September 1

White Teeth – Top 10 Secrets

OK, unless you’re a Hollywood star you shouldn’t be worried about your teeth right?…Well, maybe! See, your teeth are included in EVERY interaction of your and my life, so unless we have no teeth, teeth matter!

Human Relations - Smile White Teeth

Colgate Oral Center says:

“Thanks to advances in oral care, people no longer have to walk around with stained or yellow teeth. These days, brightening your smile is as easy as visiting your dental professional for a whitening treatment or purchasing one of the many at-home treatment options available”


dentist chair


These are top 10 secrets on how to keep teeth white, without emptying our pockets. 5 will be do’s, and 5 will be do not’s of how to keep your teeth white!


  1. Use Whitening Toothpastes and Rinses. These are more of the surface stain helper. They help you in need of a temporary solution and won’t last too long, but you can always make it count when you need it. Whitening Toothpastes can definitely be a good constant aid!
  2. Do-it-yourself Teeth Whitening and Teeth Whitening Kits. These also help the more surface stains and are more of a temporal solution as well, but when you need it, any over-the-counter kit can always help!
  3. Home Remedies. These do work. Brushing with baking soda, some foods such as celery, apples, pears, and carrots trigger lots of saliva, which helps wash away food debris on your teeth. Cool!
  4. Dentist Visits (Teeth Whitening Procedure). We get  it, you don’t like the dentist, but they’re looking out for you. Go and tell them about your Hollywood dream and how you’d love to look like a Hollywood star, and they can help!
  5. Sign up for Direct Access Dental Discount Plan. The beauty of this plan is that it doesn’t have to be an emergency for you to use it. Show up, show your membership card, and get VIP pricing to teeth whitening, braces, and much more! Stop paying full price for teeth whitening.


  1. Staining Foods. Avoid eating foods like tomatoes (especially in pasta sauce), berries, and strong spices. Any
    berry has the potential to stain your teeth. Particularly potent ones include blueberries,
    blackberries, and cranberries. Spices such as curry and turmeric can also cause your teeth to
    have a yellow or brownish tinge.
  2. Drinking and Staining. Avoid beverages that can stain your teeth. The biggest culprits are coffee, tea, and red wine. Regular consumption of all
    of these beverages can majorly stain your smile over time. Even certain juices can discolor your
    teeth—think cranberry or cherry juice.
  3. Smoking. Don’t smoke! Not only is it bad for your health, smoking is one of the worst when it comes to staining teeth. Tobacco causes brown stains that penetrate tooth enamel. Brushing alone may not remove the stains. The longer you smoke, the more entrenched the stains become. Also, Smoking  causes bad breath and gingivitis (gum disease), and increases the risk of most types of cancer. Smoking is a bad idea. Period.
  4. Sports Drinks, not Hot Cocoa. Don’t sip on sports drinks like you would hot cocoa. According to WebMD: “Researchers found that these drinks — as well as bottled lemonade — may erode tooth enamel after long-term use.” Quick sip, and if possible, don’t let it touch your teeth!
  5. Habits. Don’t forget daily maintenance: Flossing, brushing, and the small habits will always help you increase your likeability to have some beautiful white teeth!

August 10

Filling fell out…now what?

Filling fell out

Toothache is not enjoyable. Spending too much isn’t either.


How much will it cost? Should I go to emergency room? Can I keep eating my steak? These are just some of the questions you will have after a filling falls out of your tooth. There are two outcomes and there’s many solutions, but one we really recommend.

Does it hurt?

Pain is a great indicator if it really is serious or not. If it hurts constanly and you can’t take it, try to get into an after-hours dentist that can see you right away, or call your dentist’s after-hours service.  Do not go to the ER unless it is truly ad medical emergency (trouble breathing, excessive blood loss, etc).  Emergency rooms are not equipped to handle dental problems and will probably just tell them to take an over the counter pain killer and see their dentist asap. It may be a root canal needed and It may cost more, (click here for savings depending on your zip code) but it will fix the problem faster, unless you’re pain tolerant and can take it until your dentist is ready.

If it only hurts when it’s either cold or hot air coming into your mouth, make an appointment with your dentist either way but it can be more bearable.

It doesn’t hurt

Remember, we are not doctors, but we do know some procedures according to our member base that has these issues, but if it doesn’t hurt, it may mean one of two things: It’s ok, don’t worry and make that appointment, it may only be a new filling.

Worst-case scenario is your tooth may be dead and you may need a root canal if you don’t feel pain. (we hope it’s ok though).

Solutions has the following recommendations:

Make a Dentist Appointment

Although it might feel like your tooth is fine at the moment, you need to make a dentist appointment right away. Call and tell them what happened and ask when they can fit you in. The following suggestions will only last a few days at the absolute most. You need to get your tooth repaired as soon as possible!

Make Use of Dental Cement

Over-the-counter dental cement can usually be found at your local pharmacy. If you apply this to your filling, it can substitute as a protective layer if your dentist appointment is a couple days away. If you had a crown placed over your filling and it came loose, you can try to fit the crown over the tooth. If you choose to do this, it’s imperative that you clean the crown first. You can also use the dental cement to temporarily “glue” your crown back on.

Try Clove Oil for Pain

Since your cavity is the result of eroded enamel, your affected tooth is going to be pretty sensitive. You may experience a mild pain from temperature or exposure, or it may be intense. To help cope with the pain, you can try clove essential oil. It’s relatively inexpensive and can be found at most supermarkets. Dab a very small amount—about a Q-Tip size—onto your cavity to help ease your tooth pain.

Keep Your Mouth Clean

It’s important to keep your mouth clean while your filling is exposed. You don’t want any food particles or bacteria making a home in there. Carefully remove food debris, brush gently around the area, and try to chew on the opposite side of your mouth. You may also choose to rinse with warm salt water, which may help ease pain.

Sugar-Free Gum Can Help

As with dental cement, sugar-free gum can work as a temporary filling. It may even help ease your tooth sensitivity. Never use gum that has sugar, otherwise it can make the cavity worse and irritate the area. Simply chew a piece of gum and place over the area. Keep it on for as often as you’re able to until your appointment.

Direct Access Dental Plan

Of course we will be biased on the solution, but I’m telling you, it’s almost all the time the best option. Sign up for a discount plan!

    1. It’s available for you immediately
    2. You can use it as many times as you want
    3. $200 will save you hundreds more.
    4. It’s not insurance, it’s smarter!


August 8

Seniors and Oral Health


*Disclaimer: These are not Jon nor Martha Stewart.  🙂

Oral health has an effect in overall health

So you’re 60 years old, or older. That’s totally OK! Thanks to you we have wisdom. Which is why you’re reading this. It’s incredible to know that your and my oral health has a massive effect on our overall health!

How do I maintain my oral health?

The beauty of dental health is that it’s simple, kind of like everything else, but you’d know that by now! So your usual toothbrushing at least twice a day and flossing will help. If you are on the unhealthier side of things, visiting your dentist and making sure we know that they are there to help us increase our oral health and will recommend procedures only for that purpose, unless you ask them otherwise, would be the best option.

How much will it cost me to get my oral health back up?

Remember, it doesn’t have to be expensive! You can save on every visit with the dentist with Direct Access.

Special Issues to look after

There are several to look out for, but here’s a list of some of them according to Colgate Oral Care Center:

  • Cavities and decay on the root surfaces of the teeth are more common in older adults. So it’s important to brush with a fluoride toothpaste, floss daily and see your dentist regularly.
  • Sensitivity can be an increasing problem as one ages. Your gums naturally recede over time, exposing areas of the tooth that are not protected by enamel. These areas are particularly prone to pain due to cold or hot foods or beverages. In severe cases cold air, as well as sensitivity to sour and sweet drinks and foods, can occur. If you experience sensitivity, try an anti-sensitivity toothpaste. If the problem persists, see your dentist, as the sensitivity may be an indication of a more serious condition, such as a cavity or a cracked or fractured tooth.
  • Dry mouth is a common condition in seniors, and one that may be caused by medications or certain medical disorders. Left untreated, dry mouth can damage your teeth. Your dentist can recommend various methods to restore moisture in your mouth, as well as appropriate treatments or medications to help prevent the problems associated with dry mouth.
  • Existing health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, or cancer, can affect your oral health. Be sure to let your dentist know of any general health issues you’re facing, so that he or she understands the whole situation and can help you meet your special requirements.
  • Dentures can make life easier for many seniors, but they require special care. Follow your dentist’s instructions carefully and see your dentist if any problems arise. An annual checkup is recommended for long-term denture wearers.
  • Gum disease is a potentially serious condition that can affect people of all ages, but especially people over 40. A number of factors can increase the severity of gum disease, including:
  • Bad diet
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Systemic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
  • Environmental factors such as: stress and smoking
  • Certain medications that can influence gum condition

Conclusion: Don’t fear, learn and act.

We know how scary it can be visiting the dentist, but remember things are changing, and tools are much more developed. Pain is inevitable and as a senior it may feel worse, but it’s like everything, for your own good. We are in the midst of the information age and we have information available immediately (if you don’t believe me, ask your grand-kids). So make it a bonding activity to have your grand-kids help you look for more information about your upcoming procedure or oral issue.

August 7

Insurance + Discount Plan?

Insurance Matrix

There’s a whole world unknown to the consumer in the insurance world and the more I discover about it, the more excited I get to share it with you!

So we all know what insurance is…right? It’s simple, the first thing we must understand is that Insurance is a business not a charity and their main target is “bottom line” (revenue). If that’s the case than everything in an insurance company (auto, home, life, dental, health) is to help that revenue come in. There’s nothing evil about that, it’s business, and that’s OK!

Discount Plan+Insurance

Is more insurance good? Not necessarily. Here’s the thing, you must understand that the best thing for you is the best thing for you. Let me explain.
If I have a plan that only allows me to have 1 cleaning a year and I need TWO, that’s not the plan for me!

So, find out more about your oral health with your dentist and find the right plan accordingly. You don’t have to be a Dr. to know basics and what the best plan for you may be.

Numbers Never Lie

One of the best ways to know what plan works for you is by doing math! Seriously!

I know, I know, there’s enough math in the calories you’re counting or the amount of seasons left in your favorite show, but trust me, this is has a much better return for you and your wallet.

The math you always want to do is: What you use (divided by) how much you invest in your insurance. ie. 2 cleanings a year/$325=$162.50 per cleaning. See how it may not even make sense to do insurance. For other things it may but most of the time a discount plan is so much cheaper.

Discount Plan (Math)

Let’s do another simple example: If Johnny has 2 mouthwash bottles….just kidding. A basic exam with x-rays is $50¹ X 2 cleanings a year=$100. Yup, that’s it.


Now that we know what and insurance company works for, what about you? Well, like I said, there’s nothing bad about focusing on bottom line, but as a consumer you must also look at ALL of your options.

A dental discount plan is meant to help you save money and pretty much compete with Insurance but if you save more money, go for it! Saving money is never a bad thing, and the better at basic math you get the more you’ll love Direct Access! (Mathematicians are our main target…no they’re not, but they should be!)

¹Price is for Basic Exam (D0120) and 4 Bitewing x-rays (D0274). Pricing is specific to each dentist and plan.