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Cranberries are a timeless traditional part of any family’s Thanksgiving day feast. But did you know they are also protectors of your teeth on this special holiday?

Studies have shown that cranberries can help as a defense against the harmful bacteria that causes tooth decay. During most Thanksgiving Day feasts, we consume large amounts of turkey, potatoes, stuffing, and desserts. These foods contain large amounts of carbohydrates and simple sugars that can increase our risk for tooth decay from the bacteria already present in our mouths. Tooth decay occurs as the bacteria feed on the sugars and carbohydrates releasing acids into your mouth that eat away at tooth enamel.

Where do Cranberries Come In?

The research team at Rochester Medical Center found that compounds naturally existing within the cranberry itself are able to make some of the bad bacteria (particularly Streptococcus Mutans) in our mouths vulnerable to destruction by the production of certain enzymes.

Work is now being done to isolate the particular compounds at work here. The hope is that tooth decay may meet a strong opponent in the very near future. Acid production responsible for cavities, periodontal disease, and a host of other dental problems could possibly be avoided.

Unfortunately, the cranberries at our dinner table do not do what the study proposes. These compounds within the cranberry would have to be drawn out of cranberries to be of any use. Cranberries are acid and high in sugar themselves, essentially negating the effects of the beneficial substances they contain. Research continues to convert these compounds into something usable for dental health.

Dental Health Tips For Thanksgiving

-Brush and floss your teeth after eating.

-Crack nuts with a nutcracker, not your teeth.

-Drink plenty of water to wash away the sugars, acid, and carbohydrates while eating.

Have A Happy and Safe Thanksgiving!

 

 

 

Sports mouthguards are completely necessary if you wish to maintain your teeth while participating in a contact activity.

Save Teeth - Wear Sports Mouthguards

Wear Sports Mouthguards to Save Teeth

Dental injuries are the #1 type of facial injury sustained during participation in athletic sports. Victims of total tooth avulsions (knocked out teeth) who do not have teeth properly preserved or replanted may face lifetime dental costs of $10,000 – $15,000 per tooth, countless hours at the dentist, and the possibility to develop other dental problems such as periodontal disease, malocclusion, or collapsed bite.

It is estimated by the American Dental Association (ADA) that sports mouthguards prevent almost 200,000 injuries each year in high school and college football alone.

A properly fitted sports mouthguard must be protective, comfortable, resilient, tear resistant, odorless, tasteless, not bulky, cause little to no interference to speaking and breathing, and have excellent retention, fit, and proper thickness in critical areas.

Types of Sports Mouthguards

Sports mouthguards come in a few varieties. These include the following:

-Stock Sports Mouthguards. This mouthguard is typically the least expensive of the mouthguards. It is readily available in most sporting goods stores. Their prices range from a few dollars to about 25-30 dollars maximum. These sports mouthguards are ready to be used right out of the package. This type of sports mouthguard has some serious drawbacks. They tend to be quite bulky and lack any real retention. These will therefore interfere with speech as well as breathing. These mouthguards are often modified by the user further reducing protection and retention. This sports mouthguard is the least amount of protection.

-Boil and Bite Sports Mouthguards. This is the most common type of sports mouthguard in use today. These are also available at most sporting goods and drug stores and are also considered fairly inexpensive. These are a giant step up from the stock sports mouthguards. These tend to fit far better since they are shaped by each athlete’s mouth and teeth. Hot water is all that is needed to adjust the plastic comfortably around the teeth and gums. These sports mouthguards are made from a thermoplastic material that is immersed in

Sports Mouthguards to save teeth

Save Your Teeth – Sports Mouthguards

boiling water and then formed in the mouth using biting, finger, and tongue pressure. Even this can be a challenging task for some so it may be best to contact your dentist when using even these to ensure they fit properly and cover the teeth sufficiently for protection. These sports mouthguards come in only a few stock sizes so they may not fit all participants the same. Many studies have shown that these boil and bite sports mouthguards do not adequately cover all the teeth in a high percentage of high school and collegiate athletes.

-Custom Fit Sports Mouthguards. These sports mouthguards are custom designed and fit just for each individual athlete. These are available thru your dentist. The entire process takes about one week to complete. The initial visit will include taking an impression of the upper teeth. This allows the dentist to create a model of your teeth which is then sent off to a dental laboratory. The laboratory technician will make a custom sports mouthguard adjusting it to each athetes preferences and needs and still being fully protective. The sports mouthguard should cover all teeth on the upper arch to be considered to be offering adequate protection. The major advantages to a custom nightguard include:

-Increased retention

-Thinner material to allow for better breathing while maintaining the protection.

-Longer lasting. While custom sports mouthguards will cost more it will last a significantly longer time than the

sports mouthguards - pro form

ProForm Sports Mouthguards

other versions mentioned earlier.

-Personalized. You may choose your color so that you know it’s yours, or team colors/logos. You can also have your name imbedded in the sports mouthguard (a good example of this is the proform sports mouthguards) so that it can be readily identified. You do not want to mistakenly put someone elses sports mouthguard into your mouth!

-More hygienic. the higher quality material is less likely to embed bacteria within your sports mouthguard.

Safety, Safety, Safety

With an increased prevalence of concussions in sports these days athletes sometimes forget a well made custom mouthguard will offer increased protection against

Wearing Sports mouthguards

Do Not Forget Your Sports Mouthguard

concussions as well. Whatever type of sports mouthguard is chosen it is important to wear it at all times when playing. Many athletes do not keep them in their mouths and this is when injuries occur. At first it may seem uncomfortable but if an athlete begins wearing it at a young age they soon do not even realize they are using a sports mouthguard. Once you get used to it, it becomes second nature to them.

Enjoy your activities but stay safe from injuries especially dental ones!

 

 

Thumb sucking is a common habit and natural reflex for children. Sucking on thumbs, fingers, pacifiers or whatever they can get in their mouth may make babies feel secure and happy and help them learn about their world. Thumb sucking can continue as a child grows. They will use the thumb sucking to soothe themselves or help themselves fall asleep.

Is Thumb sucking normal?

Babies have a natural rooting and sucking reflex. This can cause them to put their thumbs or fingers into their mouths. Thumb sucking can sometimes can occur even before birth. Because thumb sucking is soothing to babies, some slowly develop a habit of thumb sucking when they are tired, anxious or simply bored. Some children who are thumb suckers will only suck their thumb, while some will need to hold an object they treasure, like a security blanket or soft stuffed animal.

Does Thumb sucking cause any problems?

Unfortunately thumb sucking can cause problems for children if it continues. Thumb sucking in children younger than 4 is usually not an issue for development. Children who suck their thumbs often or with increased aggressiveness after 4-5 years of age, or those who are still sucking their

effects of thum sucking

Effects of Thumb sucking

thumbs at age 6, are at risk for dental  or speech problems. Once the permanent teeth begin to come in and develop in the mouth, the persistent thumb sucking may cause top teeth to push out and upward, and bottom teeth to push inward. This tooth movement can cause development of a “buck tooth” appearance, an inability to close the front teeth (open bite), damage to the roof of the mouth, and subsequent speech issues. Pacifiers cause similar issues as thumb sucking but the habit of using the pacifier is a far easier habit to break, it can be thrown out, a finger can not. What determines if thumb sucking causes dental problems or not is the intensity and length of time of the thumb sucking. Checking a child’s thumb for damaged skin and calluses can help determine the aggressiveness of the thumb sucking habit. Many children simply rest their thumbs in their mouth. These children are far less likely to develop any long term issues from their version of thumb sucking. On the other hand, an aggressive thumb sucker may develop issues with their primary and permanent teeth (if they are still thumb sucking at that point when they erupt.

Speech problems caused by thumb sucking are related to the misaligned teeth, distorted palate, and tongue thrusting. The tongue does not have the ability to find the correct placement for proper enunciation, and the tongue muscle needs to be retrained. Tongue thrusting is the pushing forward motion of the tongue when swallowing, causing a continued pressure on the teeth even when not thumb sucking.Speech problems can include not being able to properly say S’s, T’s and D’s, lisping, and tongue thrusting when talking.

Children who are thumb suckers may need treatment for the following reason:

-They have not stopped thumb sucking on their own by age 4-5.

-Speech problems are becoming noticeable.

-If they are teased or feel embarrassed by their sucking.

Treatment

At home treatment by children can include:

-Gentle reminders from parents and loved ones. When you notice your child sucking their thumb, gently remind him or her to stop. You should always avoid criticizing or making fun of your child. This will only create stress.

-Positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcement goes a long way in this area. Provide small rewards when they are not sucking their thumbs for extended periods of time. A reward could be as simple as an extra trip to the park or a slightly later bedtime.

-Competing response. Parents should give their child encouragement to do a different activity when they feel the urge to suck their thumbs. Could be something like squeezing a pillow.

Parents should also take away the child’s security blanket or stuffed animal during certain times of day. This will limit the amount of sucking. Another option is putting gloves on the hands or placing band aids over the thumb in question. This can help the child by reminding them they should not suck their thumbs.

If home treatment does not work and you are worried or feel frustrated about your child’s thumb sucking you should talk with your child’s dentist or doctor. There may be other treatment options, such as behavioral therapy, special nail polish for thumbnail, thumb devices, or devices for the mouth (habit appliances). A dental habit appliance is only a good idea for children who have not been able to stop thumb sucking on their own and have asked for help. It is usually something non removable, blocking the roof of the mouth to make thumb sucking impossible. It is worn for a few weeks to months and then removed by the dentist.

thumb sucking nail treatment

Thumb sucking nail treatment

Remember that thumb-sucking usually is not a problem until a child starts kindergarten or later. Most children will cease the activity on their own if you give them enough time. Slowly but surely, most children begin to stop thumb sucking on their own around ages 3-6 years old. If you notice changes in your child’s primary teeth, or are concerned about your child’s thumb sucking consult your dentist.

A Bright and Shiny smile is a wish for the young and old. Your own teeth may be a little dull looking. You have clean, healthy teeth but you wish they were several shades whiter. A confident smile expresses capability and a belief in oneself.  A bright smile lights up a face. It makes a person look younger, with increased vitality. If you have a beautiful smile, everything about you seems positive. You can have such a smile with the help of teeth whitening.

Of all the cosmetic dentistry treatments offered by dentists, teeth whitening is by far the most popular.This is probably due to the lower cost of teeth whitening versus other cosmetic dentistry procedures. It is estimated that ten million Americans will spend  $1.7 billion on teeth whitening products and services this year. Teeth whitening is the most common cosmetic dentistry service provided by dentists, and there are also a growing number of over-the-counter teeth whitening products to choose from. For those with little or no other dental problems,  teeth whitening is one of the most successful cosmetic dentistry procedures that can be done. The results can be spectacular. Patients will see an increase in self esteem following a whitening procedure. Virtually everyone can have their natural teeth whitened no matter how dark they are. However, old fillings, whether old fashioned mercury-silver amalgams or more modern composites(tooth colored fillings), or porcelain do not whiten. These older restorations would need to be replaced and updated to the new color of your teeth if you were to opt for teeth whitening.

Types of Teeth Whitening

teeth whitening

Cosmetic Dentistry – Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening products are available at the dentist’s office and also over-the-counter. Visiting a dentist for teeth whitening is the most effective and quickest way to whiten your teeth because the whitening materials are stronger than what is sold in the stores. That said, teeth whitening occurs at different levels for different patients.

What happens when you whiten your teeth? You are removing a lifetime of accumulated stains from food, candy, teas, sodas and wine. For smokers, the nicotine from tobacco leaves dark brown and yellow stains that will not just brush away. Tooth enamel is a crystal, like a diamond with many facets. Over time, stains collect between the facets and discolor the teeth. The peroxide cleans out the stains.  It is not an acid and does not damage the enamel. You can get as many teeth whitening treatments as you like.  This allows your teeth to return to a more natural state of whiteness and brightness. Teeth whitening is not a one time procedure. It will need to be repeated every so often if you want to maintain your whiter, brighter smile.

Generally, there are three types of teeth whitening:

1) In Office Teeth Whitening (also called Dentist supervised teeth whitening). In office teeth whitening involves the controlled use of carbamide or hydrogen peroxide, tailored to a particular patient. Most in-office systems use gels with 15-35%  carbamide peroxide.  The dentist can whiten your teeth in approximately one hour using this higher concentration gel that is activated by a special light. This is the best and most effective technique that gives you the fastest and most accurate result due to the precision of the dentist and materials used.

2) At Home Teeth Whitening. Impressions are taken of your teeth so custom whitening trays can be fabricated just for you. The dentist will give you tubes of tooth whitening gel, usually enough for about 2 weeks of application. At-home systems will use a lowered carbamide peroxide concentration gel. You will asked to wear the trays with the gel for a minimum of 2 hours per day. Most patients prefer to sleep with trays in so it works overnight as well. This treatment usually takes approximately 2 weeks but in difficult cases may take up to 6 weeks. The cost is usually about half the cost of the in-office method, but for many people, the additional time required and inconvenience make it less popular.

3) Over-the-counter Teeth Whitening Products. This is the least successful way and involves using products purchased from your local drug store. A few of these over-the-counter products can work very well in selected cases. Many of these products do not have FDA approval and most have only varying degrees of success. It can be very hard to get this method of teeth whitening to give optimal results.

Studies have confirmed that teeth whitening is safe and effective. Teeth Whitening gels that contain 10 percent carbamide peroxide have not been shown to cause any damage to the enamel of the tooth. Higher concentrations of carbamide and hydrogen peroxide available from the dentist may weaken the enamel, but most of these formulas also contain fluoride offsetting this potential side-effect. Patients who use higher concentrations of whitening agents can further protect their teeth thru the use of  prescription fluoride gel or rinse..

Tooth sensitivity and gum irritation can occur. If either occurs it is best to start using the whitening product less frequently (usually recommended to whiten every other day instead of every day) and reduce the amount of time spent whitening. Sensitivity is treated via a prescription fluoride. Irritation of the gums can occur from either the in-office, at-home or over-the-counter tooth whitening systems. Gum irritation is usually mild and reversible, but can be treated with over-the-counter products such as Orajel (to relieve the discomfort).

Teeth Whitening Conclusion

teeth whitening

cosmetic dentistry – teeth whitening

Bottom line, in teeth whitening, you trade money for time. The more you invest, the shorter the time and the more successful the result. It is important to have realistic expectations regarding what the results might be. Several treatments may be needed to achieve a whiter smile. Teeth Whitening results may not be permanent, as your teeth will naturally pick up stain from foods, drinks, or tobacco use. Remember to brush and floss daily, and visit your dentist for regular cleanings and examinations. Teeth whitening results will vary from patient to patient, so choose an option that will suit your budget and specific need.

A beautiful smile can open doors. Which one will open for you?

 

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