With Fall sports in full swing, mouth guards should be in every athlete’s gym bag as a key piece of safety equipment. Mouth guards are important for any athlete playing contact sports, and even those participating in non-contact sports activities. Team, individual, and recreational athletes alike have the threat of mouth injuries.
The goal of mouth guards is to provide protection for your teeth and gums. They are essential to cushioning blows that can occur while playing sports. If you receive a blow while not wearing a mouth guard, the risk is high for broken teeth and damage to the jaw, tongue, or lips. Risk of injury is twice as high for athletes not wearing mouth guards.
There are various types of mouth guards to choose from to wear while participating in sports. Customized guards offer the greatest protection, because they fit your mouth exactly and provide the ideal protection in the areas that need it the most. Other types of mouth guards can be helpful, provided they fit properly and remain in place. Ready-made mouth guards can be purchased at most sporting goods stores, and are the cheapest option. You can also select guards that require the “boil and bite” method, in which you boil it and fit it to your mouth while it is hot. This somewhat alters the shape to your mouth, in hopes of providing better protection. An even better choice is having a mouth guard custom made by your dentist or orthodontist. Remember that athletes with braces may require specialized mouth guards for the ideal fit and protection.
Some of the main things to consider about mouth guards are resiliency, comfort, and durability. It should fit properly and not impact breathing or speech. Mouth guards should be tear-resistant and easy to clean. Replace the mouth guard when holes, tears, or other damage occurs. Also, loose mouth guards can cause irritation and should be replaced.
Mouth guards are a vital part of playing sports, and should be worn every single time you play. Failing to wear a mouth guard even once can be the occasion that an injury occurs.Read More »
You may have heard about people getting their dental fillings replaced, and might be wondering if it’s something you should consider for yourself. There are a number of reasons for replacing fillings, ranging from losing it to experiencing pain to disliking its appearance. How do you know whether or not you should replace yours?
The first thing to know about dental fillings is that there are several choices for materials. Many are made from amalgam, which is a combination of metals like copper, silver, tin, and mercury. Although there is some controversy about the safety of mercury in your mouth, most experts say that it is safe. The main complaint about amalgam is its noticeable silver color. Another option is gold fillings, which can last a long time but are often the most expensive type. The most common type of filling is made from composite, a material composed of micro particles that are bonded to your teeth. They are tooth-colored and are similar in durability to amalgam fillings.
The most popular reasons that people get their fillings replace include:
- Decay – after a number of years of wear and tear, fillings begin to decay. When they begin breaking down, bacteria may enter your tooth and lead to infection. Your dentist will be able to warn you when a filling is deteriorating.
- Looseness – fillings can become loose if the cavity wasn’t administered correctly or if you bite on something that damages it. The age of the filling can also cause it to loosen. A checkup can help identify if the seal of your filling has broken.
- Pain – if you experience pain in your tooth that continues, your filling may need to be repaired by your dentist or replaced completely.
- Appearance – it is not uncommon for patients to replace fillings simply because they dislike the way it looks. Old fillings can become discolored, or you might not like the material that was used.
If you are thinking about having a filling replaced, see your dentist to ask about your options. It is often not a big deal and you’ll end up much happier with a filling that fits well and looks attractive.Read More »
If chips, stains, or gaps between teeth have diminished your smile’s beauty, consider porcelain veneers. Constructed from thin shells of dental porcelain, these restorations generate natural-looking results and enhance your appearance. In just two to three visits, your dentist can create a brand new smile.
With porcelain veneers, your dentist will erase flaws and give your confidence a boost. Porcelain veneers will look beautiful and withstand the rigors of daily life.
Porcelain veneers allow patients to:
- Cover permanent stains
- Eliminate gaps between teeth
- Produce uniformity
- Transform your image
To guarantee the best results, most dentists schedule a consultation appointment. At this time, your dentist will show you examples of different veneer styles to see what you like. Many patients bring pictures of smiles they admire to this visit. Your doctor will then evaluate your teeth, personality, and features to select the porcelain veneers that complement your style.
Depending on your case, the dentist may recommend either traditional or no-prep veneers. Traditional veneers are customized to fit your specific teeth. Your dentist will select restorations that fit with the size, color, and shape of your teeth. For traditional veneers, you will need two appointments.
During the initial visit, the dentist will prepare teeth for the veneers by removing a layer of enamel and then create impressions of your teeth. These models are sent to a high-quality dental lab, where a skilled ceramist will handcraft your custom veneers. Frequently, dentists place temporary veneers, which gives patients a preview of their new look. Once the lab sends for final restorations, you will schedule a return appointment for permanent placement.
No-prep veneers work a little differently. These contact-thin wafers can be applied to your teeth without any enamel removal, which means they can be removed at any time. Because they can look bulky or unnatural on certain patients , not everyone is a candidate for no-prep veneers.Read More »
Gum disease is a serious oral health concern that impacts approximately 80 percent of American adults. If you or a loved one has completed periodontal therapy, or treatment for gum disease, you need to continue to take good care of your gums at home. Without the right dental care regiment, gum disease can continue to progress, resulting in more oral tissue damage and additional expenses.
Follow these suggestions to maintain optimal oral health:
Be diligent about brushing and flossing
Most people understand the importance of brushing, but they don’t realize how critical it is to floss as well. Because your toothbrush can’t get between teeth, these areas are especially vulnerable to plaque and tartar, the main culprits in gum disease.
Keep scheduled appointments
After treatment, your dentist or hygienist may suggest more frequent visits to monitor your gums and give you the best chance for renewed oral health. Put these appointments on the calendar and make them a priority.
Make smart choices
When you look for toothpastes or toothbrushes, choose items with the American Dental Association (ADA) seal because these products meet strict guidelines for effectiveness and safety.
Talk with your dentist
Some patients experience tooth sensitivity after periodontal therapy, which can make you reluctant to brush and floss. Usually this sensation is temporary, but your dentist may be able to recommend specific products to combat this discomfort. Continuing to brush and floss will promote healing, so don’t stop your oral care routine.
Live a healthy lifestyle
Eating a balanced diet, curbing alcohol use, and cutting out tobacco products can help you enjoy a lifetime of fabulous smiles.
If chips, stains, or gaps between your teeth make you feel self-conscious about your smile, consider porcelain veneers. Made from fine dental porcelain, veneers can cover flaws and revive your smile. Because the porcelain mimics the translucency of tooth enamel, no one will notice your veneers, only your stunning, new image.
Porcelain veneers can be used to:
- Close gaps
- Create a uniform appearance
- Hide permanent stains
- Restore cracks and chips
To begin the process, you will have a consultation with your dentist. Many patients bring photos of smiles they like to this appointment. Your dentist may show you Before and After shots of other cases to help determine your preferences. After listening to your goals and reviewing different options with you, the dentist will create a detailed plan for your custom restorations.
Usually, the dentist can update your smile in two to three visits. First, the dentist will prepare your teeth for the veneers as well as take impressions that are sent to the dental lab. Often, patients wear temporary veneers, providing a trial run of their new smiles. A skilled ceramist will handcraft your porcelain veneers and send them back to the dental office. You will then return for any minor adjustments and permanent placement.
Your veneers will provide years of beauty with proper care. Routine brushing and flossing are critical to protecting your restorations. Make sure to schedule regular checkups so that your dentist can examine your whole mouth and check the status of your veneers.Read More »
Conservative estimates suggest that about 80 percent of adults in this country have some level of gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. In many cases, people don’t realize they have a problem because the initial symptoms are so mild. Without treatment gum disease can lead to pain, bone degeneration, and tooth loss.
What is gum disease?
An infection of the gums surrounding the teeth, periodontal disease is caused by plaque and bacteria along the gum line. Gum disease is actually the number one cause of adult tooth loss in the U.S. The earliest stage of gum disease is gingivitis, which presents as swollen, bleeding gums. As the disease progresses to periodontitis, an advanced form of gum disease, pockets form and the gums separate from the teeth.
What are some signs of gum disease?
Often, gum disease begins with red, swollen gums. You may also experience bleeding when you brush. Other symptoms include receding gums, pain, and chronic bad breath.
Are there certain risk factors for gum disease?
One of the main causes of periodontal disease is poor hygiene. Brushing and flossing regularly, as well as routine checkups, can go a long way to preventing gum disease. Certain lifestyle choices, like tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption, as well as genetics and medication side effects can make you more susceptible to gum disease.
How do you treat gum disease?
If you have gingivitis, your dentist will likely recommend a thorough cleaning and improved home habits. For more advanced gum disease, you may need scaling and root planing, which removes the infection and helps promote healthy gum tissue.
Even with good home care, you will probably need a filling at some point. Restorative work of any kind, including inlays, onlays, or crowns, can renew the strength and beauty of your smile. Once you have dental work completed in your mouth, you need to make choices that will preserve these restorations. The following helpful hints will allow you to enjoy a bright, lasting smile:
Avoid hard substances
Chewing certain candies, foods, and ice can damage natural tooth enamel, which means these items can have an even greater impact on dental work.
Choose toothpaste wisely
Stay away from toothpastes that contain harsh abrasives. These substances can cause your restorations to look dull and faded.
Make cleaning a priority
Areas with dental work can provide an easy target for cavity-causing bacteria, so make sure you brush and floss regularly.
Watch for signs of teeth grinding
Also called bruxism, teeth grinding is often a subconscious action that can wear down your teeth. Your dentist can evaluate your mouth and determine if you need a night guard, a custom oral appliance to keep you from grinding your teeth.
Schedule dental checkups
For optimal oral health, you should visit the dentist every six months. At these appointments, your dentist can evaluate your restorations and make sure they are holding up well. The hygienist will also clean and polish teeth, restoring your smile’s vibrancy.
Contact the dentist if you have trouble
You may have a filling chip or a crown break despite your best efforts. Call the dentist’s office right away so that they can repair the area and prevent more damage.Read More »
If you look at magazine ads, television commercials, or billboards, you will find no shortage of brilliant, white smiles. Having a stunning smile has become big business in this country. In fact, teeth whitening is the number one cosmetic procedure. Simple and effective, bleaching your teeth can remove stains and produce sensational results, if done properly.
Recently, a troubling, new trend has emerged. A growing number of individuals, referred to as bleachorexics, have become obsessed with achieving whiter smiles. Whitening spas, age-defying chewing gum, paint-on gels, leave-in trays, and even brightening toothpaste have allowed some people to turn teeth whitening into an unhealthy obsession.
Years ago the television show Friends did an episode in which Ross whitened his teeth beyond the normal limits with predictable comic results; now, some individuals are doing this very same thing. ABC News’ Good Morning America ran a piece in late July about the impact of over whitening and what motivates people to go to such extremes.
Desiring to have a white smile is great, but don’t let it become too much of a good thing. Some people have abused the whitening products, causing damage to their teeth. For example, the edges of the teeth can turn a bluish-translucent color, an irreversible side effect of too much whitening. As well, over bleaching can burn gum tissue and cause pain.
Tips for whitening success:
- Don’t use the products more often then recommended
- Follow the directions exactly as they appear
- Report any problems to your dentist
- Talk with your dentist about safe whitening options