Dental Tips Blog

Nov
18

Types of Mouth Guards

Posted in Mouth Guards

Mouth guards are coverings worn in the mouth to protect teeth from injury during sports and from teeth grinding at night. Mouth guards have proven to be effective in protecting permanent teeth from irreversible damage. Children and adults are encouraged by dentists to wear mouth guards during any physical sport.

There are three common types of protective mouth guards:

1. Stock mouth guards are pre-formed and inexpensive. These can be found at most sporting goods stores in a variety of sizes and colors. While these types of mouth guards do come in many sizes, it is often difficult to get a perfect fit. Due to over bites, under bites, braces, misaligned teeth – stock mouth guards can not provide perfect protection if they do not fit well.

2. Boil and bite mouth guards can also be found at most sporting goods stores. This type of mouth guard is made of thermoplastic material that will soften in boiling water. After it comes out of the hot water, it is placed in the mouth and fitted to mold to teeth and gums. These types of mouth guards often provide more protection than stock mouth guards because they fit better in the mouth.

3. Custom-fitted mouth guards are the most customized option as they are individually made by a dentist. An impression of your mouth is taken and then a mouth guard is molded around the impression. Custom-fitted mouth guards are often the most successful at preventing irreversible damage, but they are also on the pricier end of the mouth guard spectrum.

No matter what option you choose to go with, your smile is worth it. Mouth guards play an important factor in protecting your smile.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Mitul Patel 

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Apr
25

Oral Piercings and Your Oral Health

Posted in Mouth Guards

Different types of oral piercings have been gaining popularity and are common to see on more and more people each day. Typically younger people tend to have these done, either in the tongue or on the lower lip. Most aren’t aware of specific concerns or dental complications that have the possibility of arising due to their new accessory. Apart from the initial discomfort or anxiety of having the procedure done, there are other factors that should be considered if you have, or are considering, an oral piercing.

Lip Piercings

Most lip piercings tend to be at a level where the backside of the stud comes into contact with the gums, or near the gumline of the closest tooth. In the beginning this may be completely harmless, but over a short period of time the frictional irritation in the area can actually cause the gums of the tooth to recede. Gum recession causes exposure of the root of the tooth, which results in sensitivity, poor appearance, and risk of severe damage that can cause tooth loss. This same anomaly is seen in dental patients that hold chew tobacco inside of their lower lip. Fortunately for tobacco users, the dip can be moved around to minimize the damage, but oral piercings cannot.

Tongue Piercings

The biggest concern of tongue piercings is the increased risk of tooth fractures. Highly accidental, the person often finds that they have bit down directly on the stud when chewing or biting their food, causing a large portion of their tooth to break off. Because the tongue is an extremely large muscle with a vast blood supply, there is also the risk of nerve damage, infection and swelling. Keep the piercing site clean and free of debris. Wearing an athletic mouth guard during sports or activities can help prevent the risk of broken teeth.

Posted on behalf of Springhill Dental Health Center

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Feb
25

Preventing Dental Injuries

Our teeth are designed to last us a lifetime.  With a few simple precautions, you can help avoid injury and accidents to your mouth and teeth.

One of the most common dental emergencies is a tooth that is knocked out while playing sports. If you participate in contact sports, or if you have a child who is active in sports such as football, soccer, or gymnastics, a simple step to help prevent tooth injury is wearing a dental mouthguard.  Mouth guards can be fitted by your local dentist for an accurate fit and comfort, and will help prevent permanent and catastrophic damage from occurring in case of injury.

Another simple step to take to help prevent injury to your teeth and mouth is to avoid chewing ‘hard items’.  Certain hard items, such as popcorn kernels, ice, or hard candy all have been known to crack a tooth.  If you or a member of your family has a strong craving for ice chewing all the time, you should contact your dentist or health care provider to discuss this.  Sometimes, these cravings can indicate other health problems.  Strong, abnormal cravings for consuming things with no food value is called pica.

A final and very important tip to help keep your mouth and teeth healthy is to never, ever use your teeth as ‘scissors’.  If you need to cut something, use scissors or a knife.  Never open packages with your mouth.  Placing items in your mouth that simply do not belong there is an easy way to permanently damage your mouth.

All of these steps are useless, though, if you are not brushing and flossing on a regular basis.  Always take the time to brush at least twice a day, and floss at least once a day.  See your dentist for regular examinations and cleanings.

If you do suffer an accident to your teeth, contact your dentist right away for an appointment.  He or she will work with you to correct the problem, and help preserve your teeth for the rest of your life!

Posted on the behalf of Kennesaw Mountain Dental Associates

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