19 Amazing Home Remedies to Remove Plaque Naturally

 

Use these amazing home remedies to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth. Keep your teeth and mouth healthy with all-natural scrubs and cleansing solutions.

What Are Plaque and Tartar?

People often use the terms ‘plaque’ and ‘tartar’ interchangeably. Although they’re very similar, they’re not the same thing. Plaque is the bacteria that causes decay and cavities. And tartar on your teeth is an accumulation of stains, saliva, food, dirt, and grime. Tartar makes it easier for the plaque to take a hold of teeth.

When you see yellow or white patches on your teeth, it’s tartar. It’s quite tough and sticks fast to your enamel. That’s why a dentist should remove it. If left untreated, tartar build-ups can lead to bad breath and a general staining of the teeth. 

Luckily, you can prevent this tartar buildup by removing the plaque from your teeth regularly. Even better, you don’t need a dentist for that. You can easily remove the plaque from your teeth at home. Check out these awesome home remedies to remove plaque effectively.

Getting Rid of Plaque and Tartar at Home

Home remedies should never be a substitute for proper dental treatment. But, there are some methods that can effectively remove plaque.

1. Brush Carefully and Regularly

You need to brush your teeth properly and regularly to remove plaque. It’s a great way to take care of your oral hygiene and prevent tartar buildup.

You should brush your teeth after every meal. It’s best to wait half an hour after eating first. You need to brush for three minutes. While you brush, be sure to use an even amount of pressure on the toothbrush as you brush each tooth.

2. Use Fluoride Toothpaste

There’s a good reason why commercial toothpaste recipes almost always contain fluoride. This substance strengthens the tooth enamel and lessens the risk of decay from acidic foods and drinks. 

In fact, it actually helps decayed teeth to heal and regenerate. The only problem is that this process occurs too slowly for brushing alone to prevent cavities. You also need to eat a healthy diet and steer clear of sugary snacks.

3. Buy Tartar Control Toothpaste

If you’re prone to developing tartar patches, there’s a variety of tartar control toothpaste out there. You can even use this if you’re worried about plaque. 

Tartar control toothpaste contains ingredients that battle against crusty build-ups in the mouth. In some cases, they also contain triclosan. This is an antibiotic substance that can kill off a number of bacteria strains.

4. Clean with Baking Soda

Using baking soda occasionally is a great way to remove plaque at home. It’s slightly abrasive. As a result, it pries and files nasty stuff from the surface of the enamel. 

All you need to do is take one tablespoon of baking soda and add a pinch of salt. Then, dampen a toothbrush and dip it into the mixture. Afterward, clean your teeth as you usually would and rinse thoroughly.

5. Mix Aloe Vera and Glycerine

Aloe vera has a lot of benefits. But did you know that it can also keep your teeth free from plaque?

Take a cup of water, combine it with half a cup of baking soda, and a teaspoon of aloe vera gel. Then, add a healthy dose of lemon essential oil and four teaspoons of vegetable glycerine. Now, scrub your teeth with the formula and wake up to a shiny set of gnashers in the morning.

6. Rub Your Teeth with an Orange Peel

If you don’t fancy rubbing vegetable glycerine on your teeth, you might prefer something a little simpler. You can rub orange peel directly onto your teeth. This will help to fight tartar-building microorganisms on the enamel. 

You can also mash up the peel and apply it to the stained areas. Leave to rest and then rinse. This can noticeably whiten the teeth.

7. Eat Lots of Fruit and Vegetables

Eating fruit and vegetables isn’t just great for your teeth. It’s also essential for your whole body. Plus, eating fruits and vegetables can also remove plaque naturally. 

Munch on some apples, celery sticks, carrots, and peppers to get your teeth looking strong and healthy in no time.  

8. Munch on Sesame Seeds

Sesame seeds can be an active dental scrub. It gently removes plaque and tartar without damaging teeth. 

Just pop a handful of sesame seeds into your mouth. Chew them up, but do not swallow them. Take a dry toothbrush and brush your teeth while the seeds are still in your mouth. They will act as a scrub and delicately scour the surface of stained teeth.

9. Enjoy Plenty of Figs

There are surprisingly many home remedies to remove plaque that involve fruit. Did you know figs are great at fighting bacteria and other nasties on teeth? 

You just have to eat three or four figs all at the same time. Chew them up slowly and deliberately. Give them as much exposure to the gums and teeth as possible. 

The chewing will kickstart the salivary glands. This is great to remove plaque because saliva contains natural antibacterial properties.

10. Switch to an Electric Brush

Manual vs. electric toothbrush? The dental debate of the century. Ultimately, neither is better or worse, it’s a personal choice you have to make.

However, if you’re prone to plaque and tartar buildup while using manual toothbrushes, try switching to an electric brush. You may be surprised how well it removes plaque and tartar.

11. Always Remember to Floss

No matter how well you brush your teeth, you still need to floss. As dental industry guidelines state, both are required for a high-quality dental care routine. While brushing is great for getting at the surface of tooth enamel, a lot of debris and dirt accumulate in the corners. You simply cannot reach this with a regular brush.

12. Rinse with an Antiseptic Cleanser

You can also control tartar and plaque build-up with a hydrogen peroxide-based mouthwash or cleanser. If you can’t find this type of product in your local pharmacy, it is pretty easy to knock a batch together yourself. 

Take one tablespoon of antiseptic mouthwash and add three tablespoons of (3% only) hydrogen peroxide solution. You must make sure that the substance you use is of a suitable concentration or you could damage your teeth.

13. Invest in a Dental Scraping Device

A dental scraper (or pick) is essentially the same kind of device that your dentist uses to coax the tartar from your teeth during intensive cleaning. You can buy these in pharmacies and drugstores. 

They are long and thin, with a hooked metal end. A dental scraper can look a little daunting, but scraping should never be painful. Take your pick, stand in a well-lit room with a mirror, and gently scrape at the white patches of tartar. 

But, be very careful! You’re scraping inside your mouth with a sharp object. Try to avoid any injuries, and don’t scrape the enamel off your teeth. You may end up causing more harm than good.

14. Make a Super Vitamin Paste

Vitamin C heavy fruits are great for removing plaque at home. Mash together oranges, tomatoes, and strawberries into a thick paste. Apply it to tartar and plaque build-ups. Leave to rest for five minutes and then rinse thoroughly. Vitamin C will help to remove bacteria and keep your mouth healthy.

15. Feast on Spicy Cuisines

If you’re a fan of Indian or Mexican food, you’re in luck. According to dental scientists, spicy cuisines are great for reducing plaque and tartar levels in the mouth. They do this by increasing your production of saliva (which is great against plaque). Saliva washes over teeth and cleanses them of nasty stuff.

16. Gargle with a Vinegar Solution

This isn’t the most pleasant method to remove plaque at home, but it’s very effective. It’s also natural and guaranteed not to harm teeth.

Take a solution of two tablespoons of vinegar, one tablespoon of salt, and four ounces of water. Now, gargle with this vinegar solution. Rinse and repeat every 2-3 days for maximum efficiency.

17. Grind Up Clove Spice

Clove is actually a historic remedy for toothaches. People have been using it to relieve dental pain for centuries. Today, you can find it in every supermarket. It’s a very common ingredient in Indian cuisine, so you should have no trouble finding ground cloves at the store.

Mix the ground spice with a little water, until it forms a paste. Apply this paste directly to the stained areas and leave it to rest. Rinse thoroughly.

18. Identify the Biggest Stains

There is a really easy and clever way to check if you have a plaque buildup on your teeth. Take some food coloring – just the regular stuff found in supermarkets – and add it to a teaspoon of water.

You can use this mini mixture as a plaque highlighting solution. However, you should first rub a little petroleum jelly on your lips first to avoid stains. Swish the food coloring in your mouth for a bit and then spit it out. You should see light patches of color on your teeth. That’s where the most stubborn plaque accumulations are. Concentrate brushing here to remove it.

19. Indulge in Cheesy Snacks

Snacking on aged cheeses, such as Swiss or cheddar, is a great way to clean your teeth naturally. They neutralize the acids that accumulate right after meals. These acids contribute to plaque build-ups the most. 

According to scientists, there is an element in aged cheese that acts as a buffering agent and a barrier for plaque. You can also find the same element in peanuts and sesame seeds.  

5 Tips to Prevent Plaque

While plaque is relatively easy to get rid of with these home remedies, it can get out of hand fast. And if you leave plaque on your teeth, it’ll turn into hard tartar. An alternative is to prevent plaque buildup in the first place. 

Do these five things to avoid plaque build-ups altogether. Prevention is always cheaper than the cure when it comes to dental health. If you can stop plaque and tartar from building up in the first place, you’ll have a much better chance of keeping all of your teeth healthy.

1. Keep Up with Dental Appointments

It’s your job to keep up with check-ups and appointments. Your dentist can’t make you attend. But you need to go regularly. Once you miss several consecutive dates, you risk being taken off the list at your practice.

2. Always Use a Soft Bristled Brush

Keep an eye on how hard you’re brushing your teeth. Brushing your teeth with a lot of pressure won’t clean them faster or better. On the contrary. Tough brushing damages enamel, which results in a host of other problems. Be reasonably gentle and use a soft-bristled brush for comfort.

3. Cut Back On Your Smoking Habit

Unfortunately, there is no cheat or secret way around this one. The reality is that smoking is really bad for your oral health. You will always be at a much higher risk of gum disease and tooth infection while you smoke. It will also lead to accelerated tartar build-up in and around the gum line.

4. Drink Plenty of Fresh Water

There are few things as natural and as healthy as water. You should drink around eight glasses of it every day anyway. (So, this tip should really only be a reminder.) If you drink plenty of water, it will wash away plaque, dirt, and debris before it gets a chance to take a hold on the surface of tooth enamel.

5. Consult with Your Dental Specialist

If you have any questions or concerns about the health of your teeth, you need to ask your dentist. They’re the most qualified person to provide an answer or a solution. 

Turn to your dentist with any problem you have with confidence. They’re not there to give you a lecture or yell at you. They only want to offer you the finest in dental care and treatment available.

If Plaque Builds Up, Tartar Hurts Your Teeth

Plaque and tartar both contribute to the development of decay and cavities. Tartar is porous. As a result, plaque can build up inside and around it. It then calcifies around the plaque and bacteria. This traps all of the nasty stuff close to tooth enamel. Once there, it can feast on and wear away teeth with harmful acids.

It’s crucial to have tartar removed because it greatly increases the risk of decay and gum disease. If left untreated, chronic gingivitis and degenerative tooth loss may be the outcome. 

For patients with underlying health conditions, the consequences can be extremely serious. Dental scientists now know that poor oral health can contribute to the development of diabetes and heart disease. These are potentially life-threatening conditions.

Dental Cleaning Is the Most Effective Way to Remove Plaque

If plaque or tartar builds up on your teeth, the most effective way to remove it is a dental cleaning. While home remedies can do wonders for your oral health, the most reliable method is still your dentist.

A lot of people turn to home remedies because a trip to the dentist is too expensive. But with such potential dangers, you really can’t risk plaque and tartar buildup happening. 

Luckily, there’s a way to get the dental cleaning you need at a fraction of the cost. All you need to do is sign up for a Carefree Dental Card

The Carefree Dental Card is a dental discount card that can help you save 15-50%, per visit, in most instances. Simply sign up for the card, show it to a participating dentist, and save your money!

Don’t let plaque and tartar ruin your smile and your health. Start your dental health off with a discount using the Carefree Dental Card.

 

The Carefree Dental blog is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The text and pictures within the content are intended for information purposes only. Readers should consult with a licensed doctor or healthcare professional before seeking treatment.

The Carefree Dental Card is not insurance and Carefree Dental is not an insurance provider.

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10 Quick Ways Get Rid of Onion Breath

As healthy and as yummy as onions are, they certainly don’t smell good. And once you eat some onions, getting rid of the smell can be pretty difficult. Luckily, there are a couple of ways you can eat onions and still have a fresh breath. Here are 10 quick, natural, and effective ways to get rid of onion breath.

What Causes Onion Breath?

Onions contain sulfur compounds. These chemicals are responsible for the distinctive taste and smell of onions. However, there are two ways onions can give you onion breath. 

Onion breath in your mouth happens when you chew the onion. The sulphuric compounds mix with the bacteria in your mouth. That’s why you can smell the onion in your breath after eating. 

But why is onion breath still an issue even after you’ve already eaten? When you’re digesting onions, the sulphuric compounds also get absorbed into your bloodstream. They find their way to the lungs which then releases a foul odor every time you exhale.

10 Tips to Get Rid of Onion Breath

Whether you have a date or a business meeting coming up, you’ll want to get rid of onion breath. A fresh breath can give you a good impression and boost your confidence. These 10 tips can get you smelling like a million bucks after you’ve eaten onions.

1. Drink Green Tea

Drink green tea with honey several times a day. Green tea is rich in polyphenols which are powerful antioxidants that can kill the sulfurous compounds present in raw onions.

2. Lemons Work Against Onion Breath

Rinse your mouth with lemon water two to three times a day. A tablespoon of lemon juice in a cup of water can help neutralize onion breath. The citric acid in the lemon contains antibacterial properties that can kill bacteria that cause bad breath. 

Just be careful not to let the citric acid sit on the teeth. Its high acidity can contribute to enamel erosion and tooth decay.

3. Mustard Sauce is Surprisingly Effective Against Onion Breath

Swish around mustard sauce in the mouth for a minute. This method won't kill the odorous molecules of the onion. However, the mustard sauce has a strong aroma that can help mask the onion smell. 

4. Chew on Some Cardamom

Cardamom is a delicious Indian spice with a lot of health benefits. But a surprising quality of cardamom is its ability to get rid of onion breath. If you like the taste of the spice but not the smell of onions, it’s worth a try.

Chew cardamom after eating onions. Its strong aroma will help mask the onion odor and freshen your breath.

5. An Apple a Day Keeps the Onion Breath Away

Apples are one of the most versatile fruits on the planet. They’re just delicious. Plus, they have countless uses and benefits. One of these uses is to get rid of onion breath quickly. 

Eating an apple is one of the most effective methods to get rid of onion breath. That’s because the natural enzymes in the apple break down the onion's sulfur compounds.

6. Use Apple Cider Vinegar

Rinse your mouth with apple cider vinegar and water. This helps to neutralize onion breath. And it destroys bad-breath-causing bacteria in the mouth.

7. Rinse Your Mouth with Baking Soda

Rinse your mouth with baking soda in water. This method neutralizes the onion smell, maintains the pH of your saliva, and controls the growth of bacteria in the mouth.

8. Drink Some Milk

Drink milk. When you drink milk, the sulfur in the onion is neutralized by the milk's fat content. Milk also acts as a natural mouth rinse.

9. Mints, Peppermints, and Breath Mints

If you’re looking for a minty fresh breath, you need mint. The mint contains chlorophyll which helps to freshen your breath while masking the onion odor. It also has mild antiseptic properties that fight against bad breath caused by bacteria.

You can find peppermint flavored chewing gum and spearmint flavored breath mints everywhere you go. Just make sure you get the sugar-free kind because the sugar in chewing gum damages your teeth.

You can also get your hands on some natural mint. Drink mint with water or chew on mint leaves to get rid of onion breath.

10. Brush Your Teeth

If all else fails, brush your teeth with plenty of toothpaste. Regularly cleaning your teeth is crucial for proper dental health. But. it’s also a great way to freshen up your breath.

Other Foods That Cause Bad Breath

While onion breath is certainly not pleasant, there are a couple of other healthy foods that cause bad breath too. Watch out for these in your diet before an important event:

  • Garlic: The garlic odor can be very strong. The best way to get rid of it is by utilizing plant chemicals like chlorophyll and polyphenols to bind to sulfur compounds in garlic. Eat herbs like parsley, basil, thyme, cilantro, mint, or dill to get rid of garlic breath.
  • Strong cheeses: There’s nothing classier than a nicely arranged cheese board. But, the smell of cheeses like Stilton, Roquefort, or Camembert can linger in your breath. Eating vegetables, using mouthwash, or gargling with saltwater are the best ways to get rid of cheese breath.
  • Horseradish: This member of the mustard family is a great source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, folate, potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and manganese. Despite its benefits, cut or chewed horseradish releases mustard oil, which comes with a really bad smell. Gargle with saltwater or use mouthwash to get rid of it quickly.
  • Kombucha: This fermented drink is a popular superfood with a lot of amazing benefits. But, this vinegary drink doesn’t smell good at all. Drinking some green tea or chewing herbs will eliminate the bad breath caused by kombucha.

Could Your Bad Breath Be a Dental Issue?

Eating onions isn’t the only reason you may have bad breath. It can be a sign of a serious dental problem. Bad breath can be a symptom of gum disease, tooth decay, or an infection. If the smell of your breath doesn’t go away with these tricks, you need a dentist to examine you.

A trip to the dentist can cost a lot of money. Even a simple checkup can cost you more than you expect. But, if your bad breath could be a life-threatening condition, there’s no time to waste.

To save your teeth and your wallet from worries, sign up for a Carefree Dental Card.

Carefree Dental offers an instant discount at participating dental practices. All you have to do is sign up for a Carefree Dental Card, show it to the participating dentist, and save your money! 

 

The Carefree Dental blog is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The text and pictures within the content are intended for information purposes only. Readers should consult with a licensed doctor or healthcare professional before seeking treatment.

The Carefree Dental Card is not insurance and Carefree Dental is not an insurance provider.

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5 Reasons Why Practicing Yoga Is Good for Your Teeth

Who knew yoga is actually dentist-recommended? Yoga improves your flexibility, your mood, and your wellbeing. But what most people don’t realize is that it’s also great for your dental health. Crazy, right? It’s actually not that far-fetched. This guide will show you 5 ways yoga is beneficial for your teeth.

What Is Yoga?

Yoga is a combination of physical, mental, and spiritual practices. It originates from ancient India. There are a lot of different kinds of yoga that focus on different principles. But, they’re all built on a series of movements called asanas.

Today, yoga is a popular form of exercise. It allows you to strengthen your body, and make yourself more flexible. Yoga is also a great way to relieve stress and connect with your body.

5 Reasons to Practice Yoga for Your Teeth

Yoga is a wonderfully therapeutic practice for our bodies. It improves your mental wellbeing, flexibility, circulation, the health of our muscles, joints, and organs. And yoga is even good for your teeth.

If you’ve never tried yoga, perhaps it’s time to start now. Here are the 5 reasons why giving yoga a go promotes healthier teeth and a healthier you.

1. Yoga Reduces Stress

Practicing yoga is a great way to relieve stress. Since a regular yoga session is a combination of a workout and breathing exercises, it makes you refreshed and calm by the time it ends.

But what does stress have to do with dental health?

You Don’t Take Care Of Your Teeth Well Enough if You’re Stressed

You may be surprised that stress and dental health have a lot in common. Stress wears down the body, often leaving us feeling too tired or uninspired to take care of our dental health.

Stress Causes Bruxism

Stressed people also have a tendency to grind their teeth. This is called bruxism. Bruxism is very bad for your dental health, and its side effects can lead to serious issues long term. Your front teeth get worn down if you grind them. If you grind the dentin away, your teeth will become sensitive and painful. 

Bruxism can also lead to gum recession, nerve damage, loose teeth, and jaw impairment. So, if a little bit of yoga helps clear your mind and reduce your stress, avoiding grinding your teeth is definitely worth it.

2. Yoga Improves Posture

Having good posture comes with many benefits. It improves your breathing, your core muscles, mood, and self confidence. Holding your body well also promotes better memory, brain function, productivity, and energy. 

And having a healthy posture is also great for your teeth. Most people wouldn't think that posture has anything to do with dental health. But studies have shown that posture plays a significant role on the health of our teeth. 

How, you ask?

Poor posture affects more than just the spine and neck. It also affects the mouth. When a person slouches or hunches over, the lower jaw shifts forward causing the upper and lower teeth to come out of alignment. The skull also moves back and compresses the spine. 

This movement puts stress on the surrounding muscles, joints, and bones. If left untreated, this can create pain and inflammation in the muscles and joints when the mouth opens and closes.

Bad Posture Can Lead to TMD

Bad posture can lead to jaw issues like temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). TMD is a common medical condition that involves some issues with how the upper and lower jaw work together.

Some common side effects include chronic headaches, pain or a clicking sound when opening the jaw. You can also feel the tenderness of the jaw and face. Sometimes, TMD changes your jaw alignment which can result in uneven wear of the teeth or cracked teeth.

Achieve a Balanced Bite By Practicing Yoga

An imbalanced bite causes a ripple effect for the rest of the body. Your bite influences the position of your jaw. How you hold your jaw changes how you hold your head. Then your head affects your balance. Your body will need to structurally compensate for your poor dental alignment.

Other issues, such as the compression of the ear canal which then can cause allergies or drainage issues, may occur as a result. Other forms of poor posture include poorly balanced shoulders which can cause stress on the ribs and the organs underneath.

By improving your posture with yoga, you can take the strain off your jaw. And that can make your whole mouth blissfully happy. 

 

3. Yoga Stimulates Saliva Production

Saliva is a key ingredient for washing away bacteria and food particles. It contains antibacterial enzymes that break down food and make food easier to swallow. 

When the salivary glands slow down the production of saliva, bacteria grows easily. That is how you get "morning breath". A dry mouth creates an environment where bacteria can thrive. Chronic dry mouth can then cause plaque buildup, tooth decay, and gum disease.

Practicing yoga stimulates the salivary glands. Yoga poses such as forward bends, twists, and inverted poses are known to increase saliva production.

Try Khechari Mudra to Activate Salivary Glands

A mudra is a gesture or attitude that directs energies in yoga. The Khechari mudra is an exercise that helps activate your salivary glands.

The process involves drawing the tip of the tongue along the roof of the mouth toward the back of the nostrils to the upper throat and then holding that pose with your eyes and mouth closed for as long as you can.

4. Yoga Reduces Inflammation

Inflammation of the gums can be painful. It can also cause other problems such as gum disease and tooth decay. But, inflammation can also spread to the rest of your body, and trigger unique problems in other places.

This is all because of a hormone called cortisol. Your body produces cortisol to fight stress. But, access to this hormone doesn’t make you calmer. Instead, you fall on the other side of the horse. With too much cortisol, you become even more stressed.

Yoga can help your body manage this extra cortisol. Restorative yoga reduces inflammation in the gums, and avoids other oral health problems.

5. Yoga Teaches You How to Breath

Every yoga teacher will tell you that breathing is the basis of practicing yoga. All the movements and poses are carefully coordinated with your breathing. And as so it happens, these breathing exercises also help your teeth.

Proper breathing techniques prevent your mouth and throat from drying out. Which is a great way to keep bacteria out of your mouth.

Yoga breathing exercises can also help curb your cigarette cravings, something your teeth will thank you for if you’re a smoker. It also leads to better sleep at night, and reduced blood pressure, all of which contribute to a healthy lifestyle.

Combine Yoga with a Trip to the Dentist for Healthy Teeth

As amazing and as beneficial as yoga is, it’s no substitute for a dentist. Use dentist-recommended methods and products to keep your teeth clean, and visit your dentist regularly for checkups. Combine yoga with a dentist to truly take care of your teeth.

However, going to the dentist isn’t always the most affordable option. While you can join yoga classes online for free, you’ll have to pay for a procedure at a dentist.

Luckily, with the Carefree Dental Card, you can save a lot of money on your trip to the dentist. Unlock discounts at participating dental providers.. 

You can sign up to a Carefree Dental Card today, and access the benefits of cheaper dental care instantly!

 

The Carefree Dental blog is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The text and pictures within the content are intended for information purposes only. Readers should consult with a licensed dentist or healthcare professional before seeking treatment.

The Carefree Dental Card is not insurance and Carefree Dental is not an insurance provider.

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Why Dental Discount Plans Are Your Best Choice

No insurance? No problem! A dental discount plan is the best option for everyone to get affordable dental care. Here’s what you need to know about dental discount plans. 

Affordable Dentistry for everyone

Dental care is now the largest out-of-pocket expense in the US. And if your employer doesn’t offer affordable dental benefits, you need alternatives to traditional dental insurance. And you can’t avoid the dentist to save money either. So, what can you do to get the affordable dental care you need?

If you’re looking to save money at the dentist, then you have another option: a dental discount plan.

What is a Dental Discount Plan?

Just to be clear, dental discount plans are not insurance. Dental plans are affordable alternatives to insurance offered as a membership. 

They operate similarly to a warehouse membership, like Costco or Sam’s Club. For a monthly fee, you can choose from a network of dentists who offer 15 to 50% rate reductions, depending on the practice. 

In the end, you pay a reduced rate for a variety of dental procedures.

Instead of receiving insurance from an employer, dental plans are available to anyone who wants an affordable way to upkeep the dental health of their family. It’s perfect for someone who is self-employed, between jobs, or if your employer doesn’t offer dental benefits.

5 Benefits of Dental Discount Plan Membership for Everyone

1. Everyone Qualifies for a Dental Discount Plan

Unlike traditional dental insurance, a discount plan is truly for everyone. You don’t need to qualify for it.

Insurance companies often put a high premium on their coverage. This limits how much they pay for your insurance. Until you reach your premium set by your dental insurance, you’ll have to pay for your dental care out of pocket anyway.

Insurance also often has a limit. 

While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) covers children’s dental care, this coverage doesn’t extend to adults. And most employers don’t offer dental insurance either. This is why dental discount plans are the best choice for adults compared to dental insurance.

2. You Get More Procedures at Discounted Rate

Dental discount plans are the most cost-effective solutions for dental care. Traditional dental insurance doesn’t cover as many procedures as a dental discount plan. Once your insurance caps out, you’d have to pay for the dentist out of pocket anyway. The amount varies depending on your dentist and the type of dental work.

If you need more than one procedure done, you can count on the best dental discount plans

3. You Can Get a Dental Discount Plan Easily

One great benefit to dental discount plans is how simple it is to sign up. It’s easy, straightforward, and starts working the moment you subscribe. Plus, it doesn’t require any sensitive patient details. Finally, there aren’t any complicated forms to fill out. 

You simply fill out your details on a sign-up form, purchase, and you’re done. You’ll get your dental discount card, which guarantees immediate savings at participating dental practices. 

It’s that easy.

4. A Dental Discount Card Works Immediately

Once you get your dental discount card, there’s no waiting period. You can reap the benefits of the best dental discount plans immediately. 

All you have to do is show your card at the dentist. Even for emergency dental procedures. If you’re at a participating practice, they’ll instantly give you a quote with a discounted rate.

5. Even Your Dentist Prefers DDP over Insurance

Practices that accept dental insurance must add extra fees for various treatments to comply with insurance company policies. Dental discount plans let dentists work directly with patients.

The Challenges of Dental Discount Plans

Of course, dental discount plans aren’t bulletproof. There are a couple of disadvantages you should be aware of before you budget with a dental discount plan.

Cheaper Doesn’t Mean Free

Having a dental discount card means you’ll have to pay less. But, you’ll still have to pay. If you can’t afford the dental procedure out of pocket, a dental discount plan may not be the best option for you.

Not All Dental Discount Plans Are the Same

You need to read the fine print carefully. Not every dental discount plan is the same. Make sure you check their policies and do your research before you opt in. You don’t want to end up with a dental discount plan that leaves you missing out on savings.

Not Every Dentist Participates

Before you visit a dental practice, make sure they participate in your dental discount plan’s services. Only registered dental discount providers will accept your card.

Who Should Get a Dental Discount Plan?

Dental discount plans truly provide affordable dental care for everyone. Even those with functional dental insurance. But if one of these situations applies to you, you should definitely consider becoming a member of a dental discount plan.

You Can’t Afford a Dental Insurance

We all know how important regular dental checkups are. But if the price of dental care or dental insurance is an issue for you, you’re not alone. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), 40% of Americans avoided dental care because of the cost. 

If you can’t afford dental insurance, dental discount plans are your best option to get reliable care for cheaper.

Your Employer Doesn’t Pay For Your Dental Insurance

Although more and more employers offer dental coverage to their employees, it’s still not mainstream. If your employer only offers medical health insurance, or none at all, you need to work out your budget for dental care. A dental discount plan may be the best option for you.

Your Dental Insurance Doesn’t Cover All of Your Procedures

Even if you have dental insurance, it may not cover all the procedures you need. Make sure you read the fine print and check with your provider. You may need to pay out of pocket if you need more dental care, or specialist treatments. 

And if out-of-pocket is your only option, it’s best to get a dental discount plan.

You Don’t Want to Wait for Your Insurance

Dental insurance isn’t immediate. Once you apply for it, you’ll need to wait some time before you’re covered. This protects the insurance from people who are purchasing their policies as soon as they find an issue. But, it doesn’t protect you.

Unlike traditional insurance, your savings from a dental discount plan kick in immediately.

The Best Dental Discount Plan on the Market

Without a dental discount plan, you have to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket for any emergency and non-emergency procedure at the dentist. Or even worse, you’ll avoid the dentist, and develop serious health issues because of it.

Don’t risk your health or your wallet. Get a dental discount plan directly from Carefree Dental.

Carefree Dental is an industry-leading dental discount plan provider. With thousands of participating practices, Carefree Dental has a wide range of dentists that accept your membership.

To unlock the incredible benefits of the best dental discount plan today sign up for a Carefree Dental Card!

 

The Carefree Dental blog is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The text and pictures within the content are intended for information purposes only. Readers should consult with a licensed dentist or healthcare professional before seeking treatment.

The Carefree Dental Card is not insurance and Carefree Dental is not an insurance provider.

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3 Types of Cavities and How to Fix Them

Your Personal Guide to Fighting Tooth Decay

Cavities aren’t just annoying, they’re a very serious problem that should be solved as quickly as possible. When you suspect a cavity, it’s important to know what type of cavity it is, so it can be treated effectively. Here are the three types of cavities, what causes them, and the possible treatment options that can get you fast relief.

What Is a Cavity?

A cavity (also called tooth decay or caries) is a hole in your tooth. It’s an opening on the hard surface of your enamel that constantly expands unless it’s treated. The bigger hole the cavity causes, the more layers of your tooth are affected.

This permanently damaged area isn’t painless either. An untreated cavity can result in severe pain and further infection. Ultimately, an ignored cavity can lead to the loss of your tooth.

There are various reasons why cavities develop. Most commonly, it’s a lack of dental hygiene. But bacteria in your mouth, trauma to your teeth, and sipping sugary drinks can also affect the frequency and severity of the cavities that form.

And they’re common. More than 90% of American adults have cavities. And over a quarter of the population has some form of untreated tooth decay.

The Three Types of Cavities

The type of cavity depends on the location of the hole on the tooth. Based on where a cavity can form, there are three types of cavities:

  1. Pit and fissure cavities
  2. Smooth surface cavities
  3. Root cavities

1. Pit and Fissure Cavities

You'll find pit and fissure cavities on the chewing surfaces of the teeth. They are most common on the back teeth. Pit and fissure cavities often form because of food particles or plaque that gets stuck in the grooves and crevices on the top of the teeth.

Stuck food and plaque combined with poor dental hygiene often lead to a pit and fissure cavity.

If caught early, these types of cavities are easily treated. Luckily, fluoride toothpaste can get rid of an early pit and fissure cavity quickly. However, once the cavity reaches the dentin a dentist must remove the decay before treating the cavity.

A small or medium cavity requires fillings or composites. And a large pit and fissure cavity will most likely need a crown. Both can be provided by your local dentist.

2. Smooth Surface Cavities

Smooth-surface cavities occur on the flat exterior surface of the teeth. They are most commonly found on the teeth at the sides of the mouth. These are some of the slowest-growing cavities and are also the least common.

Just like pit and fissure cavities, smooth surface cavities also occur when people don’t brush correctly or regularly. 

Smooth-surface cavities are the easiest for dentists to treat. Fluoride-rich toothpaste and regular dental flossing using the correct technique should be enough to restore your oral health.

Keep in mind, it takes some time for tooth decay to eat through the enamel on the teeth's smooth surfaces. That’s where the enamel is thickest. However, if your cavity progresses this far, you’ll need to go to the dentist for a filling.

3. Root Cavities

Root cavities are located on the surface of the roots of the teeth. They most often occur among older adults. This is also the demographic most likely to have receding gums and other gum disorders.

When gums recede, the roots are left exposed. That leaves them vulnerable to tooth decay. This is because they aren't covered in the same hard, protective enamel that teeth have.

Removing the decay is the first step in treating root cavities. The cavity is then replaced with a filling or crown. In severe cases, when the decay has spread to the tooth's pulp, root canal treatment may be advised.

The damage root cavities cause spreads quickly because the cementum that covers a tooth's root isn't as tough as enamel. That's why it's important to fix a root cavity as soon as it's detected.

How Do Dentists Fix Cavities?

When it comes to these types of cavities, it’s best to leave their treatment to a professional. If you suspect you have a cavity, you should visit your local dentist. Your dentist will examine the damage to your tooth and identify the type of cavity.

Once your dentist determines the type of cavity you have, they’ll decide on the most appropriate treatment to counter the negative effects of the cavity. The treatment varies based on the severity and size of the hole in your tooth.

Mild Cavity

When a cavity is barely a hole in your tooth, it’s easy to fix. They usually resolve themselves with fluoride treatments, such as toothpaste, gels, varnishes, or fluoride-enriched water.

Small to Medium Cavity

Once the cavity eats through the dentin, your dentist needs to intervene. They will remove the decayed part of the tooth and replace it with a dental filling.

Large Cavity

If a cavity is untreated for a longer time, the size of the hole grows. Larger cavities can’t be treated with simple filling anymore. Both smooth surface and pit and fissure type cavities would need a crown at this point.

Severe Cavity

Since your roots don’t contain enamel, a root cavity can turn into a severe cavity rapidly. Once the decay spread to the pulp, your dentist will most likely suggest a root canal treatment. 

Tooth Extraction for Cavities

Your dentist will do everything in their power to save your tooth. But, any type of cavity that’s left untreated for a long period of time has the same fate. The tooth will need to be pulled. Your dentist will ultimately make the decision as a last resort. Either way, if you suspect you have a cavity, it’s best not to delay a dental exam.

 

Can You Reverse a Cavity?

A cavity by definition is permanent damage to the tooth. But, it’s a process. If you catch a cavity very early, your enamel can still remineralize itself.

However, if a cavity does form deeper, it becomes irreparably damaged. At that point, you can’t reverse it. Instead, your only option is to treat it.

That’s why it’s best to do everything possible to prevent cavities. Luckily, even the simplest efforts can prevent tooth decay effectively.

What Can You Do to Prevent These Types of Cavities?

Although treating cavities is relatively simple when they are caught early, prevention is always better than a cure. Here are some ways you can prevent cavities from forming.

1. Brush Regularly

Brushing your teeth every day is the basis of dental hygiene. Make sure you know all the correct techniques and use them regularly.

2. Use Fluoride-Rich Toothpaste

Fluoride strengthens your enamel. If you’re prone to cavities, combining your regular tooth brushing with fluoride-rich toothpaste could be very beneficial.  

3. Floss Well

Flossing removes harmful bacteria and food stuck between your teeth. This reduces the effects of a smooth surface cavity could have. Just be sure that you’re flossing correctly.

4. Stay Hydrated

When your mouth is dry, you don’t have enough saliva to keep your teeth clean and strengthen your enamel. Bacteria flourishes and cavities form easily. 

 

5. Avoid Sugar

Sugary food and drinks are the most common reasons for cavities. If you reduce the amount of sugar you consume, you give your teeth a better fighting chance too.

6. Go to the Dentist Regularly

When you visit a dentist for regular checkups, they can make sure you don’t have cavities. Or they can catch them early on, so you won’t need more intrusive treatments.

Most importantly, never delay getting treatment for a cavity. As soon as you suspect that you may have a cavity, seek out a dentist. The faster you get your cavity treated, the less damage it will cause.

Often you won't feel any pain when your cavity is small. That’s why you shouldn't wait for discomfort to book your next dental appointment. 

Save Money on Your Cavity Treatment

On average, treating a cavity costs between $100 and $250. In addition, you'll need to spend money on your oral exam, cleaning, and possibly x-rays. This list of expenses is why the cost of a filling can range from $100 - $4000. Yikes.

That’s a lot.

But, you can save money on your cavity treatment with the dental card that can instantly save you 15% - 50% in most instances on dental procedures!

With a Carefree Dental Discount Card, you can save on oral exams, x-rays, and fillings. Don’t put off going to the dentist any longer. Keep your teeth cavity-free by booking an appointment with a participating dentist today. And keep more money in your wallet after your appointment with the Carefree Dental Discount Card!

The Carefree Dental blog is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The text and pictures within the content are intended for information purposes only. Readers should consult with a licensed dentist or healthcare professional before seeking treatment.

The Carefree Dental Card is not insurance and Carefree Dental is not an insurance provider.

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What You Should Do in a Dental Emergency

The First Rule of a Dental Emergency: Remain Calm

Dental emergencies can be very stressful. Often, they’re also quite painful. When you’re experiencing a dental emergency, no matter how hard it is, you have to remain calm.

A clear, level-headed decision-making process when you’re experiencing a dental emergency is crucial. Most importantly, it can save your tooth.

Knowing what to do in a dental emergency can make all the difference. To save your teeth, you should follow these instructions when you need urgent dental care.

Where Should You For Dental Emergency Care?

Generally, there are two options for dental emergencies: go straight to the ER or visit an emergency care dentist. 

Either way, you’ll have to take care of yourself (or your tooth) until you get there.

Figuring out what to do (especially if you’re in pain) can be challenging. Not every dental issue requires a visit to the ER. Sometimes, it may be wiser financially to see your usual dentist. 

It’s crucial that you know the difference between non-emergency dental issues and problems that require urgent care. Here’s how to decide.

Non-Emergency Conditions

Although these aren’t urgent dental emergencies, you should still see a dentist about them sooner rather than later:

  • Dull toothache
  • Lost filling, bridge, or crown
  • Broken or chipped tooth (unless you’re in severe pain)
  • Objects caught between teeth
  • Broken braces or wires

Urgent Dental Care Emergencies

If you experience any of the following dental emergencies, seek out an emergency dentist (or visit an emergency room) immediately:

  • Injured jaw
  • Painful swelling
  • A permanent tooth that has been partially or fully knocked-out
  • Severe toothache
  • Tooth infection that leads to fever, severe pain, and swelling

 

What to Do in Specific Dental Emergencies

You’ll need to know how to take care of yourself until you go to the ER or see a dentist. But knowing what to do depends on your situation. And there are SEVERAL different kinds of dental emergencies. Here’s what you need to do in the most common dental emergencies. 

Fully Knocked Out Tooth

If you still have the tooth, only hold it by the crown (the top part). Never touch the root of a knocked-out tooth. You’re going to need to clean the tooth.

Carefully rinse the tooth with water. Don’t remove any tissue fragment. Then, try to put the tooth back into its socket if you can. Make sure it’s facing the right way. But, don’t force it. If you can put it back in its socket, bite down, and keep it there until you get to a doctor.

If you can’t put the tooth back in easily, it’s best to leave it out. Put the tooth in a small container of milk, or a cup of water that contains a pinch of salt.

The highest chance of saving your tooth is seeing your dentist within one hour of it being knocked out. That’s why it’s crucial you seek medical attention right away.

Partially Knocked Out Tooth

An extruded tooth is still in danger. And you’ll likely need immediate attention to save it. Most importantly, you need to eave the tooth in its socket. Even if it feels like it’s about to come out. 

You can take an over-the-counter pain reliever until you can see your dentist. Feel free to apply a cold compress to the outside of the mouth to help ease swelling and pain. 

Broken or Chipped Tooth

If you can, save any pieces of the tooth. Next, wash the broken pieces if any, and rinse your mouth with warm water. You’ll want to apply gauze to the bleeding area until the bleeding stops (roughly 10 minutes). 

Additionally, you should ice the area of the broken or chipped tooth on the outside of the mouth or cheek to relieve pain and swelling. 

It’s best to see a dentist soon for these types of injuries, but you don’t need to rush to the ER necessarily.

Caring for a Toothache

Rinse your mouth thoroughly with warm water. If the cause of the pain is something lodged between your teeth, try to remove it with dental floss. 

You can apply a cold pack to the outside of your cheek in case of swelling. But don’t put it against the gums near the aching tooth. Ice may actually burn the gum tissue if it comes into direct contact with your gums.

You can also take an over-the-counter painkiller to manage the pain. 

Lost Crown or Filling

Losing a crown or a filling can be very uncomfortable. Usually, you don’t need to go to the ER with these types of dental emergencies. If you don’t need to (or can’t) see your dentist immediately, there are a few things you can do to handle the situation.

Try to place the crown back over the tooth. You can use an over-the-counter dental cement, a denture adhesive, or toothpaste to hold the crown in place until you see your dentist. If you have a lost dental filling, you can also use a piece of sugarless gum to temporarily hold it in place.

Sometimes losing a crown or filling can also be painful. To dull the pain a bit, you can apply clove oil or powder to the sensitive area with a cotton swab 

Loose Brackets

Loose brackets can be dangerous. They can easily scratch your mouth. This dental emergency needs the immediate attention of your orthodontist.

You can use a small piece of orthodontic wax to temporarily reattach the loose bracket. You can also use wax to keep your braces from scratching your mouth. Place it over the bracket and make sure any protruding areas are covered with wax.

Food or Object Stuck in Your Teeth

Usually, you can resolve these types of dental problems yourself. Try to use dental floss to carefully remove food or the object stuck between your teeth. Be gentle, and don’t use a sharp object to poke at the object, as this could scratch your teeth and gums.

But, if you can’t remove whatever’s lodged between your teeth and it’s causing you pain, you should consider seeing a dentist.

Broken Braces or Wires

A broken wire in your brace can hurt the inside of your mouth. Go see a dentist as soon as possible if you’re experiencing this type of dental emergency.

Do not cut the wire yourself!

Try using the eraser end of the pencil to push the wire into a more comfortable position to prevent it from poking other parts of your mouth. 

If you can’t reposition the wire, you can use a small cotton ball, orthodontic wax, or a piece of gauze to cover the end of the wire until you see your dentist. 

Tooth Abscess 

An abscessed tooth is an infection at the root of a tooth, usually caused by severe tooth decay. If left untreated, they can lead to damaged tissue and teeth. Worse case, the infection can spread to the lymph nodes and other parts of the body and put your health at risk. 

It’s important that you see your dentist as soon as possible if you think you may have an abscessed tooth. In the meantime, rinse your mouth several times a day with a mild saltwater solution to ease the pain.

How to Contact an Emergency Dentist

Many dental practices have an emergency number that you can call if you are in urgent need of dental care when office hours are closed. If for some reason you are still unable to get in contact with your dentist, you should visit the ER in the event of a serious dental emergency. 

How to Prevent Dental Emergencies

Of course, accidents will happen no matter how careful you are. Still, there a few ways that you can help prevent dental emergencies:

  • Wear a mouthguard or face cage during high-intensity sports or activities. 
  • Stick to a healthy dental regimen.
  • Visit your dentist regularly.
  • Avoid foods that are hard on your teeth.
  • Stop bad habits like chewing on pencils or fingernails.

How to Save Money on Dental Emergencies

You never know when a dental emergency could happen. That’s why it’s important to be prepared. 

A visit to the dentist can cost quite a bit of money. And the last thing you want is to worry about the costs when you’re experiencing dental pain. 

Rather than wait for a dental emergency, you need a way to save money at the dentist instantly. The Carefree Dental Card is an affordable alternative to dental insurance. As a member, you’ll save 15% - 50% in most instances on dental procedures. That’s more money in your pocket. And less stress about expensive dental appointments.

Enjoy amazing dental savings (and peace of mind) when you sign up for a Carefree Dental Card today!

 

The Carefree Dental blog is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The text and pictures within the content are intended for information purposes only. Readers should consult with a licensed dentist or healthcare professional before seeking treatment.

The Carefree Dental Card is not insurance and Carefree Dental is not an insurance provider.

Read More »

The Definitive Guide to Discount Dental Plans and Insurance

Going to the dentist can be expensive. In fact, the average cost of seeing a dentist has more than tripled over the last 30 years, forcing some patients to skip annual cleanings and essential procedures altogether. Thankfully, dental discount programs are available that help families cut costs and take care of their dental needs without breaking the bank.

This guide will help you understand what makes discount dental plans different, and how they can be an ideal choice for you and your family.

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Don’t Let These Holiday Foods Hurt Your Teeth

It’s no secret that many of the foods that come around during the holiday season aren’t all that great for your health. But many of these sugary, fatty, or high-calorie foods aren’t just bad for your overall health -- they’re also bad for your teeth. These five holiday foods should be enjoyed in moderation this holiday season, to avoid damaging your teeth.

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Need Affordable Dental Care Without Insurance? Here’s How To Get It.

Did you know that the cost of dental care has risen at a rate that’s twice the average rate of inflation? In 2009-2010 alone, in the wake of the housing crash and subsequent recession, dental plan enrollment dropped 5.7%. By the end of 2012, a full 40% of Americans did not have any dental insurance at all.

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7 Secrets to Beating Your Sugar Cravings

Do you have a serious sweet tooth? If so, it can sometimes be hard to resist the allure of sugar. The white, glistening crystalline substance we call table sugar is pure sucrose. Historically, it either didn’t exist or was very expensive, depending on what region and time period you’re talking about. But today, widespread cultivation of sugarcane and sugar beets has made sugar cheaper and more plentiful than ever before. 

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