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Don’t Let Those Dental Insurance Benefits Expire!

November 17th, 2022

insurance benefits orthodontist
2022 IS COMING TO a close, and that means another year of insurance benefits is about to expire. If you haven’t taken advantage of your dental insurance yet, that’s okay, but the year is almost over, so the time to use them is now. To help you prepare, we want to give you an idea of how to use your dental insurance at Robert W. Bruno DDS, not just at your general dentist office.

Insurance Benefits Typically Don’t Roll Over to Next Year

Each year, your dental insurance provider probably gives you a maximum amount of available benefits. Since those benefits don’t typically roll over into the following year, you’ll want to contact us now to learn how to get the most of them with your orthodontist!

What Are Dental Benefits?

Dental benefits are the cost-free treatments you get from subscribing to a dental plan. Generally, most health insurance companies are straightforward and specify the type of services they cover.

What Does Dental Insurance Cover?

Oral insurance plans typically cover the cost of preventive care, fillings, root canals, oral surgery, and crowns. However, some dental procedures may include restorative and orthodontic treatments such as braces, dentures, Invisalign, and bridges.

Understand Your Maximum Benefit

When you pay for your dental insurance each month, you’re paying for coverage up to a certain point. That coverage amount is your annual maximum. When the year ends, everything starts over, and you start building back up to that max from zero again.

It means that the money you were supposed to use for essential dental treatments goes down the drain, which is a massive gain to the insurance company and a sad loss to you. That’s why you should never skip out on your dental checkups. Regular oral checkups help you maintain oral health and give you the most bang for your buck.

Understand Your Insurance Deductible

Your deductible also resets at the beginning of the new year. It is the amount that you must pay out of pocket before insurance kicks in. Most health plans use the 100-80-50 structure to specify their contribution to certain dental services. The amount will vary from plan to plan.

All this means that the cost of preventive care could be 100% covered, basic treatments 80% covered, and major dental procedures covered at 50%. Additionally, some insurance companies may not cover cosmetic treatments such as teeth whitening or crowns.

100% Dental Coverage on Preventive Dental Procedures

Your dental policy isn’t just for getting your teeth fixed. It’s about maintaining excellent oral health and preventing disease before it starts. Taking advantage of your dental benefits will always be a win for you. Most dental plans cover 100% of the following up to two times per year:

  • Regular professional teeth cleaning: helps prevent cavities and gets rid of plaque and tartar you can’t remove with just flossing and brushing.
  • A dental examination: this is more than just checking for cavities. Your dentist inspects your soft tissues and looks for suspicious areas related to oral cancer. They examine your thyroid, lymph nodes, and jaw joints.
  • Dental X-rays: these show problems that aren’t visible to the naked eye. Small cavities between your teeth can be hard to detect, and abscessed teeth are sometimes only seen through X-rays.

Your Insurance Won’t Wait and Neither Will Cavities

While cavities may be inconvenient, it’s imperative that we get them treated immediately. Early treatment of cavities prevents long-term damage to our teeth and is essential to maintaining a beautiful, healthy smile! An easy way to effectively use your insurance benefits is to schedule preventive care visits early.

We Can’t Wait to See You!

At Robert W. Bruno DDS, we’re always looking out for our patients and want to make sure you’re taking the fullest advantage of your dental benefits! If you have any questions regarding dental insurance, stop by or call us today and we can help! Make sure to contact us to schedule an appointment so you can make the most out of your dental insurance before the end of the year. You can also learn more about us on our business page, and don’t forget to check the map before you head our way.

The greatest benefits are to your dental health!

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

CAN INVISALIGN IN QUEENS, NY, HELP WITH WEIGHT LOSS?

November 17th, 2022

invisalign queens NY

I know what you are thinking - another baseless weight loss claim. It is easy to assume that Invisalign aligners might help with weight loss since they must be worn as much as possible and not while eating. However, despite claims of Invisalign and weight loss, the general consensus is that there is no link between tooth aligners and weight loss.

But, some patients are reporting side effects like minor weight fluctuations and as much as 10 or 15 pounds of weight loss due to the “Invisalign Diet” and orthodontic treatment. So what’s the deal, you ask? Why do patients see changes in their weight?

Below, we have hypothesized about what could lead some teens and adults to lose weight during their Invisalign treatment.

IT HELPS CUT DOWN ON SNACKING 

The Invisalign treatment plan requires you to wear your aligners for 22 hours daily. This rule allows only two hours for oral hygiene, eating, or other activities requiring removal.

Eating is impossible while wearing the trays because the pressure of biting down will break them. So, patients who tend to graze on snacks throughout the day notice the impulse is much less. Meals and snacks have to be carefully planned. Each time a patient decides to eat, they have to undergo a long process of removing the trays, eating, brushing their teeth and trays, and then replacing them back in their mouth.

Removing the trays is easy but typically done in privacy. If someone brought a dozen donuts to the office break room, pulling the aligners out to enjoy that sweet treat may not be worth it. And those who do indulge are highly advised not to slip the clear aligners over the food residue left on their teeth.

Dr. Bruno, your provider of Invisalign in Queens, NY, says wearing Invisalign causes patients to pause and think before eating something. From a nutritional point of view, this is not such a bad thing after all.

MORE SELF AWARENESS 

Even though the alignment trays are customized and practically invisible, patients still report being aware of the trays several times a day. It can lead to more self-awareness of their general appearance and spark an interest in improving other aspects of the body. Some may start diets as part of a general trend of overall self-improvement.

TENDER TEETH AFTER ADJUSTMENTS 

When a patient first gets a set of aligners or when they move up to the next stage of trays, many people report feeling soreness in the teeth and gums from the adjustment period. Although this usually lasts only for a day or two, some patients say the tenderness has led to a lack of interest in eating to avoid pain. It could lead to overall weight loss, but in most cases, appetites soon return as the mouth adjusts. Any weight loss during the adjustment period is usually balanced out as the patient feels more comfortable.

GET YOUR INVISALIGN IN QUEENS, NY

While Invisalign in Queens, NY, is not scientifically linked to weight loss, treatment does offer the opportunity to reexamine your diet while straightening your teeth. It can be a successful way to promote oral health and increase confidence. And because treatment can take several months to a few years, why not use that time to develop mindful eating habits? The more you can cut down on processed foods and sugar, the better.

Schedule an appointment for Invisalign in Queens, NY, with Dr. Robert W. Bruno, DDS.

8 HELPFUL TIPS FOR INVISALIGN USERS

November 17th, 2022

invisalign in Queens

So, you have concluded that you are ready for straight teeth. And you have decided that Invisalign in Queens, NY, is the way to go. So, how do you take care of Invisalign, you ask? It simply comes down to making daily habits and new routines.

Please don't worry about having to make new adjustments in your life. Follow our eight simple tips, and you'll be on your way toward a straighter and healthier smile.

#1 WEAR YOUR ALIGNERS

It seems obvious, but this step is easier to neglect than you might think. You should wear your aligner for at least 22 hours per day. You must take them out only to eat, drink and clean them.

As your teeth straighten, you may start to slag off and lose the urgency to wear the aligners as prescribed. This will ultimately lead to a longer treatment time. So please get in the habit early and wear those aligners up to the last set.

#2 CHANGE YOUR TRAYS ON SCHEDULE

Every two to three weeks, a new set of aligners are given to continue straightening your teeth a little more than the previous set. You'll have a new smile by the time you get your last set of invisible aligners.

Your treatment is a pretty precise schedule. Although it is not guaranteed, your treatment has a projected end date. Work to change your trays on time to keep pace and aim for your projected end date.

#3 KEEP YOUR OLD ALIGNERS

When you get your new aligners, please hold on to the last set. We highly recommend keeping them in case you lose your current aligners. Wearing the old trays while waiting for your new replacement is a way to protect your progress.

#4 GOOD ORAL HYGIENE

Wearing Invisalign aligners increases the chances of harmful bacteria in your mouth. The best way to combat this buildup is to have good dental health through regular brushing and flossing.

#5 CLEAN YOUR ALIGNERS

Toothpaste and mouthwash are standard bathroom items. These products are great for brushing your teeth but not for clear aligners. Toothpaste is mildly abrasive and will scratch the thermoplastic. The bristles will worsen by changing the scratches from clear to cloudy.

One more thing, please don't soak your aligners in mouthwash. Mouthwash contains colorants that risk staining your aligners.

#6 REMOVE ALIGNERS BEFORE EATING AND DRINKING

Remove your aligners before eating and drinking to avoid bacterial buildup. Food trapped in your aligners leads to bacteria and bad breath.

Dark beverages like coffee, tea, and soda will stain your aligners. So take them out for everything but when drinking water.

#7 RINSE REGULARLY

Rinse your aligner trays often throughout the day. Rinsing removes lingering particles that could contribute to bad breath and discoloration.

#8 PROTECT YOUR ALIGNERS

Time and time again, we have heard stories of people keeping their trays in a napkin while eating. It almost always leads to them landing in the wastebasket. Keep a hard case on hand to hold and protect your aligners when taken out or accidentally thrown away.

VISIT ROBERT W. BRUNO, DDS, FOR INVISALIGN IN QUEENS, NY

If your teeth are crowded or have bigger spaces than you like and don't want the hassle of metal braces, then an aligner treatment plan is the way to go. Invisalign can give you straighter teeth like traditional braces with no metal in sight. Call us at Robert W. Bruno, DDS, for an appointment.

5 Ways to Prepare For Braces | Orthodontist in Queens

August 15th, 2022

Orthodontist in Queens

Orthodontist in Queens

When first finding out they'll be getting braces; your kid likely will have many questions. Some might be excited and see orthodontics as a rite of passage. In contrast, others may be nervous or even embarrassed to have a mouthful of metal. They also might not be too keen that they'll have to avoid certain beloved foods during treatment.

Each question is valid; we get it from teens and their parents in our practice. What we have found in most cases is that kids are afraid of the unknown. At Robert W. Bruno, DDS, your orthodontist in Queens, we recommend parents ease nerves and help their children understand what to expect. By preparing emotionally for braces, you'll be surprised that some kids can even get excited about their future with orthodontics. 

#1 Learn About Braces Together

Let's be honest; getting braces can feel overwhelming for everyone. The first step to preparing for orthodontics is to learn everything you can before treatment starts.

Learn about the changes that will be made, from the foods to avoid to the activities they might have to sit out. Learn how to brush and floss to prevent tooth decay. After thorough research and a clear discussion of what is expected, you will all feel more equipped for a life with braces.

#2 Let Them Know They're Not Alone

Not many people are thrilled about getting braces because they think they'll be the only person going through it. But chances are they already have several friends or classmates with braces. An estimated 80% of teens will have some orthodontic care.

Reminding your kids that they are not the first person to get braces can help them get more comfortable with the idea. If you wore braces as a teen, share your experience with them and how it improved your oral health and confidence. Tell them about all the celebrities and athletes who had braces. 

For example, Christiano Ronaldo, Venus Williams, Beyonce, Justin Bieber, and even Tom Cruise, amongst many others. Once your kid sees how standard they are in adolescence, they'll feel better about wearing braces and get excited about a beautiful smile. 

#3 Plan Ahead for Discomfort

There is discomfort with orthodontic treatment as the teeth shift and move to their desired position. Traditional metal braces can cause additional irritation to the inside of the mouth. Have mild pain killers and even some Oral Gel on hand when the teeth and jaws get sore. 

If the brackets are poking into your cheeks and causing sores, place orthodontic wax over that part of the braces to reduce irritation. Being proactive about managing discomfort will ensure a positive experience.

#4 Stock up on Soft Foods

There is a list of banned foods when you have braces, including sticky, chewy, hard, or crunchy foods. Anything that has to be bitten into, like apples, or corn on the cob, is a bad idea. Make lives easier by stocking up on softer foods like yogurt, soups, smoothies, steamed veggies, or ice cream. 

#5 Keep your eye on the Prize

Depending on the treatment plan, they'll have to wait many months for a straight smile. To keep them motivated, help them look ahead to the end of treatment when they see their perfect healthy smile. Focusing on the outcome will encourage them to stay on track and comply with their orthodontist's instructions.

Visit Robert W. Bruno, DDS | Dentist in Queens

Do you have crooked teeth and are interested in learning more about braces? If you live around Queens, New York, give Robert W. Bruno, DDS, a call. We provide teens and adults with all types of braces, Invisalign treatment, and Invisalign Teen.

 

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