For major-league slugger Giancarlo Stanton, 2014 was a record-breaking year. After the baseball season ended, he signed a 13-year, $325 million contract with the Miami Marlins — the biggest deal in sports history. But earlier that same year, Stanton suffered one of the worst accidents in baseball: He was hit in the face by an 88-mph fastball, sustaining multiple fractures, lacerations, and extensive dental damage.
After the accident, Stanton didn’t play for the remainder of the season. But now he’s back in Spring Training… and he’s got a not-so-secret weapon to help protect him against another injury: A custom-made face guard designed to absorb impacts and keep him from suffering further trauma.
As sports fans, we’re glad that Stanton was able to overcome his injury and get back in the game. As dentists, we’d like to remind you that you don’t have to be a major-league player to feel the harmful effects of a sports injury — and you don’t have to look far to find a way to protect yourself. In fact, you can get a custom-made mouthguard right here at the dental office.
Mouthguards have a long tradition in sports like football, boxing, and hockey. But did you know that far more Americans are injured every year playing “non-collision” sports like basketball, baseball — and even bicycling? And it doesn’t take a major-league fastball to cause a dental injury: The highest incidence of sports-related dental injuries occurs in 15-to-18-year-old males. In fact, about one-third of all dental injuries among children stem from various types of sports activities. These injuries may result in countless hours being lost from school and work, and cost significant sums for treatment and restoration.
Mouthguards have a proven track record in reducing dental and facial injuries: They are capable of absorbing the energy of a blow to the mouth, and dissipating it in a way that prevents damage to facial structures and teeth. But not all mouthguards are created equal: Custom-fabricated mouthguards, which are produced from an exact model of your mouth made right here in the dental office, offer by far the best protection. They fit better and safeguard the teeth more fully than any off-the-shelf or “boil-and-bite” type can. Plus, they’re more comfortable to wear. And let’s face it: No mouth guard can protect your teeth if you don’t wear it.
What’s more, some recent studies indicate that custom-made mouthguards may offer significant protection against concussion. An increasing awareness of the dangers that concussion may pose to athletes is one more reason why we recommend custom-made mouthguards to active people and their families.
To get his face guard, Giancarlo Stanton reportedly went to a specialist sporting-goods manufacturer in Illinois, and paid around $1,000. But you can get a custom-made mouthguard for yourself or your loved ones right at our office for a fraction of that price. And the peace of mind it can give you is… priceless.
If you have questions about custom-made mouthguards, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “An Introduction to Sports Injuries & Dentistry” and “Athletic Mouthguards.”
Unlike our primitive ancestors, our teeth have it relatively easy. Human diets today are much more refined than their counterparts from thousands of years ago. Ancient teeth recovered from those bygone eras bear that out, showing much more wear on average than modern teeth.
Even so, our modern teeth still wear as we age—sometimes at an accelerated rate. But while you can't eliminate wearing entirely, you can take steps to minimize it and preserve your teeth in your later years. Here are 3 things you can do to slow your teeth's wearing process.
Prevent dental disease. Healthy teeth endure quite well even while being subjected to daily biting forces produced when we eat. But teeth weakened by tooth decay are more susceptible to wear. To avoid this, you should practice daily brushing and flossing to remove disease-causing dental plaque. And see your dentist at least twice a year for more thorough dental cleanings and checkups.
Straighten your bite. A poor bite, where the top and bottom teeth don't fit together properly, isn't just an appearance problem—it could also cause accelerated tooth wear. Having your bite orthodontically corrected not only gives you a new smile, it can also reduce abnormal biting forces that are contributing to wear. And don't let age stop you: except in cases of bone deterioration or other severe dental problems, older adults whose gums are healthy can undergo orthodontics and achieve healthy results.
Seek help for bruxism. The term bruxism refers to any involuntary habit of grinding teeth, which can produce abnormally high biting forces. Over time this can increase tooth wear or weaken teeth to the point of fracture or other severe damage. While bruxism is uncommon in adults, it's still a habit that needs to be addressed if it occurs. The usual culprit is high stress, which can be better managed through therapy or biofeedback. Your dentist can also fashion you a custom guard to wear that will prevent upper and lower teeth from wearing against each other.
If you would like more information on minimizing teeth wear, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “How and Why Teeth Wear.”
Tooth decay and developing bite problems could be major obstacles to your child's normal growth and development. Without good, preventive dental care at home and from the dentist, these obstacles could impact their health now and well into adulthood.
Here are 3 things you should do to help your child stay ahead of harmful dental problems.
Start daily hygiene early. To protect your child from tooth decay, you should begin cleaning their teeth and gums early, even before teeth appear. For your first hygiene efforts use a clean wet cloth to wipe their gums after feeding to reduce bacterial growth in the mouth. After teeth begin to erupt start brushing them with a fluoride toothpaste—a slight smear for infants and up to a pea-sized amount when they get older.
Keep sugar to a minimum. The bacteria that causes tooth decay thrive on sugar. To minimize bacterial growth, keep your child's sugar intake to a minimum by providing dental-friendly snacks and foods. Also, try to limit any sugar they eat to mealtimes rather than with snacking through the day. And avoid sending them to bed with a bottle filled with a sugary liquid (including formula and breastmilk).
Begin dental visits around age one. Dentists and pediatricians recommend regular dental visits for children starting around their first birthday. This increases the chances of detecting disease or bite problems early before too much damage occurs. Your dentist can also provide preventive measures like sealants or topical fluoride to reduce the risks of tooth decay. And early visits lessen the chance of your child developing dental visit anxiety, a phobia that could continue into adulthood.
Dental cleanings, a preventive care service provided by your Newberg, OR, dentist, Dr. Angela Toy of Arbor Hills Dental, are an important aspect of good oral health. Read on to learn how visiting the dentist every six months for a cleaning and checkup can help you avoid tooth decay and gum disease!
Cavity-causing plaque lurks in hard-to-reach spots
Plaque buildup is a huge factor in tooth decay. The longer this colorless, sticky film remains on your teeth, the greater the chance that it will begin to attack your tooth enamel and possibly cause a cavity.
Brushing twice daily and flossing every day are simple ways to get rid of plaque, but it can still linger if you don't brush thoroughly or if plaque collects between overlapping teeth or other areas that you can't reach with toothbrush bristles or dental floss.
Fortunately, every speck of plaque will be removed during your dental cleaning. If it's difficult for you to remove plaque from your teeth completely, your dentist may recommend a few oral hygiene tips or suggest more frequent dental cleanings.
Tartar can't be removed at home
Plaque eventually turns into tartar, a hard deposit that can't be removed by brushing. If you have tartar, you'll notice a gray or brown film at the bottom of your teeth. Although you can't see it, tartar can also extend under your gums.
If tartar isn't removed regularly, it may begin to damage your gums or bones. Luckily, your Newberg dentist has special tools that remove tartar from teeth. If you have gum disease, your dentist may recommend a deep cleaning to remove tartar and plaque above and below the gum line.
Cleanings may improve the appearance of teeth
Have you noticed that your teeth look and feel better than ever after a cleaning? In addition to removing plaque and tartar, cleaning also removes surface stains that can make your teeth look a little dull.
Has it been too long since your last dental cleaning? Regular cleanings and checkups offer a simple way to protect your smile. Call your Newberg, OR, dentist, Dr. Angela Toy of Arbor Hills Dental, at (503) 538-2143 to schedule your appointment!
Invisalign clear aligner trays are a discreet and minimally invasive alternative to traditional braces, which makes them the ideal choice for many adults and older teenagers with common bite and alignment problems. Dr. Kunio Chan, a dentist in Billerica, MA, offers a full range of dental services for the entire family in Billerica, MA.
Invisalign in Billerica, MA
Invisalign has a number of advantages in addition to the fact that the trays are clear and virtually unnoticeable. The trays are removable for up to two hours per day, which makes it possible to maintain your oral hygiene routine and continue to enjoy your favorite foods without the restrictions necessary with metallic braces.
What Invisalign Can Do
Like any treatment method, Invisalign is not right for everyone. It works best for adults and teenagers over the age of 13 with the following orthodontic problems:
- Open bite
- Gaps and spacing
A comprehensive exam and consultation with the dentist will determine whether Invisalign is the best treatment option for your situation. While Invisalign is a good option for mild to moderate cases, it may not be the best option in severe cases. Patients considering Invisalign must also be able to commit to wearing the trays as instructed for the required amount of time every day, and keep up with follow up appointments and instructions from the dentist.
The Benefits of Invisalign
The ability to smile with confidence and maintain a normal routine throughout the treatment period is one of the biggest benefits of straightening your teeth with Invisalign. But there are more than just cosmetic benefits; the treatment period is generally shorter than with traditional braces, making them ideal for adults and teenagers who want straighter teeth without having to sacrifice the personal and professional life.
Find a Dentist in Billerica, MA
For more information about Invisalign and whether it is right for you, contact One Dental Care by calling (978) 667-0691 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Chan today.
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