’s face it, for most people, flossing is a chore; a chore that we don’t enjoy but did because we had to. So is this the end of an era? No more flossing? Well, the short answer is not quite yet. The main point of the study suggested that there is low evidence for the efficacy of flossing… if you’re not doing it correctly.

A universal recommendation for all patients to floss is not supported by the evidence. However, it is our job as dental professionals to assess our patients on their flossing abilities to ensure effective flossing is an achievable goal. When effective flossing is not an achievable goal, we recommend other interdental tools to help with cleaning in between your teeth.

As a refresher, here is the American Dental Association’s visual guide to correct flossing:

 

Flossing step 1

 

Break off about 18 inches of floss and wind most of it around one of your middle fingers. Wind the remaining floss around the same finger of the opposite hand. This finger will take up the floss as it becomes dirty.

 

 

 

 

 

Flossing step 2

 

Hold the floss tightly between your thumbs and forefingers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

flossing step 3

 

Guide the floss between your teeth using a gentle rubbing motion. Never snap the floss into the gums.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flossing step 4

 

When the floss reaches the gum line, curve it into a C shape against one tooth. Gently slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth.

 

 

 

 

 

Flossing step 5

 

Hold the floss tightly against the tooth. Gently rub the side of the tooth, moving the floss away from the gum with up and down motions. Repeat this method on the rest of your teeth. Don’t forget the back side of your last tooth. 

Once you’re finished, throw the floss away. A used piece of floss won’t be as effective and could leave bacteria behind in your mouth. 

                                                                                                                                               

Source: American Dental Association website

Water Fluoridation: Is It Really Beneficial?

Posted on:

water coming from a tap

There has been a long-standing debate in North America as to whether adding fluoride into community water sources is really beneficial to our dental health.

Fluoride is a mineral that strengthens tooth enamel, particularly in primary (baby) teeth. In 2011, Calgary decided to remove fluoride from their drinking sources. Edmonton, on the other hand, has been fluoridating our water since 1967. Three years after the City of Calgary decided to discontinue fluoridation, University of Calgary researchers decided to look into the potential impact of de-fluoridation on young children. In conjunction with Alberta Health Services, the researchers collected data from 5000 Grade 2 students in randomly selected schools in Edmonton and Calgary. They compared their data to surveillance data that was collected in 2004/2005 (when Calgary still fluoridated its water). The results were astonishing – there was an increase in tooth decay in young children since the fluoride was discontinued in 2011. A child has 20 primary teeth, each with 4-5 tooth surfaces. The researchers found an average of 3.8 tooth surfaces with decay in Calgary versus an average of 2.1 tooth surfaces with decay in Edmonton. These results show that fluoridation is effective in preventing tooth decay.

Tooth decay is the most common form of infectious disease in children. Moreover, dental treatment is the leading cause of day surgery in young children in Canada. Prevention is the best way to avoid developing decay in primary teeth, and prevent unnecessary dental treatment in children. As this study shows, water fluoridation has a positive impact on improving the dental health of children.

The Facts Behind Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ)

Posted on:

Temporomandibular-Joint-Dysfunction-TMJ

I grew up with a mother who was a dental hygienist. That meant regular brushing and flossing, braces, retainers, and creamsicle flavoured fluoride of course. Those are the memories of my childhood. Lucky me, right? At least I can proudly say that I still have no cavities or fillings. Thanks, mom.

When I became an acupuncturist, it seemed as if the universe had taken me full circle when I started working with patients who suffer from oral health issues such as TMJ.

So what is TMJ exactly? Temporomandibular joint dysfunction, also known as TMJ, refers to pain and dysfunction of both the muscles that control jaw movement and the temporomandibular joint.

The temporomandibular joint acts like a sliding hinge connecting the jawbone to the temporal bones of the skull, which are located in front of each ear. This allows you to move your jaw up and down and side to side.

TMJ disorder can cause pain, restricted movement, and noises from the temporomandibular joint during jaw movement. Although this does not fall under a life threatening condition, TMJ can be extremely uncomfortable and negatively affect a person’s quality of life.

TMJ can be caused by a number of factors including muscle tension, injury, arthritis, and even anatomical issues. A combination of these problems is often the case. Clenching the jaw and grinding teeth are also factors, often caused by emotional tension.

Fortunately, acupuncture can be an effective treatment in relieving pain, inflammation, tension, and other symptoms commonly associated with this condition.

So how does it work? Acupuncture needles are inserted into specific points on the body, which help to trigger a release of the affected muscle fibers. This comforts the muscles around the jaw, assists the neck and shoulders in relaxing, and encourages free range of movement without pain. Additional points are also selected to address other patient concerns, which may even be contributing to or a result of TMJ. Examples include stress and tension, headaches, poor quality of sleep, etc.

Traditional Chinese medicine focuses on finding out the root of the problem. Why is this problem happening? What caused it? What makes it worse? What symptoms developed first? Why is the body not correcting this problem on its own? These are all questions that a practitioner will address when assessing a TMJ patient. If we can treat the root of the problem, we can eliminate the symptoms and ensure that they don’t return. Treatments will be aimed at opening and relaxing the jaw, allowing the muscles and joint to move freely, while also increasing circulation, reducing stress, and boosting the immune system.

The number of treatments needed for full relief of TMJ symptoms will vary from patient to patient. Acute pain may be eliminated within a few treatments while chronic pain may require treatments over several weeks.

Tamara Gervais is a Traditional Chinese medicine practitioner and works out of Oliver Chiropractic Wellness Clinic in Edmonton, Alberta. Tamara was also a member of the Pediatric Integrative Medicine Trial with the University of Alberta, studying the effects of natural medicine on children at the Stollery Children’s Hospital. Tamara’s experience has taught her about the synergistic link between traditional and conventional medical therapies.

Contact our office in downtown Edmonton if you have any questions or want to learn more about Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction.

The Myth Behind Mouth Rinses

Posted on:

mouth rinse being poured into a cap

To begin, a mouth rinse does not replace your daily oral hygiene care routine of brushing and flossing. It is an adjunctive therapy that can be beneficial for your overall oral hygiene. There are a few different types of mouth rinses: a fluoride rinse, an antibacterial rinse, and a desensitizing rinse. Choose one based on your specific needs, although many combine some of these effects.

A fluoride mouth rinse is used for people who are at greater risk for cavities. The additional exposure to fluoride can help fight cavities by increasing the amount of fluoride on the enamel surfaces of your teeth. Generally, this type of rinse is used when advised by your dentist or hygienist.

There are many different types of antibacterial mouth rinses on the market. They have different active ingredients that use various methods for the same goal – to fight gingivitis. Some of the active ingredients include triclosan, thymol, cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC), and chlorhexidine gluconate. All have been proven to be effective against fighting bacteria that cause gingivitis. Some people prefer the taste of one type of rinse over another, or like or dislike the “burn” associated with some rinses. Choose an antibacterial rinse that is best for you based on what you prefer.

Desensitizing mouth rinses can be an effective adjunctive therapy for people with very sensitive teeth. These rinses use different active ingredients, including arginine, potassium citrate, potassium nitrate and sodium fluoride, to desensitize the teeth. If you have sensitive teeth, you can use this type of rinse in addition to a sensitive toothpaste, or on its own. Talk to your dentist or hygienist about what would be best for you.

The most important factor when using a mouth rinse, whichever type you use, is to use it correctly. This will ensure you maximize the beneficial effects of the rinse. Read the directions on the bottle and ensure you use the correct amount and rinse for an adequate amount of time. Using a mouth rinse as an additional part of your home care routine can be very beneficial health wise and can leave you feeling fresher!

Contact our office in downtown Edmonton if you have any questions or want to learn more about mouth rinses.

Alia
Dental Hygienist

4 Tips To Beat “Is It Spring Yet?” Blues

Posted on:

is it spring yet blues

Dental health is something we at ThirtyTwo Dental promote on a daily basis. But, we get so focused on teeth and gums that sometimes we forget to step back and look at the big picture. As health professionals, I feel it’s crucial that we also communicate and promote the importance of overall health, not just dental health. This week’s blog, written by Anna Morris, a trainer at Body By Bennett, shifts our focus from teeth to overall health and wellness.

The temperature is still cold, and there is snow on the ground that just won’t melt. It’s easy to see how winter blues can set in, especially when you’re ready for spring already! If you are feeling a little cooped up or run down, here are four simple ideas to add to your daily routine that can help to quickly turn things around and improve your mood.

1. Drink More Water.
As the most abundant compound on earth and within the body, water is the median in which all other nutrients reside. Water is the most important macronutrient for sustaining life. We are made up of at least 60% water, and it’s integral for proper circulation, healing, digestion, absorption, and elimination. Drinking adequate water is important for healthy weight maintenance, athletic performance, and youthful looking skin and hair. Recommendations for water consumption depend on your size, activity level, and the environmental temperature, but between 1.5-2L/day is what an average adult should strive for. Try to space your water consumption throughout the day, beginning the day with 1-2 cups upon waking up. Drinking a large amount of water with your meal isn’t ideal because it can dilute digestive enzymes and slow digestion, so it is preferable to drink one hour before and after a meal. The first change I make to most clients’ diets is to add more water daily. If you have access to clean drinking water, consider yourself lucky and drink up!

2. Start Resistance Training.
I cannot emphasize enough how life-changing this can be to people. There are so many benefits to resistance training, the most obvious of which are increased strength and functionality, improved posture, and better bone density (which is associated with decreased osteoporosis and fractures due to falls). Holding more lean tissue on your body also means a healthier body composition (more muscle, less fat) and faster basal metabolic rate (the ability to burn more calories at rest). I have also observed in my clients (and myself) a huge boost in confidence and independence. Regularly moving your body and breaking a sweat is also a great way to relieve stress.

3. Eat Your Vegetables.
I know it’s a struggle to eat nutritious foods. There are SO MANY different types of diets out there and a lot of conflicting information to sift through. One thing that pretty much all dieticians and nutritionists agree on is the importance of vegetables in a healthy diet. Vegetables are primarily made of carbohydrates, contain small amounts of protein and fat, and are packed with vitamins. They are a great source of fibre, which contributes to regularity and may protect against gastrointestinal disease and colon cancer. The way you prepare your veggies will affect the vitamin content. In order to get the most out of your veggies, eat them raw or lightly steamed. Since most vitamins are water-soluble, boiling veggies will result in a loss of vitamins into the water. Frozen veggies can also retain more vitamins than canned vegetables. A great way to get the best quality and variety of vegetables is to eat seasonable vegetables that are fresh and locally grown throughout the year.

4. Keep a gratitude journal.
Start taking stock of what you are grateful for in your life. Take 5 minutes of your day or week to list things /people you are thankful to have in your life. I know it sounds cheesy, but even listing 1-2 things about your day that “didn’t suck” can go a long towards improving a bad mood.

For more information on personal or group training, go to www.b3trainers.com or contact Anna directly for specific health/fitness questions at anna.morris@b3trainers.com.

How To Get Into The Habit Of Flossing

Posted on:

Flossing-Habit

Most people understand the benefits of flossing and know they SHOULD be doing it more often. So what stands in people’s way? I think one of the biggest reasons people don’t floss is because it just never became part of their daily routine the way tooth-brushing did. They’ve never gotten into the habit. So how can we change this? How do we turn something into a habit?

I’m not a behavioural expert; so of course, I had to Google it. What I discovered is the 3 R’s of Habit Change  – a simple 3-step framework for changing or creating new habits. Hey, it can’t hurt to try (plus, I’m a sucker for a good acronym).

The 3 R’s are as follows:

  • Reminder (a trigger)
  • Routine (a behaviour)
  • Reward (a benefit)

So how can we apply this method to flossing?

Reminder: Try sticking a post-it note to your bathroom mirror as a reminder. Or, try placing floss right next to your toothbrush so you can see it every time you brush. You can also make things easier by having floss stashed in multiple places, like your desk, your purse, your car, your gym bag, etc. Seeing it in all these places will not only serve as a visual cue, but the convenience of having it right there will make it more likely that you’ll use it.

Routine: Once you’re reminded to floss, DO IT! Once you start flossing on a regular basis, it will naturally evolve into a habit. And who knows, you might even start to LIKE flossing and how it makes your teeth and gums feel.

Reward: This is the tricky part. While there’s no doubt flossing has rewards, they’re not always immediate or obvious. Over time, you might notice changes: your gums will bleed less; they’ll be pink and healthy, and your breath will be fresher. You might even get fewer cavities between your teeth! However, those things take time. The article recommended simply telling yourself “good job” or saying “success” once you’ve achieved your goal. They even had the example “floss one tooth, “Victory!’”. It’s pretty silly, but I think the important thing is that we give ourselves credit. Self-acknowledgment is still acknowledgement, and different things motivate different people. Try using whatever rewards you can think of for yourself.

Start small and work your way up. Even if you go from flossing once a year to once a week, it’s a “Success!”. Hope this helps 🙂

Dr. Jaimee Buchkowsky