Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Smile Protection: The Dental Connection!

If you participate in sports or other physical activities, it is wise to consider getting a mouthguard.  Also known as mouth protectors, mouthguards are a device worn over the teeth to lessen the impact of a blow to the face.

This reduces the chance that you might lose teeth or sustain other serious oral injuries.  It is recommended that all patients involved in a contact sport such as wrestling, football, basketball, or hockey wear a mouthguard because of the high risk of such injuries.

However, anyone involved in a physically demanding sport or activity should wear a mouthguard as well.  Can you imagine what it would be like to lose a few of your front teeth?  The way that you talk, eat, and smile would all change.  Potential injuries when you don't wear a mouthguard include chipped and broken teeth, fractured jaws, root damage, damage to crowns and bridgework, concussions, and/or injury to the lips, cheeks, or gums.

There are different kinds of mouthguards - typically made of a soft plastic material or laminate.   You can decide which works best for you in terms of budget, fit, and comfort.

STOCK MOUTHGUARDS are fabricated to a standard size.  They offer adequate protection, but you need to make sure that you find one that fits properly and comfortably.  Stock mouthguards are readily available at department stores, sporting goods stores, and online.

BOIL-AND-BITE MOUTHGUARDS are placed in boiling water to soften them, then into the mouth so they can conform to the shape of the teeth.  Boil-and-bite mouthguards are more expensive, but offer a more customized fit than stock ones.  You can find these in department stores, pharmacies, sporting good stores, and online.

CUSTOM-MADE MOUTHGUARDS are created and are a custom fit for your mouth and teeth. These offer the best fit and comfort of all of the options, but since they are usually the most expensive, we have decided to reduce the usual fee associated with the custom guards because the importance of guard in providing safety for your teeth truly outweighs the cost of the appliance.

The American Dental Association says a good mouthguard should be easy to clean, fit properly, be comfortable, and resist tearing or damage.  It should also not restrict speech or breathing.

If you have any questions or are in need of a dental appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Friday, April 20, 2018

FIVE: The Dental Connection!

Most people know when they have a cavity because they can see it visually or by the sensation of discomfort! But there are certain things that many patients don't know about cavities that could save them from a trip for another dental restoration! Check out these FIVE things that can be associated with an elevated risk for cavities.

    • It is quite well known that eating dietary sugars in excess along with poor dental hygiene leads to dental decay such as cavities.  This is due to the fact that the bacteria in your mouth feed on these sugars and excrete acids as a byproduct of that process, which causes decay.  But xylitol, a sugar alcohol derived from birch or corn, actually prevents bacteria from converting sugar into acids.
    • Xylitol is available in the form of gum, mints, toothpaste, and even in a granulated form much like cane sugar.  You might consider trying some xylitol products between meals to keep your mouth clean and fresh.
    • Are you a grazer, always snacking between meals?  It is now known that this kind of eating can contribute to cavities and other oral health problems.
    • Every time you eat anything with carbohydrates in it, you are feeding the bacteria in your mouth, which in turn produce acids.  Constantly eating or sipping on sugar laden beverages does not allow your saliva time to bring the pH of your mouth back into a more alkaline, neutral state.  It takes about 20 minutes to neutralize the acids in your mouth after eating.
    • Although most patients are aware of the need to brush their teeth to prevent dental decay, many people view flossing as a technique that solely prevents gum disease.  While flossing does decrease the incidence of gum disease, it is also one of the easiest and best ways to remove food debris that remains between your teeth, which the bacteria convert to acid.  Brushing alone, does NOT remove any bacteria where the teeth contact.
    • The saliva is the best defense against tooth decay!  Saliva has a neutralizing effect on the acids that the bacteria produce.  So, if you have a dry mouth from either medications, medical conditions, or simple aging, it is best to sip on plain water.  Xylitol mints, gum or products like Biotene can also help with salivary production and lubrication.  Unfortunately, a dry mouth can quickly lead to non-restorable root decay!
    • Brushing like a construction worker with a jackhammer can cause more harm than good!  Brushing too hard can actually thin your teeth's enamel over time, which can leave them more susceptible to decay.   While it is now believed that it takes a full two minutes of correct brushing to remove the sticky bacterial film coating that forms daily on your teeth, most people brush for 30-45 seconds once daily.  The key is to brush longer, NOT harder for a full two minutes twice daily! 

If you have any questions or are in need a dental appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Friday, April 6, 2018

Implants: Now & Later: The Dental Connection!

Implants are a common replacement option utilized in modern dentistry these days. However, the dental profession is strongly based on the notion that prevention is the best remedy! For instance, flossing daily helps reduce the risks for gum disease and cavities between the teeth.  And, brushing two minutes twice daily, decreases the overall bacterial count in the mouth, which also reduces the risks for tooth decay. With Prevention as the key...


If you have any questions or are in need of a dental appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,