Our Blog

12.13.17

Xylitol

Do you find yourself frustrated by reoccurring cavities? Many people look to Xylitol products to finally find a solution to becoming cavity free.  Xylitol is a sugar substitute, occurring naturally in the fibers of foods like berries and mushrooms, which just happens to prevent cavities as well.  Because Xylitol isn’t actually a sugar, it doesn’t feed the natural bacteria in our mouth. We get cavities, because the sugar we eat gives energy to the bacteria allowing it to multiply and increase the acid (PH balance) of our mouths. Thus, Xylitol prevents the bacteria growth that causes the acid attack on our teeth and promotes saliva, which is a natural tooth protector.  Cavity fighting Xylitol products include mouthwash, mints, toothpaste and gum. Because most of us are on the go all day and don’t always have access to our tooth brush and floss, Xylitol products become a convenient supplement for fighting cavities. Additionally, since Xylitol occurs naturally in foods and is produced in small amounts by the human body, it’s also safe.
Ask us for more information on how you can get some Xylitol samples or order Xylitol products.

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Invisalign® Frequently Asked Questions

What are aligners made out of, and what do they look like?
The virtually invisible aligners, made of a thermoplastic material uniquely developed for the Invisalign treatment plan, look similar to teeth-whitening trays. A series of Invisalign aligners are custom-made for you, to move your teeth in sequence determined by Dr. Valle. ssd

How do the aligners straighten teeth?

Over the course of treatment, you will be supplied with a series of aligners. Each will make slight adjustments to tooth position, a process that is mapped out in advance specifically for you. When the aligners are placed on your teeth, they cause them to shift gradually from their current position. After approximately two weeks, you will begin to use the next set of aligners, which will continue the teeth-straightening process.

How long will treatment take?

The length of treatment depends on your case; however, the average case takes about 12 months for adults. The length of time necessary for teen patients may vary.

How often must I wear my aligners? 

We find that aligners are most effective when worn 20 to 22 hours per day and removed only for eating, brushing, and flossing.

If you are interested in starting Invisalign treatments, call the office for a no-charge consultation with Dr. Valle.


FAQ’s Regarding Your Insurance

FAQ’s regarding your BC/BS plan:
 
Some of our patients have been calling and asking some great questions regarding Dr. Valle’s decision to no longer participate with Carefirst, Blue Cross/Blue Shield. We have come up with the following to answer many of the questions we have been asked:
 
Q: If you no longer take my insurance, can I still come to you?
A: Yes, you absolutely can! We will still submit your insurance claims for you, and you would still receive benefits from your plan.
 
Q: Will my insurance pay anything even though you no longer participate with my plan?
A: Yes, they will! You would still receive payment from your carrier. The amount of reimbursement may be different; it all depends on your individual plan.
 
Q:  Are there any alternatives?
A: Yes, there are! Dr. Valle has established an in-office dental plan. With this low-cost plan, there are no maximums, deductibles, or waiting periods, and you can get all the dentistry you need.  Please call to inquire about this savings plan.
 
Q: I love your office, I want to stay! Will you work with me to make financial arrangements?
A: Yes, we absolutely will. Dr. Valle is committed to providing excellent care to all his patients by serving their best interest to promote ideal dental health. He never wants insurance to be a roadblock to the care you need and certainly deserve. There are a number of options. What we have found with the majority of our patients is that we can find a way to make your financial responsibility comfortable for you so you can move forward with treatment. We certainly want you to continue to receive the best treatment available, to which you have become accustomed.

Fall Allergies

In the past year, 16.9 million adults and 6.7 million children were diagnosed with seasonal allergies. One of the worst symptoms of this malady is sinus pressure. Sinuses are pockets of bone lined with mucous membranes, the most “famous” of which lie in our face. When congestion develops in our maxillary sinuses (so named for their location directly above our top molars), this puts pressure on the roots of the teeth, which can mimic a toothache. Antihistamine use may alleviate the pressure, but if the ache persists, please call our office for assistance! A common side effect of taking antihistamines is dry mouth. Since saliva is the mouth’s own cleaner, reduced amounts of it puts you at greater risk for cavities, halitosis, and gum disease.


What’s in Your Drink?

We all know sugary soda is hard on our teeth, but here are a few things that might surprise you. According to a study in the Journal of General Dentistry, all soft drinks contain enough acidity to damage tooth enamel, and result in weaker teeth, sensitivity, and cavities. Researchers found that the non-colas such as Mountain Dew and 7-Up caused the most damage, due to the citrus flavor additives (citric and malic acids), which are more corrosive to teeth. What’s the safer choice? Mug Root Beer. This soda contains neither phosphoric nor citric acids. To keep teeth healthy, it is best to limit or avoid soft drinks. Another helpful practice is to use a straw so harmful acids have less contact with your teeth ... and brush after every meal!


Can Your Teeth Take the Pressure?

You may not know it, but your teeth are like a ruler that can be bent back and forth until it breaks. Constant pressure on your teeth can cause them to crack, splinter, and break. This condition is called “abfraction.” An abfraction looks like a notch in the top of a tooth.

Your teeth are amazingly strong; however, if you put incorrect pressure on them, over time they may begin to cause you problems. The neck of a tooth, which is typically hidden by your gums, flexes when you brux (clench and grind your teeth), or if you have a misaligned bite called a malocclusion. This flexing weakens the tooth and eventually causes the enamel to break. Once this happens, a tooth becomes highly susceptible to decay, acid erosion, and sensitivity.

When we see a patient with abfractions, we have several options. Above all, we must address whatever caused the abfraction. Once we get the cause under control, we can perhaps fill the notches with a strong but flexible restorative material that is color-matched to your teeth.

If you notice tooth sensitivity, especially if you know you clench or grind your teeth, please see us right away. If our examination shows you have abfractions, the earlier we can correct their cause, the better you will be in the long run.

Our goal is to restore and preserve your dental health to help your teeth last a lifetime.


Oral Health and Heart Disease

Everyone knows exercise is good for the heart and mind, but you may not be aware that poor oral hygiene can cause heart disease. If you have poor oral hygiene, you can end up with bleeding gum tissue. Bleeding tissue in the gums provides an entry point 700 for bacteria found in our mouth to enter into the bloodstream. When these dangerous bacteria enter the bloodstream, they encounter tiny fragments called platelets that clot blood. Bacteria stick to the platelets, which causes them to clot inside the blood vessel, and partially block it. These blockages prevent blood flow back to the heart and increase the risk of suffering a heart attack. Flossing daily, brushing three times a day, and keeping your regular checkups will help you keep a healthy smile and a healthy heart.


Why Do We Go to the Dentist?

Of course it’s to keep your teeth clean and healthy. But there’s more to it than that. You want to look your best: clean and healthy teeth and gums make you look great … for yourself, and everyone you meet. But you don’t just want to look better; you want to feel better too.

Our unique “whole mouth” approach can take your dental health to another level. It literally turns back the clock on an aging mouth. Because you look and feel better, you also act differently. If you think about it, your mouth contains not only teeth and gums, but muscles and joints too. They all have to work in harmony. And, strange as this may sound, few dentists focus on, or even study, this system known as the masticatory system.

Dr. Valle uses a variety of therapeutic methods to relax the muscles of your mouth. This eliminates both jaw pain and headaches. Plus, it reduces the stress on your teeth that can require more costly — and invasive — treatments over the long haul. Dr. Valle strongly believes that the best kind of dentistry is the least amount of dentistry. We make sure your whole mouth is working right. And if it does, you get some important real life benefits:

You look great
You feel great
And your whole mouth is healthy

People of all ages can improve the health of their mouth through our approach. Contact us today for a consultation.


Concerns About Dental X-Rays

Some of our patients have voiced concerns regarding dental X-rays. Their concerns may involve anything from exposure to cost. Keep in mind that we only make X-rays when they are necessary for proper diagnosis and/or treatment. We take them during your cleaning appointment to diagnose problems early.

Early diagnosis enables us to treat small problems before they become big ones, and hopefully to avoid painful situations. In addition, most insurance companies require X-rays before payment will be made on most procedures. The exposure rate for dental X-rays is minimal.

If you have concerns, please let us know. We will be happy to discuss them with you. Remember, you chose us to provide you with the best dental care. There will be times that an X-ray will b necessary to give you what you have come to expect from us: quality dental care!


Free To Choose …
Care Credit and Chase Health

These are convenient, monthly payment programs for yourself and your family that are specifically designed to pay for healthcare expenses not covered by insurance, including co-payments, deductibles, and elective treatment and care.

With CareCredit or Chase, you can start treatment immediately and pay over time in low minimum monthly payments. Or you can pay for treatment and care over three, six, 12, 18, or 24 months with no interest ... as long as you pay the minimum monthly payment each month when due and the balance in full by the end of the agreed period.

Applying is quick and easy. Ask us for an application. Complete and sign the application and return to our office for submission. Please ask us for more information, and we’ll be happy to help in any way we can.