Does Dental Insurance Reset Every Year?

Dental insurance can be a good thing to have, but the benefits don’t last forever. If you have dental insurance, there’s a chance that it’s going to expire at the end of the year. Unfortunately, many people let their benefits sit unused. However, there are several good reasons why you should see your dentist in Reno before your benefits are gone and you have to start over.

Ask yourself:

  • “Do my insurance or FSA benefits expire at the end of the year?”
  • “Have I met my deductible but never got around to taking advantage of it?”
  • “Will I have to start all over in January?”

If you said “yes” to one or more of these questions, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist in Reno as soon as possible to take advantage of all the benefits dental insurance has to offer. 

A New Year. A New Deductible.

Some dental insurance plans will require patients to pay a certain amount of money before patients can take advantage of the benefits. This is called a deductible. Many times, people will reach their deductible but never use the perks that come afterward. However, once the new year is underway, new deductibles will apply and patients will need to start paying all over again. If your dental insurance has a deductible and you’ve met it, don’t miss out on your benefits. Schedule an appointment with your dentist in Reno today. 

An Important Note About FSAs

Instead of traditional dental insurance, some employers offer their staff the option to pay pre-tax money into an FSA (Flex Savings Account) that can then be used on dental and medical needs. However, this money doesn’t last forever and usually needs to be used by the end of the year. 

That’s why there’s no better time than right now to call and schedule some well-deserved dental work. 

We’re Here to Help

Whether it’s something as simple as a cleaning or a more transformative treatment like cosmetic dentistry, we know you care too much about your smile, your health, and your investment to throw away the dental benefits you paid for all year long. Let us help you figure out the best way to use your dental benefits before you lose them. 

But don’t wait. The end of the year can be a busy time for your dentist in Reno. Call Now To Schedule Your Appointment!

What To Do After Having Your Wisdom Teeth Taken Out

Once your wisdom teeth have been removed, it’s important to take good care of your mouth during recovery to minimize pain and speed up healing time. Even though wisdom teeth removal is usually a pretty straightforward procedure, it can still cause some pain and discomfort as you heal from the surgery. To help you recover properly, your dentist in Reno is here to offer up some advice about what to do (and what not to do) after having your wisdom teeth taken out. 

A Guide to Successful Healing

Following wisdom teeth surgery, it’s crucial to follow your dentist’s instructions to promote healing and minimize discomfort. Below are some common tips, but it’s still wise to talk with your dentist in Reno about your specific after-care instructions. 

Minimize Bleeding

There will be some bleeding after having your wisdom teeth taken out. But don’t worry, this is completely normal. To help minimize the bleeding, apply pressure on your wound using clean gauze. The gauze may have to be replaced a few times daily, and it’s important that you wash your hands thoroughly beforehand to avoid introducing bacteria into your mouth. 

Reduce Swelling

You may not notice much or any immediate swelling after surgery, and that’s normal too. Sometimes you won’t swell up for a day or two. But it’s still important to get ahead of it by using ice packs. Apply ice to the outside of your cheeks for 20 minutes, then remove it for 20 minutes. Make sure to wrap the ice in a t-shirt or thin towel so the ice pack is never in direct contact with your skin. 

Eat & Drink Wisely

Your dentist in Reno will recommend sticking with soft foods a few days following having your wisdom teeth removed. Food, such as oatmeal, warm (not hot!) soup, mashed potatoes, applesauce, or scrambled eggs are all good options. Also, make sure you drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated, just avoid sipping from a straw as this can cause damage to the surgical site. 

What Not to Do

When it comes to healing from wisdom teeth surgery, there are some things that you may normally do that you should avoid, at least for a little while. 

Rinse Aggressively

While your dentist may recommend rinsing your mouth out with warm salt water a few times a day to reduce swelling, you should take it easy. Swishing too aggressively can cause more harm than good and may even cause you to start bleeding again. 


Not only does smoking require a sucking motion similar to drinking out of a straw, but it can also slow your healing. Smoking is also one of the main causes of dry socket, an infection that can cause serious pain for several days. 


This may be one of the few times you’ll hear a medical professional tell you not to exercise, but any type of strenuous activity such as exercise following wisdom teeth surgery can increase bleeding and swelling. You should do your best to limit exercise as well as heavy lifting for 3-4 days after surgery or until you’re cleared by your dentist in Reno

Wisdom teeth removal is an incredibly common procedure, but we understand that you may feel nervous. Talking with your dentist about any questions you have, as well as following their post-operative instructions, can relieve some of your concerns and get you healed up in no time.

“Do I Have Gum Disease?” 

Gum disease is an infection in the gum tissues and can cause some unwanted side effects, such as your gums pulling away from the teeth. This can lead to deep pockets between your teeth and gums. Gum disease also makes your teeth more susceptible to tooth decay, and, if left untreated, gum disease may even lead to tooth loss. Fortunately, there are some early signs of gum disease that you can look out for to keep your mouth healthy and strong. Let’s learn about some of the more common signs of gum disease and what your dentist in Reno can do about it.

Bleeding While Brushing

According to The Academy of General Dentistry, bleeding gums can indicate damage in one or more tooth surfaces. While this may just be a sign of sensitivity, if you notice your gums bleed while you brush or floss, make an appointment with your dentist in Reno to rule out other possible causes. Early detection and treatment may prevent gum disease from progressing, so it’s important to take care of your teeth and gums at home between professional dental visits.

Swelling & Redness

One of the earliest warning signs of gum disease is swollen or red gums. If you notice swelling or a new redness in your gums, you may have gum disease. This is usually caused by plaque build-up at or below your gum line that has not been properly cleaned away. It’s important to see a dentist right away if you notice any changes in your gums. The longer you wait, the harder it becomes to treat periodontal disease because damage gets worse over time.

Pain & Sensitivity

While not every case of gum disease has pain, many people do experience painful gums as well as tooth sensitivity. Now, some people simply have sensitive teeth, so if that’s normal for you, there may be no cause for concern. However, if your teeth haven’t been sensitive to hot or cold before and the sensitivity lasts for more than a few days, you may have gum disease. Be sure to see your dentist right away.

Bad Breath

Nobody wants to experience bad breath, but it happens to everyone. Sometimes bad breath is caused by something we ate or drank and goes away on its own. However, other times bad breath is persistent and chronic. That’s when your dentist in Reno may become concerned. Chronic bad breath is often a telltale sign of gum disease thanks to the bacteria involved in the infection. These bacteria release a sulfur-like smell and make some people experience bad breath. If you’re not brushing and flossing your teeth after every meal, it’s much easier for food bits to become trapped in your mouth, leading to bacteria and plaque buildup and, you guessed it, bad breath and perhaps gum disease.

Visiting your dentist in Reno at least twice a year is crucial for maintaining good oral health and catching gum disease early. Visits like these are important because, while you can’t really cure gum disease, you can slow its progression if caught early enough. Visiting your dentist regularly will make it much easier to catch potential issues before they become major problems.

How Can I Get a Whiter Smile? 

If you want to know how to get whiter teeth, you’ve come to the right place! Thanks to advancements in whitening technology, your dentist in Reno offers several ways for you to whiten your teeth and give you back that gorgeous smile! Read on to find out which methods will work best for you!


First and foremost, you should brush your teeth twice daily. Your dentist in Reno recommends brushing for at least two minutes per session. Use an ADA-approved toothpaste with fluoride, which is best at helping to remineralize and re-harden enamel and protect against tooth decay. If you smoke or drink coffee or tea regularly, it’s even more important to use ADA-approved toothpaste. 


Flossing is an often forgotten part of a good oral hygiene routine, but it’s key to floss if you want to keep your teeth stain-free. Flossing your teeth removes pieces of food that can stain your teeth and put you at risk for tooth decay. It’s also been shown to reduce gingivitis, which is one of the causes of tooth discoloration. 


With so many different types of teeth whitening treatments on offer, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by options. Fortunately, your dentist in Reno is here with some basic truths that you can use to guide your decision-making. When it comes to smile-whitening products, it really comes down to two options: DIY strips and professional treatments.

  • DIY Strips: Available over-the-counter, whitening strips are one of the fastest and most effective ways to whiten your teeth. They can be worn for 30 minutes up to two hours, depending on their strength. But there are some downsides. They’re often messy and may take a little bit of trial and error before you find one that fits well and doesn’t irritate your gums. Also, they don’t always last as long as in-office whitening treatments.
  • Professional Treatments: Even though these treatments can be more expensive, they often get you results faster and last longer. Professional in-office smile whitening is also often done using custom trays so that none of the whitening gel gets on the gums, which reduces the chance of irritation. 


Some types of tooth staining won’t be reversed through brushing, flossing, or whitening. This is why it’s important to talk to your dentist before starting any smile whitening option. If the type of stains you have can’t be removed with the other options, you may be a candidate for certain cosmetic dentistry treatments. The most common version of cosmetic dentistry to help with staining is veneers. These porcelain slices are adhered to the front surface of teeth and cover up stains or other imperfections.


Most people visit their dentist to have their teeth cleaned, which is important for keeping teeth healthy. But in addition to cleaning your teeth, your dentist can also remove stains from tooth surfaces and even prevent new ones from forming. More importantly, removing stains helps prevent cavities and decay at a microscopic level where they cannot be seen by even our sharpest eyes.

If you’re looking for a brighter, whiter smile, talk with your dentist in Reno to find the best solution for you. 

How to Freshen Your Breath for National Fresh Breath Day

National Fresh Breath Day is celebrated on August 6th this year, and if you’re feeling like your breath could use some freshening, you’re not alone. In fact, wondering how to freshen breath is one of the most common questions your dentist in Reno is asked. So whether you’re preparing for an important business meeting or getting ready for a date, having fresh breath will leave you feeling confident and ready to take on the day ahead of you. Follow these tips to have your breath smelling great in no time at all!

Brush & Floss

You’ve heard us say it before and you’ll hear us say it again — brushing and flossing your teeth daily is the best way to keep dental problems at bay, including bad breath. Make sure you’re brushing your teeth at least every morning and before bed every night. If you can, try to brush after meals, too. When it comes to flossing, we recommend flossing at least once a day with traditional floss or a water flosser. Also, don’t forget to clean your tongue! Tons of bacteria linger on the bumpy surface, so it’s important to gently brush your tongue every time you brush your teeth. 

Avoid Dry Mouth

Dry mouth is one of the leading causes of bad breath, so to combat bad breath you need to first combat dry mouth. Dry mouth can be caused by numerous things such as alcohol, soft drinks, tobacco, and certain medications. Of course, we never recommend stopping any medications without first speaking to your physician. We do recommend drinking plenty of water throughout the day to help keep your mouth hydrated. 

Eat Your Vegetables

Eating a well-balanced diet packed with fresh vegetables isn’t just good for your body, it’s also good for your teeth and gums. Crunchy veggies help gently scrub away bacteria and can even help hydrate your mouth. Also, green leafy vegetables such as chard, kale, collard, mustard, spinach, and alfalfa are loaded with chlorophyll, which happens to be a natural deodorizer. 

See Your Dental Hygienist

We all know that your dentist in Reno recommends visiting at least twice a year, or more often for those who have a history of gum disease or other oral health problems. But did you know that checkups and cleanings with your hygienist can also help keep your breath fresh? Getting professional cleanings regularly will help remove both bacteria and sticky plaque that’s impossible to remove at home — both of which can contribute to bad breath.

If you really want fresh breath on National Fresh Breath Day — and every day of your life — see your dentist in Reno today. Dentists are experts at diagnosing underlying problems like gum disease and tooth decay, so they can give you targeted solutions for keeping your mouth healthy and fresh-smelling. 

Is Vaping Better For Your Teeth Than Smoking? 

There’s a common misconception that vaping is healthier than smoking. In fact, vaping is often used as a way to try and help smokers quit smoking. But is this method actually safer than traditional cigarettes? Research suggests that it’s not. Many studies have shown that vaping causes similar health concerns as smoking such as an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and heart disease. But that’s not all. Your dentist in Reno wants to know that the oral health risks associated with vaping are also similar to those of smoking cigarettes. 

Vaping & Overall Health

Vaping has been around in the United States since 2007, but has become increasingly popular in recent years, especially among young adults and even teenagers. As more research about the effects of vaping is being conducted, we’re starting to see that it has similar health effects as smoking such as: 

  • Increased risk of pneumonia
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Stroke. 

Vaping & Oral Health

Unfortunately, the health concerns don’t end there. Vaping can affect oral health as well. Some reported ways that e-cigarettes can damage or teeth and overall oral health include: 

  • Facial & Mouth Damage

There have been reports of e-cigarettes exploding, whether in a pocket or while inhaling. This can cause serious injuries to the mouth, face, and even the neck. In fact, these explosions can be so intense that some people have even died as a result.

  • Gum Disease

Nicotine is a prominent ingredient found in vaping liquid. This is why some smokers may find vaping helpful when trying to quit. Now, even though many e-liquids contain less nicotine than cigarettes, it’s still highly addictive and can cause damage in the mouth. Since many studies have been conducted regarding the effects of nicotine in cigarettes on oral health, we know that this ingredient can damage gum tissue and increase the risk of gum disease. Gum disease is a serious oral health condition that can contribute to tooth loss as well as heart disease, stroke, and respiratory problems. However, if treated quickly by your dentist in Reno, the disease can be reversed. 

  • Decay & Cavities

Two liquid ingredients found in e-cigarettes are propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin, both of which can cause damage to the teeth. Propylene glycol, when inhaled orally, creates toxic byproducts that erode tooth enamel and the soft tissues in the mouth. This leaves teeth at risk for decay, dry mouth, bad breath, and gum disease. Vegetable glycerin is the ingredient that makes vaping liquid have its sweet taste. In fact, it’s found in some of the foods we eat. It’s good in the sense that studies suggest that it doesn’t cause cavities. It’s bad in e-liquid because when it merges with flavoring (which most liquids have) it can become thick. The vapors can then easily stick to the surfaces of teeth and trap bad bacteria into the crevices. The result? Decay and cavities. 

Can Vaping Help You Quit Smoking? 

Many people turn to vape pens as a way to wean off of cigarettes, but is it a viable way to quit? Well, some research suggests they are. Others show quite the opposite. For example, one study found that vaping helped current smokers reduce the number of cigarettes they smoked by about half, while another suggested that smokers who use e-cigs are 59% less likely to quit. 

The consensus? What works for one person may not work for another, and it’s usually not a good idea to replace one addictive habit with another. Instead, your dentist in Reno recommends starting by looking at the resources offered by the American Lung Association

It’s never too late to quit smoking or using e-cigarettes. Even though it takes some time, there is a method that will work for you. 

4 Things That Can Happen If You Don’t Brush Your Teeth Regularly

The American Dental Association, along with your dentist in Reno, recommends brushing your teeth for at least two minutes, twice a day, every day. However, many people don’t brush their teeth as often as they should. This can increase the risk of developing some serious oral problems. 

1. Cavities

The most common oral health problem that can happen when you don’t brush your teeth regularly is cavities. Cavities occur when the bacteria in your mouth feed on food debris and release acid. This acid can wear down tooth enamel and decay teeth. The result? A brand new cavity. If treated by your dentist in Reno quickly, a cavity is often an easy fix. However, if the cavity becomes too large and affects the inner workings of the tooth, you may need a root canal or additional treatment.  

2. Bad Breath

Another likely side effect of not brushing your teeth is bad breath. The same bacteria that cause cavities can also carry a pretty pungent smell, and the more bacteria there are, the worse the smell. One of the best ways to avoid bad breath is to brush your teeth twice a day. 

3. Gum Disease

Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is an infection of the gum tissues. It’s often caused by poor oral hygiene habits, such as not brushing your teeth or flossing as often as you should. When you don’t brush regularly, plaque builds up on teeth, can harden into tartar, and provide a nice environment for bacteria to thrive. These bacteria can work their way into your gums and cause an infection. Gum disease can be treated if caught early, but if it’s left alone too long it can contribute to other health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. 

4. Tooth Loss

Untreated gum disease is scary enough since it can lead to other problems throughout the body. However, to make matters worse, gum disease can also lead to tooth loss. Losing natural, adult teeth can mean even more oral health and overall health problems. A jaw bone can deteriorate, chewing power becomes limited, and self-confidence lowers. Thankfully, there are ways to replace teeth such as dentures, dental implants, or even implant-retained dentures. 

We understand that it can be easy to skip brushing your teeth, especially if you’re running late in the morning or are extremely tired at night. However, we always recommend doing everything you can to get a thorough brush in both morning and night. Additionally, we encourage you to see your dentist in Reno every six months for regular checkups and cleanings. 

3 Things You Should Do If Your Filling Falls Out

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 90% of American adults have had at least one cavity in their lifetime. Most of the time, these cavities will be fixed with a filling from your dentist in Reno. While dental fillings are tough restorations, there is a chance that they can fail or fall out. So what do you do if you lose a filling? 

Lose a Filling? Don’t Panic. 

If you lose a filling, don’t panic. Oftentimes it can be fixed quickly and easily by your dentist in Reno. There are also several steps you can take prior to your appointment to help ease any discomfort and protect your teeth. 

  1. Loose Fillings

First, let’s talk about what to do if your filling is loose but hasn’t yet fallen out on its own. If your filling comes loose, we always recommend removing it as soon as possible as long as you can do without tools. Loose fillings can wiggle out on their own, putting you at risk of swallowing choking. 

  1. Schedule An Appointment, Take Precautions

As soon as you realize that you’ve lost a filling or that one is about to come out, schedule an appointment with your dentist in Reno. Prior to your visit, there are few things you should do to protect your tooth from harmful bacteria settling into the crevice. 

  • Brush your teeth gently
  • Rinse your mouth with water
  • Use over-the-counter pain medication to ease discomfort
  • Be wary of temporary dental cement — it could make problems worse
  1. Eat Wisely

We use our teeth every single day to help chew our foods, but if you lose a filling, this can be a bit difficult. Before you get your filling, make sure to steer clear of sticky, sugary foods that can get stuck in the old filling area. Also, be cautious with hot or cold foods as the area may be extra sensitive. 

Signs of a Lost Filling

Knowing the signs of a lost filling can help you seek treatment quickly. Some signs include: 

  • Feeling a hole in your tooth
  • Sensitivity
  • Food buildup in a tooth with a restoration
  • Crunching down on a hard particle while eating 

It’s always best to see your dentist as soon as you can if you lose a filling or think one is about to fall out. Early treatment is the best way to fix a filling before other problems have a chance to develop. Remember, these tips above are only suggestions for temporary relief and not a permanent solution. Schedule an appointment with your dentist in Reno to get your tooth fixed properly. 

How Sports Drinks Can Damage Teeth 

As the weather warms up and we’re spending more time outside in the heat, we tend to get thirstier than normal. Many of us may turn to our favorite sports drinks to rehydrate after a day in the sun or after a tough workout. While these beverages can help replace lost electrolytes due to sweating, they can also damage teeth if consumed too often. Let’s join your dentist in Reno to see how sports drinks can damage teeth.  

Acid Is As Bad As Sugar

You’ll hear your dentist talk about enjoying sugary drinks in moderation, but they should also talk to you about doing the same with acidic beverages such as sports drinks. Even though many sports drinks don’t contain high amounts of sugar, they do tend to be acidic. This acid can attack tooth enamel and leave teeth at risk for decay. But that’s not all. Once tooth enamel is gone, it doesn’t come back so teeth remain at risk. 


As enamel is worn down, it makes it easier for bacteria to settle into teeth. These bacteria feed on food particles and release an acidic byproduct which further exacerbates the problem. The more this cycle repeats, the more likely it is for cavities to develop and require treatment from your dentist in Reno. But if this treatment isn’t sought early, what was once a simple filling can become something more complicated.  

Root Canals, Abscesses, and More

If a cavity isn’t treated quickly, a small cavity can easily become a big cavity that affects the inner workings of the tooth. If the decay hits your roots, it will be painful and may require a root canal from your dentist. This treatment will ease pain and prevent the decay from causing even more problems. Now, if a tooth that needs a root canal is left alone, it may develop a painful infection called an abscess, or worse, the tooth may require extraction. 

Symptoms of Decay

If you know the symptoms of decay, you can get treatment early when it’s often easier. Some symptoms of decay, include: 

  • Hot or cold sensitivity 
  • Toothaches
  • Pain when biting
  • Holes in the teeth 

Experiencing any of the above should be a sign that you need to see your dentist in Reno

The best way to protect yourself from decay is to enjoy sugary and acidic foods and drinks in moderation, brush and floss your teeth every day, and see your dentist at least twice a year from preventive dentistry checkups. If you’re due for a visit, call today to schedule an appointment. 

Is Tooth Discoloration Bad? 

If you notice that your teeth aren’t quite as white as they used to be, or if there’s a sudden appearance of brown, yellowish, or black spots, you have every right to be concerned. After all, we all want to have bright, white smiles we’re proud to show off. But if your smile is less than its ideal shade of white, your dentist in Reno can help. 

What Causes Tooth Staining? 

Before we can dive into ways to fix a dull or discolored smile, we need to understand what caused it in the first place. There are several lifestyle factors, as well as health conditions, that can contribute to tooth discoloration. The root cause varies from person to person, and the treatment will differ as well. So let’s take a look at some of the most common things that can cause teeth to darken. 

  • Lifestyle Factors

Perhaps the most common reasons behind a change in tooth color are things we do in our lives every day. The foods we eat, the medicines we take, and the habits we may have all play a role in tooth discoloration. For example, red wine drinkers may experience darkening of the teeth because of the staining properties in the wine itself. What’s more, is that everyday things such as a morning cup of tea or coffee and certain medications can also cause discoloration. Lastly, those who use tobacco products are more likely to not only have tooth staining but also additional dental concerns that will require treatment from your Reno dentist.  

  • Dental Health Contributors

However, it’s not always a lifestyle factor that leads to tooth discoloration. Overall oral and overall health complications can also darken teeth. There are various health conditions that can cause this including:

  • Poor dental hygiene
  • Dental materials such as amalgam or metal fillings
  • Sudden trauma to the face or teeth
  • Genetics
  • Aging
  • Certain diseases and their treatments such as cancer radiation

Color Variations Can Be Normal 

It’s important to note that each person’s natural tooth color varies, so don’t base your smile on what you see in others. If your regular checkups with your dentist in Reno are always good and there are no signs of trouble, you may just have naturally darker teeth. However, if it bothers you, your dentist can recommend smile whitening treatments to help transform your look. Some forms of cosmetic dentistry that can whiten teeth include: 

  • In-office professional smile whitening 
  • Dental bonding
  • Crowns
  • Veneers

Not all treatments are appropriate for each case, so talk with your dentist about the best way to whiten your smile.

If you’re concerned about the way your smile looks and are searching for ways to get whiter teeth, talk with your dentist in Reno. It’s especially important to have this discussion prior to starting treatment on your own such as over-the-counter whitening treatments.