Mouth Guards And Sports

January 15th, 2015

The winter season has arrived which means a number of children are about to begin participating in winter sports such as hockey, basketball, and wrestling.  These sports (among other sports throughout each season) pose a high risk of injury to the mouth.  The unsettling fact is that most children do not wear mouth guards while playing sports.

Although mouth guards are mandatory to wear in some sports such as football, it is recommended by dental professionals to wear a mouth guard in any high contact athletic activity.  A study found that 68% of children do not wear a mouth guard during soccer, basketball, baseball and softball games.  The likelihood of a ball, bat, or body part coming into contact with someone’s mouth is extremely high.  It is estimated that wearing a mouth guard during sports could prevent more than 200,000 oral injuries per year.

Proper fitting mouth guards should be:

- Comfortable.
- Easy to clean.
- Durable and tear resistant.
- Not restricting to breathing or speech.
- Able to easily stay in place.

With the numbers as they are, it is very important for children to protect their teeth and mouth by wearing a mouth guard.  This could be what saves your child from a mouth injury and thousands of dollars in dental expenses.

New Year Dental Resolutions

January 9th, 2015

The New Year has arrived but that does not mean there still is not time to add a few dental related resolutions to your list!  Although many people often aren’t able to keep their resolutions, oral related resolutions might be a bit more motivating to keep.  We at Easton Dentist have come up with three suggestions for some oral health related resolutions this 2015:

Reduce The Sweets – This New Year try cutting down the amount of sweets you consume.  The longer your teeth are exposed to the sugars in sweets, the longer the acids have to attack tooth enamel, which can lead to tooth decay.  Reducing the amount of sweets you eat can help keep your teeth cavity free this year.

Brush & Floss Regularly – If you don’t already, commit to brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes.  Brushing for two minutes is important because is will provided the recommended and necessary cleaning to keep your teeth healthy and cavity free.  Also, another part to this resolution should be to increase your flossing.  If you aren’t flossing once daily, try to start out by at least flossing once a week.  As this habit begins to pick up, slowly work your way to flossing once a day to keep those gums healthy.

Quit Smoking – Cigarette smokers might already have a New Year’s resolution to quit smoking but your oral health is another major reason to kick the habit.  Cigarette smoking is the primary cause of gum disease.  Not only will your lungs thank you for this resolution but your teeth and gums will too.

These few resolutions are just some of the suggested oral health tips we recommend you strive to improve upon this New Year.  Make sure that you also schedule a teeth cleaning every six months to keep your smile vibrant and healthy!

The Four Types of Teeth

December 26th, 2014

When you think about teeth, you may not naturally think about the fact that there are different types of teeth.  As you run your tongue along the tops of your teeth, you can feel the changes in size and smoothness.  What you probably don’t know is that there are four different types of teeth and they each have distinctive functions.

Incisors – These are the top and bottom four teeth in the center of your mouth.  These eight teeth are flat and can often be sharp, which is why you might primarily use them for biting into food.

Canines – The canines are the teeth to the right and left of your incisors.  These are the sharpest of your teeth and best used for grasping and tearing food.  The canine teeth also have very long roots due to their size.

Premolars – These teeth are located behind your canines. There are two on the top and two on the bottom. They are larger and have a flat chewing surface, which makes them best for crushing food.

Molars – The molars are the last teeth towards the back and are the largest teeth in your mouth.  These teeth have bigger, flatter chewing surfaces and make chewing and grinding food into smaller pieces easier.

Each one of your teeth assists to make eating possible.  It’s important to take proper care of your teeth to prevent cavities and decay.  Make sure to brush twice daily and floss regularly.  Also remember to schedule a cleaning every six months to check to see if your teeth are cavity free.

Holiday Treats That Can Lead to Unhealthy Teeth

December 18th, 2014

The holidays are here which means sugary treats are everywhere.  Although it’s hard to turn down that delicious holiday cookie grandma just baked, we want to remind you about the effects sweets can have on your oral health.  Here are four of the most common treats we suggest to eat and drink in moderation during the holiday season:

Holiday Cookies – It’s enticing to grab one of those delicious holiday cookies that always seem to be available and laying around.  Before you reach for the second or third, it’s important to remember the amount of sugar each cookie contains and the amount of damage it can have on your teeth.

Holiday Drinks – There are a number of seasonal beverages like hot chocolate, eggnog, and warm apple ciders that are perfect for the holidays and make you feel warm inside.  Whenever you decide to drink one of these sugary drinks, try to keep it to only one cup or a small serving.  After you’ve finished, make sure to drink a glass of water afterward to help wash out some of the sugar residue and protect your teeth.

Candy Canes – This minty treat can cause a couple of negative effects on your teeth.  The prolonged amount of time these take to dissolve in your mouth leaves sugars lingering.  Also the hard and sticky structure makes it temping to bite, which could crack a tooth.

Caramels – Caramels are sticky treats that you find yourself chewing forever.  Even after you’ve finished, there always seems to be some lingering caramel left in your teeth.  The amount of sugar that is in a caramel treat can negatively affect your oral health.

All of these holiday temptations have a main ingredient, sugar.  We all know that sugar is bad for oral health because it mixes with bacteria on your teeth and will produce acid that erodes tooth enamel.  When you are enjoying these holiday sweets, just remember to keep your teeth in mind and try to take counter actions.  Make sure you are bushing twice daily and flossing regularly.  Also after your indulging, try to squeeze in an extra brush to remove the lingering sugar to keep your smile vibrant.  Everyone here at Easton Dentists wishes you all a happy and healthy holiday!

The Effects Gluten Can Have on Your Teeth

December 8th, 2014

Over the past few years there has been a rise in awareness surrounding Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. With all the buzz of this disease and the effects it has on an individual, we decided to look into how eating gluten can affect the health of your teeth. When an individual that is affected by Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity consumes gluten, it can prevent their body from absorbing nutrients. It can also directly affect your oral health negatively.

Anyone with Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity can experience oral health issues that include:

- Damage and deterioration to teeth enamel
- Bad breath or dry mouth syndrome
- Recurrent canker sores or ulcers inside the mouth
- Teeth discoloration with brown or yellowing spots
- Inflammatory gum disease

For any individual that has Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, check with your dentist and ask how to best maintain your oral health. Also if you are someone that is experiencing these symptoms but have not been diagnosed with Celiac disease, your dentist might be able to provide more information on your oral conditions and how to prevent and maintain a proper oral hygiene.

How to Be a Good Dental Patient

November 20th, 2014

We spend a lot of time and effort working to be the best in our field, however we thought we might give you a bit of perspective on how you can optimize the dental treatment experience on your end too.   The relationship between dentist and patient is one of trust and care but both sides need to be prepared for a healthy partnership.

Plan Accordingly

The first and foremost thing you can do to make your dental visit better for you and your dentist is to be prepared and ready to go.  Brush and floss your teeth before coming into the office and, please, avoid garlic and other breath-saturating foods before you come in.  Dentists do their best to make sure they are ready for your appointment when you arrive.  If you’re going to be late or have to cancel, it’s best to call ahead with a courtesy warning so the office isn’t wondering if they should cross you off for the day.

Speak Up

Good communication between dentist and patient is key for a healthy relationship.  Make sure you know what you’re looking for and what you expect.  If something hurts or you have dental concerns, tell you dentist and be as clear as possible.  Confusion can only cause problems down the road.  If you have dental anxiety, communicate with your dentist so they can be prepared to help you with this issue.

Good medical practices involve professionalism and quality care on the part of the dental physician but also rely heavily on the cooperation of a good patient.   In order to help your Columbus dentist take care of your smile, prepare and communicate.

Keep Your Teeth Healthy this Holiday Season

November 11th, 2014

We know how much you love us but it is a safe bet that your dentist is probably not the person you want to go visiting during the holiday season.  We would love to see you for a cleaning or whitening before those family pictures, but we know how it is.  We’re going to offer some tips and advice for making the most out of the holidays without damaging your teeth in the process.

Avoid Chewy Treats

Candy comes in many varieties during the holidays but the worst for your teeth is the chewy taffy stuff.  These sticky substances can lodge in your teeth and hang around for days, inviting the risk for tooth decay and gingivitis.  Munch your sweets sparingly and try to avoid the sticky, chewy ones.

Don’t Crack Nuts with your Teeth

Nuts are a great holiday snack, offering protein instead of sugar.  However, be careful how you crunch through these things.  The hardness can cause serious tooth and gum damage if you mow through them without cracking them first.  Shell the nuts and then enjoy.  Your teeth will thank you.

No Nail Biting

We know, you’ll be with family and Aunt Edna all season and the nerves usually take a toll on your nails but nail biting is not good for your teeth.  Find other ways to deal with the nerves of the season, like egg nog!  On that note, don’t use your teeth to open bottles or packages.  This can chip or damage teeth, requiring root canals.

Avoid Crunching Hard Candy

It’s true, we don’t want you chewing the gummy stuff either but crunching into excessively hard surfaces like ice or hard candy can chip or damage teeth, causing health problems and sometimes requiring surgery.

The holidays are a great time for food and sweets but take care of your precious enamel along the way and your smile will show.

Halloween Candy – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

November 1st, 2014

Look.  We get it.  It’s Halloween.  You want to eat all the candy.   But let’s try to keep our health and smiles in mind when we go digging into those pumpkin baskets for the sugar and the chocolate.  To have your cake and eat it too, it’s best to pace yourself and skip over some of the worst options.

THE GOOD

  1. Dark Chocolate – Chocolate does contain a lot of sugar but many studies show that the antioxidants in dark chocolate are actually good for the heart and may lower blood pressure.  As long as you’re eating it in moderation.

  1. Sugar-free Lollipops and hard candies – These yummy snacks actually stimulate saliva which prevents dry mouth.  Dry mouth allows plaque to build up which can lead to an increased risk of cavities.

  1. Sugar-free gum – In addition to increasing saliva, gum can dislodge food particles from teeth which can help prevent cavities.

 

THE BAD

  1. Sugary Snacks – Halloween favorites like candy corn contain a huge amount of sugar which leads to tooth decay.

  1. Chewy Sweets – Gummy candies are delicious but the remains gets stuck in your teeth and are a serious source of tooth decay.

  1. Sticky Sweets – Dried fruits may seem like a healthy choice to hand out for Halloween but as with chewy sweets, these fruits stick to your teeth and make it very hard for saliva to wash remains away.  Fresh fruits are the way to go if you’re going with the alternative route.

 

THE UGLY

  1. Sour Candies – Did you guess this one?  Sour candies tend to be on the most overlooked candies on the danger list.  These candies have high levels of acid which can break down tooth enamel very quickly.  That immediate response your mouth has to produce a lot of saliva is a good thing – saliva restores the natural balance of acid in your mouth.

 

This Halloween, remember that moderation is key.  Enjoy those sweets but make sure you’re taking good care of your teeth all year.  Schedule your cleaning appointment with Easton Dentist today and we’ll make sure you stay on track.

Trick or Treat!

October 28th, 2014

The stores have been setting out treats and costumes so it’s a guarantee you’re already thinking about the mountains of candy that come with true start of the Halloween season.  Protecting your teeth during this time of year is critical, so here are a few tips and tricks to prepare you and your family for Candypalooza 2014.

  1. Brush!

This is something you likely do multiple times during the day.  If you don’t, you really should.  Brushing your teeth after consuming gooey and sticky foods and candy will help cut down on the build up that hides on your gums during the day.  The trick is to wait 30 minutes after eating that candy to brush.  The acidity from the candy can soften your enamel and if you don’t allow adequate time, you may find yourself brushing your enamel away.

  1. Floss!

Flossing your teeth after eating those delicious Milk Duds will get the remaining candy out of those places your brush can’t reach.  This will help prevent gum disease and gingivitis.

  1. Use Mouthwash!

Grab that mouthwash and swish a rinse.  It will add to that freshly brushed sensation and move build up right out.

  1. Give out fruits and veggies instead of candy!

While it might not seem as much fun to hand out fruit instead of candy, it’s infinitely better for the little trick-or-treaters tromping around your neighborhood hoarding the sugary stuff.  Buying pre-packaged apple slices or carrots will run your costs a smidge higher but parents are certain to thank you for not adding to their child’s imminent sugar rush.

Your Columbus dentist wants your smile to sparkle this holiday season and adhering to the usual standards will surely keep you smiling.

8 Ways To Relieve TMD Pain

October 18th, 2014

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) is a disorder that affects the temporomandibular joint, jaw muscles and even nerves on one or both sides of the head.  Pains in the jaw, face, head and neck are indicators that you suffer from TMD.  If you suffer from TMD, here are a few tips and tricks to help ease your pain.

  1. Jaw Exercises

Gentle and slow exercises may help your jaw mobility and promote healing.  Your dentist or physical therapist can help evaluate your condition and based on that evaluation a series of exercises can be suggested.

  1. Relax Facial Muscles

Make a concentrated effort to relax your jaw muscles and and keep your teeth apart.  This will relieve the stress on your facial muscles.

  1. Relaxation Techniques

Meditation, massage and yoga can be instrumental in relaxing muscles tightened by stress.

  1. Over-the-Counter Analgesics

The short term use of over the counter pain medication and anti-noninflammatory’s, like ibuprofen, can provide temporary relief.  In some cases, your doctor or dentist can prescribe stronger medications.

  1. 8 Soft Diet

Blended or soft foods allow the jaw to relax temporarily.  Avoid hard, chewy or crunchy foods.  You should also avoid stretching your jaw to bite into food like apples.

  1. Moist Heat

Wrap a hot water bottle or heat pack in a warm, moist towel for temporary relief and to improve function.  As with anything that is heated, be careful that you don’t burn yourself.

  1. Ice

As with the above, ice can bring temporary relief by numbing your jaw.  When using ice, you should never place it directly on your skin; instead wrap it in a clean cloth and you should not use it more than 10-15 minutes at a time.

  1. Side Sleeping

Using a pillow for support between your shoulder and neck, side sleeping is another way you can relax your jaw.

Here at The Dental Center at Easton, our goal is to keep you healthy.  If you or someone you know is suffering from Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, call us for an appointment and we’ll help get you on the fast track to healing.