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Halloween Tricks for All Those Treats!

Ahhh, Halloween! Who doesn’t love all the spooky decorations and adorable costumes? But then there’s the candy … all. that. candy. As parents we want our kiddos to enjoy the holiday, but what are we to do about about all that sugar?!? Luckily the DFC docs are here with a few tricks to keep your kids’ smiles safe from all those treats!

Dr. Katrina Hays recommends avoiding sticky candies. They tend to get stuck in between teeth thus giving sugar more time to do its dirty work! Her #1 candy recommendation? Chocolate!!! “Chocolate melts in your mouth so it doesn’t spend as much time on your teeth!” Now that’s a recommendation we can all get behind!

Dr. Michael Becker takes a different tack to Halloween goodies. “Let them indulge on Halloween night! Eat that candy up! But then get rid of ALL THE REST. It’s all about how often sugar is sitting on your teeth. A one-time candy fest (followed by a thorough brushing, of course) is better than a candy every day after school.”

“Listen to the experts!” says Dr. Jeff Hays. “The AAPD (American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry) cautions parents to avoid ‘chewy or sticky candies like caramels, gummies and sour candies.’ Stick with pretzels, crackers, and milk chocolate. Even better alternatives are dark chocolate and sugar-free gum. The less time your teeth are in contact with sugary sweets, the better!”

Read More: Diet, Cavities, and Bug Poop!

Of course, all of our dentists echo one sentiment above all the rest, “BRUSH! BRUSH! BRUSH!” Make sure to get a good, thorough brush and floss before heading off to bed after trick-or-treating. Don’t leave any sticky sugars or stuck popcorn kernels behind to do their dirty work while kiddos sleep.

And … ahem … not that any of our parents are out there raiding treat buckets and bags after bedtime, but just in case, make sure you get a good brush and floss before bedtime as well!

From the Dentistry for Children family to all our patients and families,
have a safe and happy Halloween!

For more Halloween safety tips, visit SafeKids.org and the American Academy of Pediatrics!

Choosing New Dental Insurance? Ask These Questions Before You Buy!

Are you on the hunt for a new dental insurance plan? Whether your company is entering open season for insurance plans or you’ve changed jobs and are looking at all new plans, it can be a daunting task to choose a plan that’s right for your whole family. Here are 4 important questions you can ask to make sure your plan is the right one for everyone.

#1 – Can I choose my own dentist?

Is the plan your looking at a PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) or a DMO (Dental Management Organization)? With a PPO plan, you will be able to choose any provider who is in the Preferred Provider program. All you have to do is ask. With a DMO plan, your options will be limited.

#2 – What preventative services are covered and how often?

Most plans cover exams and cleanings twice a year, but other services, like x-rays and placement of fluoride, vary in frequency from plan to plan. Some plans have age limits. Some plans, called incentive plans, pay a higher percentage of preventative services when services are used on a timely basis. In addition, your medical insurance may cover a small portion of preventative services. Make sure to ask as that can influence your need of a secondary dental insurance.

#3 – What’s My Out-of-Pocket?

How much will you pay on top of your premiums this year? That’s an important question! Are preventative services covered completely or at a percentage? Will there be a co-pay? What percentage of restorative work is covered? What is your deductible? And does your plan have a yearly maximum? How much? After your plan’s yearly maximum has been met, you will have to pay out of pocket.

#4 – Does your plan cover ortho?

If it looks like kids are headed down the ortho path, you’ll want to make sure your plan will pay an adequate portion. Ortho bills can really add up, and different plans have different orthodontic maximums.

The key here is to ask the right questions and make an informed decision about where you spend your dental dollars. Ask questions of your HR professional, and read up on your chosen plan’s website for more details. And as always our office is here to help!