Performance-Enhancing Athletic Mouthguards: Hype? Or the Real Deal?

Mar 29th, 2010
Easton Dentists Mar 1st, 2017

No longer are athletic mouthguards just something athletes wear to prevent them from visiting the emergency dentist. New athletic mouthgards now actually claim to help athletes perform at their optimal levels.

Performance-enhancing athletic mouthguards seem to be a miracle of modern medicine – the right mouthguard can help the entire body can function at peak capacity. Athletes who invest in these custom mouthguards says they give them improved focus, balance, endurance, and strength. Pro athletes, in sports ranging from golf to boxing to football, have turned to these appliances for an edge over competitors.

Your basic athletic mouthguards are protective and distribute impact to reduce the severity or occurrence of injuries, such as mouth cuts, concussions, and tooth damage. Over-the-counter boil-and-bite varieties offer this protection at a minimal cost to the user. The new-and-improved varieties do this and more.

One type, the Pure Power Mouthguard, is based on neuromuscular dentistry. Whether these mouthguards have actual physical benefits or if the psychological benefits are what fuel their success remain to be seen. Neuromuscular mouthguards reposition the bite to improve overall performance.

Meanwhile, UA Performance Mouthwear mouthguards are intended to stop clenching, which is what triggers the body to overproduce stress hormones such as cortisol, which decreases strength and muscle growth. Cortisol is known to regulate the immune response, but chronic overproduction can have significant negative effects on the body.

Because performance-improving athletic mouthguards are fairly new, it is not yet known if they live up to the claims of physical benefits manufacturers want us to believe. Right now, we have to rely on the users – athletes – for our best information. For many of them, they believe it works.

What Eating Disorders Can do to Your Teeth

Mar 14th, 2010
Easton Dentists Mar 1st, 2017

It’s no secret that disordered eating to avoid weight gain is a bad idea. Americans are well aware of the fact that eating disorders exist in this country and that the rates of these disorders are ever increasing. Studies show that 0.5-2.0% of adolescents and young adult women have some form of anorexia nervosa/bulimia. Eating disorders can wreck havoc on the human body, causing stomach problems, heart problems, malnutriton, plus dental disease.

Rampant decay

Anorexics and bulimics are prone to widespread cavities over a short period of time. Those who binge on high-calorie, high-carb foods, and then purge run the greatest risk of decay. The sugar in the foods set up an acid-attack on the enamel, while the act of purging bathes the teeth in hydrochloric acid from the stomach, contributing to decay, as well as eroding teeth and fillings. A chronic bulimic will need numerous fillings on a regular basis and will have eroded enamel on the tongue-side of the teeth.

Soft tissue damage

Due to repeated vomiting, anorexics and bulimics may have severely swollen tonsils or soft palate. Some people may suffer a swelling and redness of the tongue and the palate may have lacerations from fingernails used to induce vomiting.

Care

First and foremost, if you suffer from an eating disorder, seek professional help immediately. Eating disorders can have fatal consequences. Secondly, let your dental hygienist know about your eating disorder in order to insure proper treatment.

Anorexics and bulimics MUST use scrupulous homecare in order to keep their teeth. Extra brushing, flossing, and possible at-home fluoride treatments may be necessary, plus you may also require additional cleaning visits throughout the year.

How to Teach Your Child Proper Dental Care

Mar 1st, 2010
Easton Dentists Mar 1st, 2017

Teaching your child proper dental care at a young age is an investment in his or her health that will pay off in the long run. You can start by setting an example; taking good care of your own teeth sends a message that oral health is something to be valued.

To help your children protect their teeth and gums, teach them to these simple steps:

  • Brush twice a day to remove plaque-the sticky film on teeth that’s the main cause of tooth decay.
  • Floss daily to remove plaque from between your teeth and under the gum line, before it can harden into tartar. Once tartar has formed, it can only be removed by a professional cleaning.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet that limits starchy or sugary foods, which produce plaque acids that cause tooth decay.
  • Use dental products that contain fluoride, including toothpaste.
  • Take your child to the dentist for regular checkups.

You may want to supervise your children until they get the hang of these steps:

  • Use a pea-sized dab of toothpaste. Teach your child not to swallow the toothpaste.
  • Using a soft-bristled toothbrush, brush the inside surface of each tooth first, where plaque may accumulate most. Brush gently back and forth.
  • Clean the outer surfaces of each tooth. Angle the brush along the outer gumline. Gently brush back and forth.
  • Brush the chewing surface of each tooth. Gently brush back and forth.
  • Use the tip of the brush to clean behind each front tooth, both top and bottom.
  • Don’t forget to brush the tongue.