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Posts Tagged ‘mouthguards’

October is National Orthodontic Health Month

In Give Back on October 13, 2011 at 4:30 AM

Maybe not all of us have braces, but we surely know someone who does. And perhaps not everyone is as celebratory about orthodontics as we are.

Keeping with our October  dental awareness series over the past week or so, we wanted to also promote a little ortho love.

How many degrees of separation are between you and your nearest orthodontic overachiever?

Give a hoot this October, and pass along some beneficial social local dentistry as it relates to orthodontics and braces.

School is back in full swing, and orthodontic options for everything from our favorite sports team colors to ultra-thin invisibility, are available right at our local dental or ortho office! october_national_orthodontic_health_month

Our orthodontists and dentists have many fashionable ways to straighten our crooked teeth, correct our bad bites, and realign any misalignment of our jaws.

Just don’t tell your teenage…of course, with advanced options comes increased cost.

In honor of National Orthodontic Health Month, here are some more orthodontic FAQs, courtesy of braces.org.

Kids

Can I play sports while wearing braces?

Yes, but make sure you wear a protective mouth guard.

Can I play musical instruments while wearing braces?

With practice and a period of adjustment, braces typically do not interfere with the playing of wind or brass instruments.

What are my options if I don’t want braces that show?

Should your case warrant it, you might want to consider lingual braces, which feature brackets that are bonded behind the teeth. Ceramic braces are another option to lessen the visibility of braces; they blend in with the teeth for a more natural effect. Additionally, the use of a series of invisible aligner trays (invisible braces) instead of traditional braces may be used to correct some problems.

Will a stud in my tongue interfere with orthodontic treatment? october_national_orthodontic_health_month

Exercise caution with tongue-piercing jewelry. It can contribute to breakage of braces appliances and to tooth and gum damage from contact with the stud.

Parents

If my teeth have been crooked for years, why do I need orthodontic treatment now?

It’s never too late! Healthy teeth can be moved at any age. Orthodontic treatment can restore good function, and teeth that work better usually look better, too. A healthy, beautiful smile can improve self-esteem, no matter your age.

Can I afford orthodontic treatment?

Most orthodontists have a variety of convenient payment plans. Many dental insurance plans now include orthodontic benefits.

I am pregnant and want to begin orthodontic treatment. Is this OK?

Discuss this question with your medical practitioner/physician and orthodontist before you start any orthodontic treatment, as pregnancy brings on bodily changes that may affect the mouth. Soft tissues such as gums become much more susceptible to infection.

Do teeth with braces need special care?

Yes, clean, healthy teeth move more quickly. Patients with braces must be careful to avoid hard, sticky, chewy and crunchy foods, or hard objects, such as pens, pencils and fingernails. Keeping your teeth and braces clean requires more time, precision and must be done every day if the teeth and gums are to be healthy during and after orthodontic treatment.

I see ads for perfect teeth in only one or two visits to the dentist. Will that give me straight teeth?

Quick-fix veneers temporarily cover crooked teeth. Teeth straightened by an orthodontist are good for life. That’s because only orthodontists receive an extra 2-3 years of education beyond dental school to learn the proper way to align and straighten teeth.

How may I distinguish an orthodontist from a general dentist?

Visit our Find an Orthodontist section to find AAO-member orthodontists near you. AAO membership is the best way to confirm a doctor’s status as an orthodontist because the AAO only accepts orthodontists for membership. Additionally, visit the Questions for Your Orthodontist section for questions that you can ask to help determine if you’re getting your tooth-alignment procedure from an expert.

For more national health awareness days, weeks, or months, click here.

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Boil & Bite vs. Custom Fit – How to Determine the Best Mouthguard

In Dental Care, Kids on September 13, 2011 at 4:30 AM

According to SportsDentistry.com, The National Youth Sports Foundation for the Prevention of Athletic Injuries, Inc. reports several interesting statistics involving the use of mouthguards, and our kids.

For the sake of this blog post, we’ll concentrate on identifying two of the most relevant.

1. Dental injuries are the most common type or orofacial injury sustained during participation in sports.

2. Victims of total tooth avulsions who do not have teeth properly preserved or replanted may face lifetime dental costs of $10,000 – $15,000 per tooth, hours in the dentist’s chair, and the possible development of other dental problems such as periodontal disease.

It is estimated over three million teeth will get knocked out this year during youth sporting events. (Source: National Youth Sports Safety Foundation)

Common sense says mouthguards and helmets with face protection will certainly limit mouth injuries, but how can we be sure of the best mouthguard choice for our kids?

A properly fitted mouthguard must be protective, comfortable, resilient, tear resistant, odorless, tasteless, not bulky, cause minimal interference to speaking and breathing, and (possibly the most important criteria) have excellent retention, fit, and sufficient thickness in critical areas. (Source: SportsDentistry.com)

Basically we have two choices when it comes to mouthguards for our kids, the boil and bite job we can purchase from the local sporting goods store, or a custom mouthpiece specifically designed for their teeth and fitted by our trusted family dentist.

Boil & Bite

These are the mouthguards available for purchase at the local sporting goods store, essentially requiring a pot of boiling water to bring the mouthpiece into a ‘formable’ state.

We then need to have our kids bite down on the soft mouthpiece to form it around their bite. Hold for a minute, and dip it back in cold water to complete the toothy somewhat protective template.

SportsDentistry.com says, presently over 90% of the mouthguards worn are of the variety bought at sporting good stores.

The other 10% are of the custom-made variety diagnosed and designed by a health professional (dentist and/or athletic trainer).

Custom Fit

A custom fit mouthguard is specifically designed by a dental professional with the individual child’s anatomy, dental history, chosen sport, and other important dental health variables taken into account.

An easy way to look at it is, the boil and bite is one size fits all – sort of, most manufacturers do offer small, medium, and large.

The custom mouthguard is just that; custom designed specifically for the individual by a dental health professional.

Which is better?

Take a wild guess…then ask your dentist.

Which costs more?

Go figure.

But remember this when calculating short-term savings against long-term prevention, emergency dentistry will cost more than any mouthguard.

$5 for the standard boil & bite mouthguard.

$10,000 for estimated lifetime dental costs per injured tooth.

Forking over $500 for a custom fit job….PRICELESS!

Go Custom!

A properly fitted mouthguard will certainly limit the severity of, and help protect against further injury to the mouth, teeth, and face.

Only your dentist can determine the perfect fit and provide the answers necessary to best protect your child’s teeth, gums, and jaw, when they’re out playing sports this season.

To continue beating the dental equity equine – talk to your dentist before your child takes the field.

And do your best to ensure your child understands their mouthguard must actually be in their mouths at all times.

If it’s uncomfortable they won’t use it. And if they don’t use it, they risk injury.

Need another reason to opt for the more protective custom fit mouthguard this season?

How to Limit Dental Injuries in Sports

In Kids on August 25, 2011 at 4:30 AM

Participation in youth sports teaches our kids such important life lessons that we as adults often forget, or maybe fail to practice as much as we should.

Seemingly simple ideas like working together toward a common goal, learning sportsmanship, and most of all – having fun, often get lost in the experience of youth sports when adults start messing up the situation.

Of course we all learn from our parents, but it seems in the past few decades the parents are the ones that need some extra help and discipline when it comes to kids in sports.

We won’t waste our time here highlighting shameful examples of little league moms and dads doing their best to simultaneously embarrass their families, sports organizations, and local community by acting like poorly behaved children.

What we’ll concentrate on with this dental dissertation will be the ubiquitous mouthguard…and how parents should make sure their kids are wearing one. The sports dentistry and mouthguard subject has been previously discussed, or at least marginally broached, in this dental forum.

No matter if it’s a $400 custom fit job from the dentist, or the boil & bite deal from the local sporting goods store, a properly fitted mouthguard will certainly limit severity and help protect against further injury to the mouth, teeth, and face.

How do you know if the mouthpiece is properly fitted?

Ask your dentist!

If it’s not in their mouth, it is of no use

Don’t just take our word for it; listen to the professionals at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Check out the article entitled, Sports dental injuries are no laughing matter, by clicking the link.

“Basketball and baseball are the two biggest mouth-injuring sports,” says Stephen Mitchell, D.M.D., associate professor in the UAB Department of Pediatric Dentistry.

“And the most common injuries we see are broken, displaced or knocked out teeth, and broken jaws.”

The UAB article’s author, Jennifer Lollar, goes on to mention some pretty staggering facts concerning kids and sports.

According to a report by the U.S. Surgeon General, craniofacial injuries sustained during sporting activities are a major source of nonfatal injury and disability in children and adults, accounting for up to one-third of all sports injuries.

The National Youth Sports Safety Foundation estimates that more than 3 million teeth will be knocked out in youth sporting activities this year.

This info also relates to parents pocketbooks.

A properly fitted mouthguard can significantly reduce initial injury and lessen the severity of craniofacial injury – do we need to reference that?

Only your dentist can determine the perfect fit and provide the answers necessary to best protect your child’s teeth, gums, and jaw, when they’re out playing sports this season.

So it’s simple – talk to your dentist before your child takes the field.

Ensure your child is wearing their mouthguard at all times. It should be second nature; it should not be uncomfortable or difficult to speak.

Remain diligent…like “Do your homework”  and “take out the garbage” diligent, and you won’t have the pleasure of forking over thousands of dollars for oral surgery on knocked out teeth, wiring and milkshakes with broken jaws, or CAT scans and MRIs caused by concussions.

The overwhelming theme…talk to your dentist about a properly fitted mouthguard before your kids take to the field or court this back to school season.