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Athletic Mouthguard

For many adults and children who play contact sports, an athletic mouthguard is often overlooked. However, not wearing an athletic mouthguard can lead to damage to your smile and facial tissues.  Many people are unaware of the need for an athletic mouthguard, others just don’t think they are cool, and others might complain they are uncomfortable. For safety, every contact sport requires a well made athletic mouthguard. This will be essential to keeping your mouth and face protected.  Below you will find the most important reasons to wear an athletic mouthguard.

What Can An Athletic Mouthguard Do For Me?

-Protect Against Tooth Fractures. Trauma to the mouth will often lead to a fractured tooth. An athletic mouthguard can help prevent or decrease the severity of these types of injuries, preserving your smile. If a tooth does get fractured, below are a few of the possible outcomes…

1. Small, Superficial Fracture. If the fracture is small enough and stays away from the nerve of the tooth, your dentist can probably repair it with tooth bonding. Tooth bonding uses a tooth colored material to match your existing teeth and restore form and function.

2. Fracture Exposing The Nerve Of The Tooth. At this point to save the tooth, root canal therapy will be needed and then rebuilding the tooth with a full coverage crown.

3. Fracture All The Way Down To The Root Of The Tooth. A fracture this large usually leaves only one option and that is a tooth extraction. Then to replace the tooth will invlolve placement of a dental implant, a fixed dental bridge, or a removable denture.

-Protect Against Teeth Displacement. One of the main functions of an athletic mouthguard is to cushion any trauma that occurs around your teeth area. If you are hit in the face by a baseball when not wearing an athletic mouthguard, the tooth may not fracture but it could loosen your tooth and make it mobile or even fall out. A dentist may need to splint your teeth together to allow the tooth to heal on its own. Proper treatment should help lessen the chances of  permanent loss of the affected tooth.

-Protect Against Knocking A Tooth Out. Blunt force trauma can literally knock a tooth out of its socket. This is called an avulsed tooth. Fortunately, if cared for properly and placed back in as soon as possible there is a chance of the tooth being saved. An athletic mouthguard decreases the chance of  this from even happening.

-Possibly Protect Against Concussions. These types of injuries are all over the news of late with big time sports stars lives irrevocably damaged due to multiple concussions. Recent research has shown that wearing a well fitting athletic mouthguard may possibly lower the possibility of concussions. The athletic mouthguard acts as a cushion to lessen the force placed on the brain from contact sports. More research is needed for definitive proof.

-Protect The Lips, Tongue, and Cheeks. When undergoing trauma, we have a tendency to bite down. Without an athletic mouthguard in place, we tend to bite down on the soft tissues in and around the mouth. Athletic Mouthguards can keep you from damaging those softer tissues while enjoying your favorite activities.

-Protect Against Fractures Of The Jaw. Again, when undergoing trauma the force can be lessened by the cushion of the athletic mouthguard. Without that padding the force can break your jaw into pieces. A jaw fracture usually requires extensive surgery to repair.

Athletic Mouthguard Conclusion

A custom made athletic mouthguard costs more than a store bought one. The benefits of a custom athletic mouthguard are numerous. A poor fitting athletic guard may be a risk not worth taking.  Once a tooth is gone it is gone, concussion trauma causes long term issues, and jaw fractues are a huge concern. Why take the risk of damaging your beautiful smile? Or even your quality of life?

As summer gets underway, the oppressive heat can wreak havoc on our dental health. Dry climates and extreme heat can damage your teeth and surrounding tissues. High humidity causes excessive sweating and loss of hydration, also damaging oral tissues. Below are a list of some simple tips to keep you and your family healthy while having fun this summer.

Summertime Oral Care Tips

-Keep Hydrated. This helps stave off tooth decay and also protects your skin (lips) and gum tissues. Drink lots of water and stay away from sugary drinks. Lemonade is a summer favorite, but citric acid + sugar + dry mouth = tooth decay. Sucking on hard candies that are artificially sweetened or chewing on sugar-free gum (preferably xylitol) is ideal to help promote the production of saliva which can prevent tooth decay.

-Use Protection. Summer heat can cause dry, chapped lips. It is important to protect your lips with lip balm or lip gloss. Use products that provide moisture and SPF protection. It will also ward off possible skin cancer. Your lips are more susceptible to burning than most parts of your body, yet many people don’t even consider protecting them from the sun. Damage to the lips over an extended period of time can lead to skin cancer. Use a lip balm or lip gloss with an SPF of at least 15.

-Snack Wisely. A popular summer snack is fresh fruit. It is important to choose the right fruits to help your teeth. Watermelon is an excellent choice as it helps clean your mouth due to its high water content. On the other hand, citrus fruits are highly acidic and can cause tooth enamel erosion. If you choose citrus fruits, brush and rinse often to keep the acid from harming your teeth. Stay away from fruit gummies and roll ups as they will stick between the teeth and stay longer in a dry mouth causing in-between the teeth cavities.

-Humidify Your Home. To prevent our mouth and skin from drying out use a humidifier filled with distilled water. This will keep your lips from chapping and your mouth from drying out.

-Protect Your Teeth. Summertime includes playing outdoor sports. It is important to use a mouthguard for proper protection. Mouthguards are fairly inexpensive and can protect your teeth as well as your lips, cheeks, and gums. Wearing a mouthguard will also prevent grinding of teeth during play.

-Swim Wisely. Excessive swimming in a pool can erode and weaken our teeth. This is due to the high content of chlorine in most pools. On the other hand swimming in the ocean, can actually help decrease the oral bacteria. This is due to the oceans salt water content. If you choose swimming in a pool, remember to brush following swimming to limit damage from the pool’s chemicals.

-Pack healthy picnics/lunches. Try to limit sweets when you will be outdoors for an extended time. Chips are better than cookies, water is better than juice which is better than soda pop. Increase protein and decrease white carbohydrates. White carbs are broken down into sugars in the mouth immediately and can begin to break down enamel.

-Don’t Forget Breakfast. We tend to be a bit relaxed in the summer, but breakfast remains the most important meal of the day. When we skip breakfast we tend to snack on more unhealthy items throughout the morning. If you start with a healthy breakfast, and brush after, you won’t be tempted to cheat.

Summertime Smile Conclusion

Summertime presents its own challenges in maintenance of your smile. Understanding the above information can help you make good choices to help yourself and your family to get through summer cavity free. The above tips will help you to maintain your dental health while having a fun summer and continue your excellent dental health throughout the year.

 

Summer is finally here! As the weather begins to heat up, most of us spend more time participating in outdoor activities. Different activities like Tennis, horseback riding, basketball, and swimming. As we have all of this fun, there are a few precautions one should take to protect their oral health. Protecting yourself will make the summer safer and much more fun.

Summer Smile Protection Tips

1. Sports Mouthguards – As we do more physical activities, we need to think about our teeth, just like our skin needs protection from the sun, our teeth need protection from trauma. Approximately 40% of all sports related injuries involve the head, more precisely, the face.Having your dentist fabricate a custom made athletic mouthguard, will decrease your risk of tooth loss from trauma significantly. Research has also shown that these athletic mouthguards can also lower the risks of a concussion, as well as, enhance your athletic performance by helping maintain airway and more efficient breathing.

2. Sports Drinks – Sports drinks (like gatorade) have become extremely popular beverages even for non athletes, but they can also be damaging to our smiles. Most sport drinks contain a high content of sugar and are highly acidic. Consumption of too many sports drinks can lead to tooth decay and tooth enamel erosion. If you choose to drink sports drinks during activity, keep a limit on them, drink plain water in between, and practice proper oral hygiene to keep the acids and sugars from attacking your teeth. Remember, sport drinks are made to replace what your body loses during extreme sweating and exertion, they are not meant to be a beverage consumed with lunch. Use them properly and you will not suffer the damage that they can incur.

3. Drinking Water – Water is great for your body, skin,and your teeth. Choose pure water with no added flavors or carbonation and you will not have to worry about demineralizing your teeth, many of the additives can cause tooth enamel breakdown. Water can also help by flushing away food particles and bacteria, keeping your mouth clean and fresh. The simple act of drinking water helps to maintain oral hygiene.  Maintaining good oral hygiene also includes proper brushing, flossing, and use of an antibacterial mouthrinse. Following a good oral hygiene program should always include staying properly hydrated. The best part about water is you can drink it any time with no side effects. It is truly the perfect drink for your entire body.

4. Swimming and chlorine- Swimming in your pool is a great way to exercise and spend time with your family and friends. The swimming pool contains chlorine, a very hazardous chemical, which can cause damage to your teeth even when levels are properly monitored.  Spending a lot of time in a pool with poorly maintained chemical levels can cause permanent damage to your teeth’s enamel. Water that is over chlorinated (such as many community pools) may cause tooth enamel erosion and  permanent staining of teeth. The tooth surface is directly affected by harsh chemicals, such as acid, causing the enamel to erode, thin, breakdown, and stain. When there are high levels of chlorine in the pool, the water becomes more acidic. Continuous exposure to acid can cause the damage to begin and subsequently progress.

5. Chewing Gum - Chewing a sugar free gum containing xylitol is a great way to protect your teeth. Gum chewing helps to increase the production of saliva in the mouth. Saliva helps keep the mouth neutral, or balanced. The addition of xylitol to the saliva helps this balance at another level.  Xylitol  cannot be converted to acids by oral bacteria, so it helps to maintain a proper alkaline/acid balance in your mouth. Chewing gum also helps satisfy your snacking desire, which may be a great way to decrease the intake of junk food snacks for you and your children.

Conclusion

We all look forward to Summer and enjoying the great weather. Now it is time to enjoy it fully, without suffering from it for the rest of the year. Be aware of the hazards, and be prepared for you and your family. Taking care of you and your family will make this the best summer yet!  Have a happy, healthy summer!