Nearly 60,000 people injure their faces annually while playing baseball and more than 100,000 people suffer facial injuries from bicycle accidents. This month enhances public awareness of facial protection and specialized treatment for facial injuries, at least half of which are in children. Pediatric dentists, oral and maxillofacial surgeons and orthodontists—which are all ADA- recognized dental specialists—are sponsoring “April is National Facial Protection Month.” Their message is clear: Avoid sports injuries by wearing protective equipment. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) and the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) encourage active people—children, parents, weekend warriors, professional athletes—to play it safe when getting outside this spring (or playing indoor sports). According to the National Institute of Health, childhood sports injuries may be inevitable but prevention does matter. For instance, football players can protect their faces with mouth guards and helmets. Likewise, basketball players should wear mouth guards and eye protection. A study published in the February 2003 Journal of the American Medical Association showed that players who used faceguards—devices made of plastic or metal that attached to baseball helmets—were 35 percent less likely to suffer facial injuries than non-users. Further, the Centers for Disease Control estimates that universal helmet use could save one life each day and prevent one head injury every four minutes. The Marshfield (Wisconsin) Clinic states that wearing protective eyewear can prevent 90 percent of eye injuries in the U.S. It seems the first step to facial protection is [...]
Most people refer to bruxism as “grinding” or “gritting” the teeth. When you “brux”, you tightly clamp your top and bottom teeth together, especially your back teeth. Many people who clench also grind their teeth at the same time. Grinding is when you slide your teeth over each other, generally in a sideways, back-and-forth movement. Many people clench and grind their teeth during the day, but the nighttime bruxing is of most concern, because it is harder to control and can lead to eventual jaw, tooth and gum damage. Experts don’t agree on what causes bruxism. Some researchers believe that it’s caused by a bite that is not correctly aligned, while others believe it is a central nervous system disorder. Children frequently exhibit bruxism behaviors in response to pain and discomfort of illnesses such as colds, ear infections or allergies. Excess intake of alcoholic beverages may affect your level of grinding and clenching, and stress is also a huge factor in bruxing, with most experts saying that you may show elevated stress levels in your mouth before any other area of your body. Many experts believe it’s a combination of these and other problems and that different people brux for different reasons. Almost everyone “grinds their teeth.” The problem is the degree of bruxing. Some people only grind their teeth a bit and show few symptoms, but for those who brux frequently and over a period of many years, the effects on teeth and the surrounding structures of gums and [...]
In many countries, tooth decay (and gum disease) is the second most common disease, with only the cold more common. Studies have linked poor oral health in children to poor performance in school, poor social relationships and less success in later life. But whether you’re six or sixty, with today’s technology and advances in dental medicine, it’s easier than ever before to prevent cavities and gum disease. To help your kids grow up cavity free, here are a few tips… Don’t make the mistake of thinking baby teeth don’t need as much care as permanent ones. Even though they’re eventually lost, they do an important job of holding a place in your child’s mouth for the permanent teeth. Until they’re old enough for an infant-sized toothbrush, clean your baby’s teeth with a dampened piece of gauze or washcloth. Once your child is old enough, help her/him to use a child-sized toothbrush. (Use only a ‘pea’ sized dot of fluoride toothpaste and don’t allow your child to swallow it.) Around age six your child should be coordinated enough to brush her/his own teeth with an appropriate sized, soft-bristled toothbrush. Brush at least twice a day, supervising while your child is young. Replace toothbrushes every three months and never allow sharing. If your child has been ill, replace their toothbrush as soon as they’re feeling better. Check to make sure that your child is brushing properly. Don’t let them brush too fast or hard or miss areas. Your child’s teeth should be [...]
Many of our patients consider the beginning of a new year a time to not only reflect on the year that was, but also to set personal goals for the upcoming year. How are you planning to improve your health and happiness in 2016? We recommend that you make a New Year’s resolution to benefit your oral health! It’s important that New Year’s resolutions are reasonable and attainable, and that they improve your overall quality of life—for example, did you know that flossing every day is the very best way to prevent periodontal, or gum disease during your orthodontic treatment? Using a straw when drinking sugary beverages can also help prevent cavities while you’re wearing braces. There are many small steps that you can take to prevent cavities, oral infections and bad breath. After all, oral health is about more than just a beautiful smile. If your resolution is to attain a great-looking smile, we’d love to help! We are proud to offer some of today’s most innovative orthodontic technologies that can straighten your smile in less time than you ever imagined. Not only do today’s braces and other orthodontic treatments straighten your teeth quicker, they also offer greater comfort for you, and require fewer visits to our office. So if obtaining a healthy, beautiful smile is one of your New Year’s resolutions, we invite you to give us a call to schedule an initial orthodontic consultation.
Dental injuries are the most common type of injuries to the face, and 60% of facial injuries occur during sports practice. An athlete is 60 times more likely to suffer damage to the teeth when not wearing a mouth guard. A mouth guard is a flexible piece of plastic that fits around the upper teeth and protects them from injury. In addition to protecting against direct damage to the teeth, by cushioning the lips and cheeks from the teeth or orthodontic appliances, a mouth guard helps prevent laceration and bruising. A mouth guard can also prevent serious injuries caused when the lower jaw is jammed into the upper jaw, including concussion, cerebral hemorrhage, jaw fractures and neck injuries. There are several types of mouth guards. When choosing one, remember that a mouth guard should be flexible, comfortable, durable, odorless, tasteless, and easy to clean. A mouth guard should fit properly so that it protects your mouth, but does not interfere with breathing or speaking. The least expensive mouth guard is a stock one sold in sporting goods stores. They come in small, medium, and large and are held in place by biting down. The disadvantage of these mouth guards is that the fit is not adjustable and may not protect your teeth as well as a more fitted model would. Holding these guards in place requires that you bite down, so they can interfere with speech and breathing. The most commonly used type of mouth guard is also sold in [...]
The primary cause of cavities, gingivitis and periodontal disease is accumulation of plaque and tartar on your teeth. The bacteria normally present in your mouth converts the food you eat into acid, which in turn combines with bacteria and leftover food to form a sticky substance called plaque. Plaque accumulation can begin on your teeth in as little as 20 minutes after you’ve eaten. If not removed, the acid in the plaque dissolves tooth enamel and creates a cavity. The way you eat and the things you eat will either aid your body in fighting cavities and gum disease, or make you more likely to develop them. While your grandmother would have probably told you that eating candy was bad for your teeth, today’s dental nutritionists know that she was only partly right. Yes, sugary snacks are one of the culprits that set up the right conditions for development of plaque, but did you know that carbohydrates, such as bread or potatoes, are just as bad for your teeth as a candy bar? And did you know you can combat these conditions by eating your food in the right combinations? The two main factors that make a food a bad snack is the amount of sugar in the food and the length of time the food stays in your mouth. Strangely enough, the sugar and chocolate in a candy bar will actually be washed out of your mouth faster than the sugars from some fruits or the bread from your [...]
DURING YOUR ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT, we know you hear a lot from our team about the importance of brushing and flossing. But there are other things (we tend to talk less about) that can really assist you in maintaining the health of your teeth so that when your orthodontic treatment concludes, your smile will be drop-dead gorgeous. Eating Right Helps Fend Off Plaque, Gingivitis, And Periodontal Disease Your tooth enamel is your smile’s first defense against decay. When your enamel becomes damaged (or erodes) you become more prone to tooth sensitivity and cavities. Your diet can have a lot to do with replenishing those things in your body that help strengthen tooth enamel. Calcium is one of those things. Also, foods rich in vitamin D (like salmon) allow you to better absorb the calcium that healthy teeth need. “Super-Smile” Foods That May Surprise You Broccoli – Broccoli has been shown to create an acid-resistant teeth “shield”. Onions – Onions have properties that fight bacteria in your mouth. Kiwi (Vitamin C) – The little fuzzy guys are packed with more Vitamin C than any other fruit. A lack of Vitamin C can break down the collagen network in your gums, making them tender and more susceptible to bacteria and gum disease. Celery – Celery is like an edible tooth-scrubber. Because of its fibrous material, it massages gums, cleans teeth, and encourages saliva production (a major plus). Other Crunchy Veggies – Other crunchy vegetables and fruits like apples or carrots are also great for your smile. Quinoa (pronounced “KEEN-wah”) – This little grain is loaded [...]