Comprehensive Family Dentistry • Mark Weglos, DMD • 215-860-0738
Summit Square Center • Suite 28C, Route 413 • Newtown, PA 18940Volume I • Issue 2 • December, 2007
From the Doc…
holiday season is fully upon us now. Where did the year go? During the
hustle and bustle of this month, take time out to think, pray (if
you’re so inclined), and help those individuals and families less
fortunate than we are. It is the season to give, so give a little
extra. It will make every one of us feel wonderful.
we all know, December is a month of feasts, snacks, and gobs of
goodies. I’m going to indulge, and so should you. Beware, however, of
over-indulging. Feast and enjoy, but then go out and walk the dog
farther at a more intense pace. Jog, weight train, do what you like,
but keep your pulse rate up 30 minutes a day. If we all did this one
simple thing, maybe we wouldn’t have to make all those New Year’s
resolutions in January!
hope you all enjoyed our very first Miles of Smiles e-newsletter. We’re
all excited by this vehicle to help spread the word about healthy
smiles. Don’t hesitate to contact me via e-mail or call to let us know
how we can make it more interesting and useful to you. It’s just one
more way we can thank you for your trust in our services.
Yours for a Better Smile,
Have You Taken Advantage of All Your Dental Insurance Benefits?
Dental insurance is great—if you use it. As insurance plans go, dental coverage generally has the lowest deductibles, an average of $50 for individual plans, $150 for family plans. Chances are, by this time of year, you've already paid that deductible. But have you taken advantage of your dental plan and reached the maximum coverage amount?
If not, now is the time. Unused benefits won't roll over into the new year. And if your plan operates on a calendar year, come January 1, you'll be operating on a new deductible. Likewise, if you have a flexible spending account (FSA) or healthcare savings account (HSA), this is the time to schedule treatment so that co-payment amounts can be applied to 2007 deductions. Remember, any money left in your FSA at year's end will be lost to you.
Aside from the fact that it just makes sense to use this money because it's yours to use (or lose), taking advantage of dental insurance monies is a wise step in preventive oral health care. A simple cavity in your tooth right now will eventually deteriorate into the need for a root canal if left untreated. The cost for filling a cavity is but a fraction of that for performing a root canal. It requires less of your time and causes less discomfort, too.
Let's not forget braces. Orthodontia is expensive because of the hardware. Some plans have yearly maximums, while others offer a lifetime cap. If yours works on a yearly basis, check to see if you've used all that's available to you. If not, talk to your dentist to see if any necessary orthodontic treatments or procedures can be performed before December 31. In most plans, orthodontia is covered separately from regular dental, and so has separate deductibles.
December is arguably the busiest month of the year; finding time to get to the dentist probably isn't high on your "to do" list. But why live with that dull toothache or annoying chipped tooth when dealing with them won't cost much money? Wait a month, and they'll cost you more.
You may not be aware that Dr. Mark was once a professional chef, trained at the Culinary Institute of America. He still enjoys his time in the kitchen, and likes to share his tasty and mouth-healthy recipes with you. These two recipes take advantage of seasonally available fresh produce, and are guaranteed to help you create a wholesome and mouth-watering holiday dinner.
Dr. Mark's Holiday Recipes
Butternut Squash Soup
Saute all vegetables and garlic in olive oil. Season with salt as cooking. Add chicken stock. Cook down until vegetables are very soft, about an hour to an hour and 20 minutes. Season to taste. Puree in food processor. Serve hot with pumpernickel croutons.
- 4 medium-sized butternut squash (peeled, de-seeded, and coarse chopped)
- 1 large red onion medium dice
- 4 ribs of celery, medium dice
- 5 carrots (peeled, and medium dice)
- 1 Leek (white part only, medium dice
- 5 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 gallon (128oz) chicken stock (can use College Inn chicken broth)
- Salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- Lea+Perrins Worchestershire sauce to taste
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
Dice a loaf of pumpernickel bread into large cubes. Drizzle with a half-stick of melted butter.
Sprinkle lightly with onion powder, garlic powder and parmesan cheese to taste. Bake in 350°F oven until crispy.
Cheers! But Know the Risks of Alcohol
Most people don't consider alcohol a threat to oral health, but recent studies indicate that the consumption of alcohol is a major risk factor in the development of periodontal disease (an infection that attacks gums and the bones around teeth) and oral cancer. Alcohol also significantly contributes to tooth decay.
Heavy drinkers in particular have been found to be at risk, due to their poor compliance with oral hygiene practices combined with larger quantities of overall intake. Studies found that 80% of the people who fit into the “heavy drinker” category have moderate to severe gum disease, with 75% having deteriorated teeth.
About one-third have potentially pre-cancerous oral lesions, an extremely high rate when compared to more moderate drinkers. Those who consider themselves light drinkers (consume 0.01 to 0.21 fluid ounces of alcohol a day) still have a higher risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, and esophagus, but the difference between them and non-drinkers is not nearly as severe.
This isn’t to say you have to eliminate Friday-night parties and alcohol from your life — just be aware of the risks drinking poses to your oral health. Here are a few easy pointers to keep in mind when enjoying alcoholic beverages:
• Always drink in moderation. Naturally, the best way to avoid the risks associated with alcohol is to never drink too much, since the greater the amount consumed, the more dangerous it is to your mouth.
• Avoid sugary “foo-foo” drinks. A little-known fact is that the high sugar and acid content in alcoholic beverages is responsible for the destruction of tooth enamel. Sweet drinks such as margaritas and wine coolers—as well as those mixed with soda and juice—have the highest sugar content. [See an extensive chart at http://www.dietbites.com/CalorieIndexDrinks.html]
• Brush immediately after drinking. The longer you wait, the longer your mouth is assaulted and damaged. If you don’t have the chance to brush, at least chew sugarless gum to increase saliva flow to wash away pollutants, sugars, and reduce your mouth’s acid content.
• Don’t drink and smoke. It’s as simple as that—drinking in combination with smoking increases your chances of developing oral cancer by as much as 100%.
As long as you follow these simple guidelines, responsible drinking shouldn’t interfere with your oral health or your enjoyment of holiday festivities.
Ho-Ho-How’s Your Cleaning Routine?
It’s easy, when the social whirl of festivities picks up around the holidays, to become lax in your dental care routine. Busy regular schedules, early mornings, late nights and all the extra things there are to do during the holiday season can all get in the way of maintaining your regular oral hygiene regimen. Yet the best gift you can give yourself this year is continued regular mouth care, because a temporary slip could result in long-term dental problems.
Here are a few tips to help you shoehorn five or ten minutes into your hectic holiday season for important oral care:
- Timing Is Everything – The time it takes to do a thorough job of oral care depends on your circumstances. Someone with braces or other appliances will need more time than someone who’s able to simply “brush and go.” Time yourself during a normal care routine, so you’ll know how much you’ll need to block out in your daily schedule. You’ll be surprised how quickly it actually goes, and that will make it seem less daunting to fit into your schedule.
- Keep It Regular – Most organization experts agree that the first step to getting everything done in your day is to create and then stick to a routine. Figure out wthat works for you, then maintain that schedule regularly for best results.
- Early To Rise – If your answer to a too-busy schedule is to get up earlier in the morning, that means you’re likely to run out of gas earlier at night. Avoid becoming too tired to try by giving yourself a nightly deadline for final snacks, then heading immediate to the bathroom to brush.
- Make It Convenient – If you remove all possible obstacles to whatever your goal is, you’re more likely to achieve that goal. One of the main obstacles to brushing and flossing is that sometimes you just can’t get home to your own space to do it. So, buy yourself an extra toothbrush, travel-size toothpaste tube and floss, and pack it into a small container (soft eyeglass cases work well), and tuck it into your purse, backpack or briefcase to take along wherever you go. After eating, you can simply excuse yourself to make a trip to the nearest bathroom and take care of your teeth.
Tinsel Belongs on the Tree:
A New Kind of Orthodontics
If you ever wore braces as a kid, inevitably someone called you “tinsel teeth” at some point. It wasn’t a good feeling. And now, maybe you have a son or daughter who really needs to have their teeth straightened. But when you bring it up, they absolutely refuse to wear braces.
You want to be a good parent, realizing how important a correctly aligned bite is to good overall health, and how critical straight teeth are to a winning smile. Yet you hesitate to burden your child with years of braces.
Great news — there’s an alternative! Invisalign, a nearly undetectable new orthodontic system, is sweeping the nation. So now, even adults who’ve needed orthodontia for years but have avoided the “metal mouth” look, can get the help they need. Turn your crooked or irregular teeth into a beautiful, healthy smile…and no one needs to know.
Invisalign uses a clear, plastic tray system to align your teeth. No braces. No wires. Most crooked teeth cases can be corrected with Invisalign, and the process is extremely easy for anyone.
First, our office employs an Orthodontic Records appointment. We evaluate the severity of and correctly diagnose your case. Second, we mold full upper and lower dentition models, utilizing very accurate impression material. We send these models to the Invisalign lab, where they do computer-aided scanning of your teeth.
Doctor Mark and the lab discuss your case in depth. Then, in about three weeks, we receive your clear Invisalign trays from the lab. Depending on the severity of misalignment, some people need ten trays, while others need twenty.
Each tray is worn for about two weeks, during which it gently moves your teeth toward better alignment. Then you move to the next numbered tray, which moves them further. You continue with this graduated movement system until all the trays are worn.
When you’re finished, viola: a brand new, beautiful smile that you’ve always dreamed about! In most instances, your new smile can be achieved in six to 18 months. The Invisalign process, in addition to being less visually intrusive and much more comfortable than traditional braces, is very affordable. To make it even moreso, in many cases we can arrange manageable monthly payment plans.
So don’t put off having the straight, attractive smile you’ve always wanted. Call the office today (215) 860-0738 for your free consultation. There’s no pressure or obligation.
Mention that you learned about Invisalign from our Miles of Smiles newsletter, and we’ll pay the first $250 toward your or your family member’s Invisalign procedure.
What Our Patients Are Saying...
Dear Dr. Weglos,
I want to thank you for making our family’s experience with dentistry a pleasurable one. My experience with having my tooth replaced with an implant, a 6-month process, was amazingly painless. My husband felt great even the night after having his three wisdom teeth removed, and didn't need the next day off as he’d anticipated. He was amazed at how painless it was. To be able to have all the work done right in your office and not have to be referred out is great. Your office has a warm, family atmosphere that is very relaxing. Thank you for being such a terrific dentist.
Kathleen & Rodney Holben
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