Dental Tips Blog


Sports Guards for Kids: Why Your Child Athlete Needs One

Posted in Mouth Guards

More and more kids are playing sports and trying to maintain active lifestyles.  A downside to your child being athletic is that they run the potential of a sports-related injury. The good news is that some mouth and head injuries can be prevented if your child wears a sports guard while they are participating in their activity.

What are some reasons why your athletic child should wear a sports guard during sport activities?

  • Prevents teeth from being knocked out
  • May help to prevent a concussion
  • Can prevent injuries to your child’s jaw
  • Prevent your child’s teeth from chipping or cracking
  • Protects soft tissues inside your child’s mouth

What kind of sports guard should your child wear?

There are three different options for mouth guards.  The first two options are the stock mouth protector (the least expensive option and they are a “one size fits all” guard) and the boil and bite mouth guard (heat them and then they form around your teeth).  Both of these options are less expensive and they offer very little protection, if any, to your child’s teeth and jaw from injuries. Dentists do not recommend these types of sports guards, because they easily fall out or fail to protect the teeth adequately.

Third, is the Custom-fitted sports guard.  Dentists recommend these because they offer the most protection and comfort.  These are made in your child’s dental office or sent off to a dental laboratory to specifically fit your child’s teeth. Although they require a bit more of an investment, they provide much better results.

Are you interested in getting your child athlete a sports guard?  Call your child’s dentist to schedule a sports guard consultation today!

Posted on behalf of:
Modern Family Dental Care
8505 Davis Lake Pkwy, Suite AB-3
Charlotte, NC 28269
(980) 248-2083


4 Reasons Why Your Child Needs to Wear an Athletic Mouth Guard

Posted in Mouth Guards

Many great lessons can be learned when your child plays sports.  While playing sports has some benefits, there are also some risks to consider.  Specifically, your mouth and surrounding structures are at risk for injuries.  The best solution for this is to have your child wear an athletic mouth guard while playing sports.

Here are 4 reasons why your child needs to wear an athletic mouth guard:

1)      Protection of soft tissue and fracturing of the jaw- Mouth guards can protect against biting through the tongue and lips or injuring the inside of the cheek.  In addition, if your child gets hit in the jaw, the plastic mouth guard will be padding between the teeth to help protect your jaw from getting a fracture.

2)      Protection against fracturing teeth– The padding on the mouth guard functions to protect the teeth from cracking/fracturing.

3)      Prevention of a tooth being knocked out– When a tooth gets knocked out, it is painful physically.  It also can be painful your child’s self-esteem by having a missing tooth.  This can all be prevented by wearing a mouth guard.

4)      Cost Effective– A mouth guard is a good investment. When compared to the expense of all the potential medical and dental costs from mouth injuries, mouth guards are at a more affordable price.

Is your child currently playing in sports?  Visit your dentist to have an athletic mouth guard made specifically for your child’s teeth.  As you can see, there are many important reasons why children should wear a mouth guard when they are actively participating in sports.  Call your dentist today!

Posted on behalf of:
Kennesaw Mountain Dental Associates
1815 Old 41 Hwy NW #310
Kennesaw, GA 30152
(770) 927-7751


Night Guards Can Save Your Smile

Posted in Mouth Guards

Clinching and/or grinding your teeth can cause all kinds of problems with your teeth, the muscles in your face, and the joint in your jaw (TMJ).  Clinching is when you clamp your teeth together and grinding is when you put your teeth together like when you chew, only you are not chewing any food.

The dental term for grinding or clinching your teeth is bruxism.  How do you know if you are bruxing?  Often, people brux their teeth without realizing they are doing it.  Stress is a major reason why people brux their teeth.  Some ways you can tell that you are bruxing are:

  • Waking up in the morning with sore facial muscles or your joint in your jaw (TMJ) feels sore
  • The biting surfaces of your teeth are worn down

When you brux, you are putting excess force on your teeth, which can cause your teeth to chip, crack and/or break apart.  One way to know you might have a crack in your tooth, is when you have pain in that tooth upon chewing.

When you have a large chip, crack (fracture), or a broken tooth, you will need to have that tooth restored with crowns, onlays and potentially, root canals and/or dental implants to prevent it from being lost altogether.

What can be done to protect your teeth from bruxism?   Visit your dentist.  He/she will examine your teeth and discuss bruxism with you.  If you are diagnosed with bruxism, your dentist will most likely create a night guard (called a bruxism guard) that will be made specifically for your teeth to protect them from the wear and tear of bruxing.  As a result, you will protect your attractive smile!

Posted on behalf of:
Touchstone Dentistry
2441 FM 646 W Suite A
Dickinson, TX 77539
(832) 769-5202


Sleep Apnea Induced Grinding

Posted in Mouth Guards

What do sleeping patterns have to do with your smile? Is sleep apnea something you need to discuss with your dentist? Interestingly, there is a significant connection between your breathing difficulties while sleeping and the future of your teeth.

The Effects of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea can lead to heart problems, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, or even just headaches. Another common side-effect is bruxism. Bruxism is the habit, conscious or unconscious, of grinding and clenching the teeth. This habit often occurs at night during sleep and can be a result of stress. Your brain gets a little panicky from the lack of oxygen, so it signals your jaw to move more to open up the airways. This motion could be putting extra pressure on your teeth.

Bruxism can be deadly to your teeth because it causes unnatural stressors to be placed on them. This tension causes premature wear and increases your chances of tooth fracture. The pressure can also damage crowns and fracture fillings, resulting in early failure. The tension can strain the TMJ, so sleep apnea could also lead to jaw pain and disorders of the joint.

Protect Your Teeth From Stress

If your teeth are suffering from the effects of chronic grinding and clenching, then a protective oral appliance is the best. A specially fitted mouthguard can be fabricated to protect your teeth and dental work. This mouthguard is worn only at night (while you are sleeping) when apnea and bruxism occur. Or, an oral sleep apnea appliance can protect your teeth as well as enhance the flow of air while you rest. This in turn reduces the clenching and grinding.

If you are currently dealing with sleep apnea, then you certainly don’t want to add dental concerns on top of that. Talk to your dentist about the best options for protecting your smile if your teeth are at risk from the effects of sleep apnea.

Posted on behalf of:
Pleasant Plains Dental
5850 W Hwy 74 #135
Indian Trail, NC 28079
(704) 815-5513


Prevent Concussions with a Trip to the Dentist

Posted in Mouth Guards

Are you an athlete? Does your child play baseball or soccer? Perhaps you’ve heard about how important it is to wear a mouthguard during active or contact sports, but did you know that it could do more than just potentially save your smile? Custom fitted mouth guards have long been used to protect against broken and chipped teeth but most people are completely shocked to hear what else a custom guard protects against: concussions.

That’s right! A properly fitted, professionally made mouthguard can prevent concussions from happening during a sporting related accident. How? Because the thick acrylic of the guard prevents the mandible from impacting itself into the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) during a traumatic injury. In turn, this also prevents the skull from absorbing any excess shock from forces caused by the mandible being jolted back.

A properly fitted mouthguard will stay in place comfortably whether you are talking, rehydrating or actively moving around. It should not pop in and out of place when opening or closing your mouth. Your dentist can create a customized guard as easily as taking an impression of your mouth. Made of smooth, comfortable acrylic – the guard doesn’t become distracting from the focus you need on the game.

Not all mouthguards are created the same. A custom designed guard will fit in place securely, preventing it from coming out during an accident or injury and also protecting from subsequent trauma. Over the counter guards can’t do that, and most people find them too uncomfortable to even keep in during their entire activity. If you are serious about having a safer athletic experience, talk to your dentist today about having a custom guard made.

Posted on behalf of:
Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD
1820 The Exchange SE #600
Atlanta, GA 30339


Do Over the Counter Sports Guards Work?

Posted in Mouth Guards

If you or your child is an athlete, you’ve most likely looked into wearing a mouth guard during your activities. Some sports organizations and teams even require mouth guards to be worn in order to participate. Although the type of guard purchased (over the counter vs. Custom made) isn’t specified, they are significantly different.

Over the counter guards are “one size fits most” or “boil and bite.” That means that in most cases, the majority of people can wear them or find them to be semi-comfortable. Boil and bite guards offer a “custom fit” in that they will slightly conform to the shape of your smile, but this is nothing like what you get out of a professionally made mouth guard. In fact, many of these guards still come out during accidental force or injury, putting you at risk for a secondary injury.

Custom mouth guards are made from an exact impression of your mouth, then handcrafted to fit snuggly around the anatomy of your smile. They don’t just pop in and out; they stay in place at all times. You could experience a hit and then a fall, and the guard would stay put the whole time. An over the counter guard can’t do that.

Not only that, but custom-made guards can actually prevent concussions from happening. That’s because of their unique design and ability to prevent secondary forces. An over the counter guard cannot do this, and many athletes suffer from concussions due to secondary trauma.

Investing in a custom sport guard is one of the best pieces of insurance you can have for you or your athlete’s smile.

Posted on behalf of:
Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD
1820 The Exchange SE #600
Atlanta, GA 30339


When Sporting Accidents Injure Your Tooth

Posted in Mouth Guards

It’s all fun and games when you’re enjoying a recreational or sporting activity…until you get hurt. Believe it or not, as many as 90% of sporting related accidents affect the upper front teeth. Teeth can be broken, chipped, or shoved out of place. Not to mention lips and gum tissue can be lacerated. It’s important to know what to do if and when a dental injury happens to you or a friend.

If a portion of the tooth has broken off…find it! Keep the piece inside of a container of water (or milk if it’s available) until you can get to the dental office. Most dentists have an emergency line that they can be reached on if it’s after hours or over the weekend. Your dentist can also help stitch a busted lip if you need it. Emergency rooms may be equipped to handle facial lacerations, but they don’t handle teeth!

Maybe nothing seems wrong with your mouth, but you hit it pretty hard. If you’re not experiencing any pain, it may be ok to monitor the situation before calling your dentist. If the teeth are mobile, begin to turn dark, or form an abscess near the gums – call your dentist right away.

The best way to prevent sports related dental injuries is by wearing a custom mouthguard. Custom made guards are more effective, fit better, and more comfortable to wear than stock guards purchased at the drug store. These guards can also reduce the chance of concussion. All that’s needed to get started is an impression of your mouth. In just a few days, your custom device will be ready to go. It’s one of the best pieces of dental insurance a person can invest in.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Scott Merritt, BridgeMill Dentistry



Reducing Concussion Risks in Athletes – With a Dental Appliance!

Posted in Mouth Guards

Athletes are often concerned with preventing serious injury from occurring during their activities. That’s why sports teams and schools often require protective equipment such as guards or pads to be worn, depending on what type of activity is happening. We often seek to protect the skull with a helmet, but another important piece of equipment that can prevent concussions is a professionally fitted mouth guard.

Athletic mouth guards that are professionally made have been proven to reduce the risk of not only dental fractures, but concussions as well. That’s because the guard keeps the jaw in a relationship with the rest of the skull so that it cannot be traumatically forced into the skull, resulting in a concussion. It also blocks trauma to the teeth, reducing lip lacerations and tooth fractures.

Custom fitted guards are much more effective than an over the counter mouth guard. For one, custom mouth guards will stay in place securely because they are made to wrap around each tooth and the arch of the mouth as it is made from a direct model of the patient’s teeth. Over the counter guards are simply one-size-fits-most, and are loosely fitted which will allow them to fall out after initial trauma takes place, making them ineffective at secondary trauma during the same accident. They also can’t reduce concussions, and are difficult to talk or drink water when they are being worn. Custom guards are very comfortable and will stay in place securely so that athletes can continue to talk, breathe easily, and even drink water when the guard is being worn.

Ask your dentist about custom sports guards. In most cases they can even be customized to match the colors of your school or team!

Posted on behalf of Dr. Scott Merritt, BridgeMill Dentistry



Mouth Guards From Your Dentist Offer the Best Protection and Comfort

If you or your child engages in any type of contact sport such as football, boxing, hockey, soccer, or lacrosse or any physical activity in which a fall is possible such as cycling, gymnastics, or skateboarding, a mouth guard is very important to protect your teeth from injury.  In the event of an accident, an mouth guard can help protect your lips, gums, and tongue as well as helping to prevent chipped or broken teeth or from having a tooth knocked out.

There are three basic types of mouth guards available for sporting and recreational activity.  Standard pre-formed mouth guards can be purchased at sporting goods stores or department stores.  These mouth guards are inexpensive, but offer little in the way of protection.  Since they are pre-formed, they do not closely conform to the shape of your teeth and gums.  They are bulky, uncomfortable, and can make breathing difficult.

A much more effective alternative are moldable “boil and bite” mouth guards made from thermoplastic material that is moldable when warm but retains its shape at body temperature. These mouth guards are placed in boiling water to soften, then you bite down on them softly and use your fingers and tongue to mold the guard around your teeth and gums.  These mouth guards are more effective at preventing injuries and are much more comfortable than pre formed mouth guards and can also be purchased at most sporting goods stores.

The top of the line mouth guard that provided the best in protection and comfort is a mouth guard custom made by your dentist.  These custom made mouth guards are professionally made using an impression of your teeth.  They are more expensive than the other types of mouth guards, but they offer the ultimate in protection and comfort.

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