Tips for Avoiding Mouth/Tooth Injuries in Sports
Playing sports can make you more vulnerable to damaging your mouth and teeth. Approximately 80% of dental injuries are related to damage to the tongue, lips, cheeks and teeth. About 40% of dental injuries in adults happen when playing sports. Besides being quite painful, these injuries can also be a hassle to fix. Here are some easy general tips to follow to help prevent injury like these while playing sports.
The best way to protect teeth during sports is by wearing a mouth guard. A mouth guard is easy to insert and is often custom fit to your mouth to be worn over your teeth. Mouth guards are easy to take in and out, and most people forget they are there during the game. Mouth guards protect your cheeks if you have braces as well. To ensure the highest protection possible, make sure the mouth guard fits correctly so it will not slide around and potentially cause injury during contact.
Dentists recommend also wearing a helmet or a face cage during contact sports. This protects against trauma to your head and face. Helmets might not always protect your mouth, but can make it more difficult to injure your teeth. The face mask and helmet should custom fit you and your sport. Face cages are very important during sports where the game ball might come straight for your mouth, like baseball or hockey.
Regular care check ups will help keep teeth and gums healthy. You should see the dentist every six months for a regular cleaning and examination. This keeps gums and teeth healthy and allows the dentist to detect any problems. Cavities and gum disease over time can cause your teeth to lose strength. Your dentist can also fit you with a custom mouth guard during a regular check up.
Keeping your teeth strong means also staying away from popular sports drinks even when playing sports. The high sugar content can erode your teeth over time making them more susceptible to cavities, which can lead to decay and injury. Some say to brush your teeth immediately if you do have a sports drink, but this will only spread the acid over your entire mouth encouraging the erosion of your teeth and gums.
The “Baby Bottle” Tooth Decay Topic- Concern or Hype?
If you have children then you have probably heard the topic of “baby bottle” tooth decay come up at least once in conversation. Oftentimes the idea gets ignored and written off as a silly myth. However, there may be some cause for concern for parents with young children. Professionals who work in family dentistry may warn you of the dangers of infant or young child tooth decay. However, it is up to you to do your own research and decide what are the facts and the myths on the subject of “baby bottle” tooth decay.
“Baby bottle” tooth decay simply refers to tooth decay in infants and children. This tooth decay happens with sweetened or natural sugar liquids cling to the teeth for a long period of time. Acid is produced through bacteria in baby’s mouth and begins to decay the teeth.
Here are a few myths about baby bottle tooth decay.
- Baby bottle tooth decay only affects upper front teeth- Other teeth can be affected by tooth decay due to drinks pooling all over the mouth for extended period of time.
- Baby teeth are useless- this statement is very far from the truth. Baby teeth are placeholders for adult teeth. They also aid in chewing, speaking, and smiling.
- Tooth decay won’t cause discomfort to your child- Baby bottle tooth decay will cause pain for your child. If the condition goes untreated, infection can set in.
Surprised? Well here are a few facts about baby bottle tooth decay.
- Some of the crippling affects to a child who suffered tooth decay include speech problems and bad eating habits.
- Adult teeth have a significantly increased risked of coming in crooked.
- Baby bottle tooth decay may eventually cause middle ear infections.
There are easy ways to avoid baby bottle tooth decay that include;
- Wipe your baby’s gums with a damp cloth after feedings
- Don’t allow your child to fall asleep with a bottle in their mouth
- Start brushing your child’s teeth with water once the first tooth comes in
- Don’t dip a pacifier in sugar, syrup, or anything sweet
- Limit your child’s sugar intake
For more information on baby bottle tooth decay, talk to your family dentistry professional or visit Webmd.com and Dr-v.org. It’s never too late to end bad habits and have your child on the road to better oral health for now and for the future.
Energy Drinks and How They Can Affect Your Teeth
Energy drinks are both all the rage among young people, and it some circles they are causing concern and debate about their potential health hazards.
With all positive and negative points aside, energy drinks can have a harmful affect on your teeth with excessive exposure.
To speak simply, regular routine care of your teeth includes taking a step beyond simple brushing, flossing and rinsing. Routine care also involves paying attention to what may be coming in contact with your teeth in the first place. We all know it is a good idea to brush after meals, and it is definitely a smart move to brush or at least swish with water after drinking a sugary soda. Many people fail to realize just how much sugar is lurking in those energy drinks.
You would never slurp down a can or two of soda and think you weren’t essentially bathing your teeth in sugar — everyone knows carbonated beverages taste great, but can impact the health of enamel on your teeth. And you certainly would never eat sugar by the spoonful without then brushing it off those pearly whites, right? Well then think about this little statistic: an average energy drink contains around 50 grams of sugar. That is just about the equivalent of FOURTEEN SPOONFULS of PURE SUGAR!
So if energy drinks are a part of your daily routine, make sure you take the routine care of your teeth up a notch. It is imperative that you at least swish with water after finishing off an energy drink, and make sure to brush as soon as you can. There is nothing at all wrong with enjoying these types of beverages from time to time, but you have to know that your teeth might not be enjoying them quite as much as your tongue!
Tips for Dealing with Sensitive Teeth
If you are experiencing sensitivity of your teeth, here are four simple tips to eliminate discomfort and experience your favorite foods once again.
1. Use toothpaste that is made for sensitive teeth. Toothpaste for sensitive teeth is going to have the ability to mitigate sensitivities related to cold or hot water and how the nerves surrounding your teeth react.
2. Visit your dental care provider for a fluoride treatment. Fluoride will help to make your teeth stronger and improve the level of sensitivity you might be experiencing. This is not a complete fix for everyone experience teeth sensitivity; however, a conversation and visit with your dentist can identify which approach is best for you.
3. Identify if a special enamel coating on your teeth is necessary. This coating, when applied, is able to cover the grooves, cracks or spaces that might be causing sensitivity in your teeth. If you dentist recommends an enamel coating, this might be one approach to enjoy certain foods and drinks with ease.
4. Always practice proper dental hygiene. This is the best way that you are going to be able to reduce the chances of having any sensitive teeth. Even if you have existing sensitivity, you can find ways to maintain or treat it so that it does not become any worse. Routine dental hygiene keeps your teeth in their healthiest form, which eliminates causes of discomfort like teeth sensitivity.
Dental Health & Pregnancy
Pregnancy is usually rife with plenty of changes in a woman’s body, so it’s no surprise that dental health is affected, as well. Having general dentistry done at this time can be just as crucial, and maybe even more so because of increased hormones.
It’s a fact that pregnancy hormones can cause not only gum problems but also increased acidity, leading to cavities, and even loose teeth. Increased estrogen and testosterone can loosen ligaments and bones. Vomiting can also increase more acid in the mouth, leading to dental cavities. There are things a woman can do though, to keep her teeth and gums healthy during pregnancy.
According to the Mayo Clinic, a woman should stick to the basics, for one thing. Brush at least twice a day, with a soft-bristled brush, floss daily, and use a fluoride mouthwash. Some extra precautions include rinsing with baking soda and water to decrease acidic saliva if a woman’s vomiting a lot. Get a dental exam, both before and during pregnancy to head off problems.
Wed MD suggests waiting until the second trimester of a woman’s pregnancy before getting exams, because this is the crucial time for a developing fetus. Also, stay away from dental x-rays to protect the growing fetus. If morning sickness is a problem, a woman should switch to bland toothpaste, and if possible, brushing teeth after vomiting can help. Avoid sugary snacks during pregnancy, because not only will they increase cavities, but also bacteria can be transferred from mother to child, thus increasing the chances of the fetus having dental problems.
A woman can also have dental problems after pregnancy, especially if she hasn’t taken care of her teeth during pregnancy. Gingivitis, pregnancy tumors, which are growths that develop inside the mouth, and enlargement of the gums, can increase or worsen. Getting regular checkups and cleanings during pregnancy, as well as basic general dentistry, will ensure a woman has healthy teeth during and after pregnancy.
Teeth Grinding Can Impact Your Health
You may have experiencing someone grinding his or her teeth, most likely during sleep. This condition clinically referred to as bruxism can be defined as an act where one consciously or unconsciously grinds and clenches his or her teeth whether during the day or while sleeping. General dentistry notes that this is not only a medical but also dental problem, bearing in mind that it affects both the teeth and the adjust structures including the head.
Bruxism or teeth can be mild and thus require no treatment or on the other hand this condition may be severe enough to the point of causing jaw disorders, damaged teeth, headaches or other problems. However, most people with bruxism are unaware of it, since it happens during the night when one is asleep. To avoid bruxism developing to the point where other problems arise it is imperative that one understands earlier signs and symptoms related to this condition.
Signs and symptoms
- Teeth are flattened, worn down, chipped or fractured
- Tired jaw muscles
- Worn teeth enamel, that expose deeper layers of the teeth
- Teeth clenching and/or grinding that may be loud enough to awaken your partner
- Chronic facial pain
- Indentation of the tongue
- Increased teeth sensitivity
Common causes of teeth grinding or bruxism may include:
Stress–according to research, stress is the most common cause for bruxism. As a matter of factor most doctors and dentists believe that stress contribute to over half of all the reported cases of bruxism. Stress as we all know can disrupt one’s sleep cycle. This may have many effects including unconscious grinding of teeth particularly when sleeping.
Suppressed anger and frustrations–you may relate to clenching your teeth when you become angry with someone. Though this is more rare, psychologists believe that suppressed anger or frustrations may trigger and/or lead to bruxism. Suppressed anger is fury to those who cannot let it out. This is in most cases hard to manage. People suffering this problem should seek the help of a psychiatrist.
Abnormal teeth alignment–specifically among the lower and the upper teeth or malocclusion is one of the physical causes of bruxism. Dentists believe that this may lead to involuntary grinding of the teeth as sliding over each other.
Other causes may or may not include: aggressive personality, teeth and jaw growth and development.
How Tobacco Products Can Impact Your Dental Health
Most people associate tobacco use with different kinds of cancer, such as lung cancer. However, using different tobacco products can cause many different issues, especially within the mouth. There are many concerns within the scope of general dentistry, all of which can be avoided by not using tobacco products.
The first on this list is periodontal disease, otherwise known as gum disease. When people smoke or use smokeless tobacco, they are four times as likely to develop gum disease, as opposed to someone who does not use tobacco.
Another impact is increased tooth loss. People who smoke are twice as likely to lose their teeth when compared with someone who does not use any type of tobacco products.
Eventually, people who use tobacco, in any of its forms, will have stained teeth. Teeth that are stained are unattractive and can cause people to have self-confidence problems.
Another concern within the scope of general dentistry is bad breath. Brushing the teeth or rinsing with mouthwash can temporarily remedy bad breath, otherwise known as halitosis. However, the fix is short lived, and once the tobacco enters the mouth or lungs again, all bets are off.
In addition to cancer of the lung, there are other forms associated with tobacco use as well. Some of these forms of cancer include throat and oral, both of which are usually linked to tobacco use.
Finally, the tongue can also be a victim of different types of tobacco use. Using tobacco products can cause the tongue to turn different colors, such as black or yellow, and give it the appearance of having hair.
It is important to remember that using tobacco products can have a serious impact on your entire body. The well-known cancer types and heart disease are only the tip of the iceberg. In reality, within the scope of general dentistry, tobacco products can do immeasurable damage to the mouth as a whole, and once the issues are there, they may be irreversible. The best way to not develop these problems is by not using tobacco products at all.
Manual vs. Electric Toothbrush- Which Is Best for You?
Given the bewildering number and types of toothbrushes available on the market today, it is important for consumers to have a basic knowledge of the types of toothbrushes and their respective advantages. A handheld or manual toothbrush, typically a flexible plastic handle for gripping with an angled bristle head at one end, is still the most commonly used toothbrush, but various types of electric toothbrushes are gaining market share.
The first point to make here is that both manual and electric toothbrushes do a good job in the routine care of your teeth and gums if used correctly. That said; let’s take a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of both kinds of toothbrushes.
A regular plastic toothbrush is very inexpensive, and can be bought at almost any grocery store or pharmacy/drug store. Electric toothbrushes start at $12-15 and fancy models can cost more than $100.
A manual toothbrush is also very convenient, they take up almost no space and you can carry one with you in your purse or backpack. Electric toothbrushes are significantly more bulky, and although most have battery packs that last for quite a bit of use, it will eventually have to be recharged and/or have the battery replaced.
Manual toothbrushes also allow users to have better control of how hard they are brushing. The rapid mechanical action of electric toothbrushes makes it more likely that you will brush too hard, which can lead to damaging the enamel of your teeth or even discoloration.
Modern electric toothbrushes with rotating-oscillating bristles do offer one significant over manual (or older electric) toothbrushes – they clean the teeth better. A number of studies have shown that regular use of an electric toothbrush with rotating-oscillating bristles provide optimum plaque removal.
Another advantage of electric toothbrushes is for use by people with limited reach (i.e., those who are physically unable to use a manual toothbrush in the recommended fashion). Electric toothbrushes are very useful tools for senior citizens or disabled individuals, as the mechanical action of the electric toothbrush requires less strength and dexterity to get a reasonable degree of cleaning and plaque removal.
The truth is that either an electric or a manual toothbrush is perfectly fine for routine care of your teeth, but there is really no reason to deal with the overhead of using an electric toothbrush unless you are physically unable to brush correctly with a manual toothbrush.
Establishing a Dental Routine for Young Children
Parents often question when it is time to start incorporating good dental practices into their children’s daily routine and the answer is it is never too soon to discuss good dental hygiene. Even with infants before teeth erupt, you can use gauze pads to clean the gums. Your infant doesn’t need to start seeing a provider at your family dentistry office before he has teeth but starting this practice early gets both you and the baby used to making oral hygiene a routine.
Additional dental health tips to promote dental heath in children are:
Bottles at Bedtime
Avoid the temptation to bottle feed your baby to sleep. The milk coats the teeth and can greatly increase the potential for tooth decay. If you must bottle feed the baby to sleep or give them a bottle in the middle of the night, use only water in the bottle.
Brush, Brush, Brush
Brushing your child’s teeth should be incorporated into the daily routine with brushing occurring both morning and evening before bed. If possible, brushing after meals or after sugary snacks can be implemented. Use fluoridated toothpaste and only a small pea sized amount. While the child is young, brush their teeth for them but when he reaches roughly 18 months old, you can let them hold the brush and attempt to brush and encourage their efforts. Following their attempt, you will need to perform a complete brushing after. This engages the child in the activity. A child is often not able to do a good job of brushing their own teeth until they are between the ages of 7 and 9.
Sugar creates an acidic environment and it takes the saliva a full 30 minutes to neutralize the acid. The more sugar your child eats, the greater the likelihood for decay. Keep in mind that sugar is not only considered candy — fruits contain large amounts of sugar, many snacks such as raisins are high in sugar and many fruit drinks marketed for children contain large amounts of sugar.
Regular Dental Visits
Start routine dental visits with a dentist by the age of 2. There are many family dentistry offices that can see both you and your child. Regular visits with your dentist can stay on top of any issue before it turns into a bigger problem and can help establish a good rapport between the dentist and child.
Looking for a Whiter Smile?
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Whiter teeth can improve an already beautiful smile, boost confidence, and make you look and feel younger. If you are looking for a whiter smile, healthier-looking teeth can be easily achieved through a variety of simple teeth-whitening methods.
Consult a dentist
If this is your first time to whiten your teeth, you should consult a dentist beforehand to determine how your teeth might react to whitening. For instance, peroxide does not penetrate certain dental works, such as caps or crowns. As a result, the whitening would not take. Brighteners may also not reach internal stains on the tooth caused by certain antibiotics. Your visit to the dentist will help you determine the best method for brightening your smile.
There are plenty of natural teeth whitening alternatives to cosmetic dentistry.
Baking soda removes stains from your teeth with its abrasive particles that clean the surface. A chemical reaction between baking soda and water also lightens stains on the tooth. This baking soda method should be done no more than once a week to avoid damage to the enamel.
Certain foods also have natural cleaning power. Foods high in cellulose such as apples, carrots, and celery work as an abrasive to clean the teeth and get rid of stains. Green foods such as spinach and broccoli also have natural mineral compounds that create a film over the tooth to prevent stains from other foods.
If you are looking for a whiter smile, consider cosmetic dentistry and natural remedies—with the help of your dentist you can identify the approach best for you.