Everything you Need to Know About Mouth guards Imagine what would it be if you lost one or more of your teeth due to an injury? Not only will you have difficulty in eating and speaking but you will also have to face significant esthetic problems due to the missing teeth. So what can you do prevent dental injuries? One way would be to avoid any situation which may result in trauma to your teeth. However, this is not always possible as accidents can occur at any time. If you want your teeth and gums to be prevented from accidental damage, then you should consider wearing a mouthguard. What is a Mouthguard? Mouthguards, also known as mouth protectors are simple dental appliances that prevent teeth and gums from traumatic injuries by providing a cushion to any blow or impact force. Mouthguards are usually worn over the upper teeth, which are among the most common dental structures to get damaged due to trauma due to their forward placement. Who Should Wear a Mouthguard? Mouthguards should be worn by anyone who is at a greater risk of having dental emergencies. A mouthguard is recommended for you in the following cases: • Contact Sports – your facial structures are more prone to dental injuries if you like contact sports like football, soccer should wear a mouthguards while playing. • Non-contact/Recreational Sports – although there are less chances of dental injuries in non-contact sports like riding a bicycle, skateboarding or gymnastics, it’s best to prevent your teeth and gums by wearing a mouthguard. How Many Types of Mouthguards are There? • Stock Mouthguards – these are preformed and available in various sizes. However, since they do not provide optimal fit, breathing and speaking becomes difficult when they are worn. We do not recommend it. • Boil and Bite Mouthguards – These can be bought at various sports stores. They offer better fit and comfort in comparison to the stock protectors. Since they are prepared from thermoplastic materials, they are boiled and then placed inside the mouth to shape them according to the contour of the teeth. MAY CAUSE STRESS TO THE TMJ- LEADING TO SORENESS AND PAIN • Custom Mouthguards – these are individually prepared for each patient at the dentist’s office and provide the best fit and convenience. These mouth protectors are more expensive than the other two types and require longer time for fabrication BUT OFFER THE BEST AND SAFEST SOLUTION. Just like other parts of the body your teeth are also an asset, and you should make sure that you protect them at any cost. If you want to retain your natural teeth throughout life, then it would be a good idea to start wearing mouthguards to protect your oral soft and hard tissues from accidental damage. Other types of sports that you can use a mouthguard for: o American football o Boxing o Hockey o Basketball o Soccer o Baseball o Rugby If you need a custom mouthguard or splint […]
Pit and Fissure Sealants Apart from improving our looks and facial esthetics, one of the major functions of our teeth is to chew food and help in its digestion. Molars have wide chewing surfaces, and for efficient grinding of food these surfaces have what we call “pits and fissures”. Due to the presence of these depressions and elevations present on the surfaces of our back teeth surface, food particles tend to get trapped in, despite regular brushing. These pits and fissures which are helpful during chewing, tend to become troublesome under certain conditions. The disadvantage After we have eaten, food particles are more likely to adhere to these tooth surfaces trapped within the pits and fissures. Because of their uneven shape and rear-ward location, these surfaces are more difficult to clean. Bacteria get time to convert these food particles to acid which makes the local environment in the mouth more acidic. Enamel in these pits and fissures tends to get demineralized. As a result, chewing surfaces of molars are more likely to develop cavities than other tooth surfaces. This is particularly true in case of children who have smaller sized molars, and may not clean their teeth properly. Dental sealants A popular and convenient solution is the use of dental sealants. Your dentist will decide whether sealants will benefit you. Children’s molars are often covered with dental sealants by their dentist or hygienist. These are, essentially, plastic shells painted onto molar surfaces. Since food does not come in contact with the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, dental sealants tend to eliminate the chances of developing childhood caries in the molar and premolar teeth. Application Procedure It is a very short, simple and painless procedure. The dentist or hygienist cleans the surfaces thoroughly and dries them. The liquid sealant is then applied so that it flows over the surfaces evening out the depressions well. When dried, and hardened with IR light, it forms a very thin seal over the surface. Dental pit and fissure sealants need to be replaced after 2-3 years. Important information Unless there is already a cavity on the tooth, your dentist or hygienist will suggest that you apply sealants on the child’s molars (adults can also get them). If it has not been suggested, you can always ask. Most dental insurances, including Medicaid, cover sealants. If you do not have dental insurance, do not worry. Sealants are usually inexpensive, and you can also plan it with your clinic to do 2 at a time. If you need a trusted pediatric dentist, browse our clinics or contact us to match you with one close to you. Was this helpful? Follow us on social media instagram and facebook
How Dental Cavities Form Your dentist must have told you that cavities are bad for your teeth! If you also happen to have teeth cavities, then you are not alone! According to the national Institute of Dental and Cranio-facial Research (NIDCR), about 92% of all adults from 20 to 64 years of age have had cavities in their permanent teeth at some stage in their life. In addition, dental caries is the most common chronic illness in children! Now, before we learn how to prevent cavities, we need to understand, how cavities are formed? Here we go! The plaque Dental plaque is a sticky layer which keeps building up on your teeth all the time. Brushing and flossing removes plaque from most of the surface of your teeth. When plaque is allowed to accumulate onto teeth, it becomes hard and turn into dental calculus. Both plaque and calculus serves as a sanctuary for growth of malicious bacteria. Role of Bacteria in Demineralization of Teeth Dental Enamel, the hardest outer covering on your teeth is a crystalline mineral substance that protects your teeth from cavities and demineralization. When you ignore regular brushing and flossing, bacteria inside the plaque and calculus start producing acidic products and make the saliva less alkaline. Under normal circumstances, the pH of saliva is alkaline and it helps the enamel retain its mineral crystals by carefully maintaining a balance between bone resorption and bone formation. When saliva becomes less basic, the enamel starts losing its mineral content due to bone resorption. What Happens When Tooth Demineralization Occurs? When teeth start losing their mineral content, they become soft and weak. Thus, the enamel layer of the teeth gradually starts to diminish and the underlying dentine and pulp layers are exposed, causing sensitivity and making the teeth vulnerable to dental infections. Gradually, cavities start forming in places where tooth enamel has been depleted. So, how is it my fault? Daily brushing and flossing will keep the possibility of cavity formation low. However, plaque may still form in difficult-to-clean places. To prevent teeth cavities, gum and periodontal infections, you must make sure that you take out time for a dental checkup every 6 months. You miss any of these two and you stand risk of developing cavities. Another important factor for the health of your teeth is nutrition. Everything we eat will have an effect on both our oral health and our overall health. Foods high in sugar, and acid are detrimental for our teeth. Limit the consumption if you are unable to eliminate it. Although it may sound cliché, you will notice a difference if you commit to diminishing the amount of sugar and acid that you intake. Cavities in Kids It is surprising and sad how much misconception or lack of knowledge there still is on children and cavities. Perhaps we have not done enough as community leaders and as a dental profession to propagate the message. As a clinician, I often hear things like “ I didn’t […]
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