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

Sep 28th, 2019
Easton Dentists Oct 1st, 2019

Sports related dental injuries are for real and they do account for some of our emergency care cases.  But now there is a trend towards high performance mouthguards.  It’s a baffling field full of contradictory claims that have left many experts scratching their heads.  Should you buy into the hype?

No longer are athletic mouthguards just something athletes wear to prevent them from visiting the emergency dentist (but, of course, that is why we advocate them!). New athletic mouthguards 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, with the Under Armor name on it makes states:

“ArmourBite® technology with patented Power Wedges™ to increase strength, improve endurance, and reduce athletic stress”

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.

Another marketer, NewAge Performance makes a claim:

“90 percent of the population has a bad or poor bite, which causes a mis-alignment in your body. When you have a perfect bite, the body reciprocates with better body alignment, allowing you to perform at a higher level. The New Age mouthpiece fools the body in thinking you have the perfect bite, hence the results being instant.”

It is is not yet known if they truly 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.

Regardless if you are a believer or not, one of the most important things to come out of studies on the subject is that none of the mouthguards interfered with the athlete’s performance.  The key is, if the athlete believes in them, that will encourage them to always keep them in their mouth, and that is always a plus.

Tips on How to Get Rid of Bad Breath

Aug 9th, 2019
Easton Dentists Aug 30th, 2019

Bad breath, also known in the dental world as halitosis, is a condition that affects everyone at some point in their life. Thankfully, no matter how many first impressions may have been ruined with bad breath, we will share with you a few simple steps to drastically reduce halitosis, if not completely eliminate it.

Symptoms

You know that you have bad breath if you can clear a large room with a hearty “hello.” Before this happens, you can check your breath by cupping your hand over your mouth and nose and exhaling from the back of your throat, where most bad breath originates. If this exhale causes you to lose a offends yourself, then it’s time to do something about it, before it offends your family and friends. Before we find a solution, let’s learn more about halitosis.

Causes

There can be multiple causes for Halitosis, which is no surprise to anyone who’s been on the receiving end of morning breath after it’s mixed with a cup of coffee!

For most people, morning is often the time most people experience bad breath. When the flow of saliva nearly stops while we sleep, a buildup of bacteria in the mouth can be the end result. Brushing away the bacteria in the morning is helpful. brushing your tongue can works wonders also!

Certain foods can make our mouths smell. Think onions! Some foods, like garlic, are absorbed into our blood stream and exhaled through our lungs. All the toothpaste in the world can’t cover this smell. Engaging in some activity to make yourself sweat might help speed along the process.
When your body burns fat, ketones are produced which are released through your breath. These ketones usually have an sticky sweet odor. Staying hydrated and making smart dieting choices will help avoid the ketac smell.

Treatment

The best thing you can do to prevent halitosis is to practice good oral hygiene. This includes flossing and brushing your teeth and tongue. Paying clear attention to the very back of the tongue can help eliminate some of the more stubborn bacteria which may be hiding out there. It’s also important to take note of what foods give you the worst breath. Hopefully the combination of all of these tips will help prevent your bad breath.

Should you have any other questions about oral hygiene, don’t be afraid to bring them up the next time you visit our dental center in Columbus Ohio – The Dental Center at Easton.

How to Choose the Best Dentist for You and Your Family

Jul 26th, 2019
Easton Dentists Jul 26th, 2019

Maintaining you dental health should be one of the most important aspects of your overall physical well being. Finding the most helpful and competent dentist in Columbus Ohio is an essential element in remaining vigilant about your health over a lifetime. Because of relocating to Columbus, your dentist is retiring, or you’re not comfortable with your current dentist, selecting the right provider may take a bit of research – but it’s well worth it.

Questions you should ask when considering a new dental health professional:

What are the office hours?
Is the office near public transit, or is parking available?
What insurances are accepted?
How long has the dentist been in practice?

What are the office hours?
Is the office near public transit, or is parking available?
Are they available in emergency situations?

Try to find testimonials and reviews for your prospective new dentist – either through personal referrals or online. Angie’s List, Yelp, and Google reviews often offer a comprehensive opinion of the dental practice in that you may be researching.

Once you’ve made your selection, call the office to schedule an appointment. Your first visit is an opportunity to get comfortable with the dental staff. Use this time to ask appropriate questions so that you can make informed decisions.

You may wish to specifically be inquisitive about your particular dental situation. If you are very sensitive during cleanings, or require additional anesthesia in certain situations, your first visit would be a good time to discuss these concerns. Just like people, some dentists are more amenable than others in providing additional care. Also inform your new dentist of any specific dental concerns, previous unusual dental experiences or any other irregularities with your dental history.

Be sure to discuss the charges for regular checkups and xrays with the office staff. Most offices will provide pretreatment estimates for your services at no charge. When you have thorough knowledge of the specific services that are required in which your new dentist offers, and the potential costs to you, you can make an informed decision.

Five Of the Most Common Dental Care Issues:

May 5th, 2019
Easton Dentists Jun 3rd, 2019

Dental health is one of the most important aspects of your overall physical health. Taking care of your teeth and gums involves daily brushing and flossing as well as six month checkups with your trusted dental professional. With this proper dental regiment, most dental problems can be avoided. Even with perfect care, your still may experience one or more of the top five common dental care issues.

The number one dental care issue is tooth decay. Although most tooth decay occurs in children, adults are also at risk. The best way to avoid tooth decay is by brushing and flossing regularly. Along with poor oral hygiene, food and beverages containing sugars and starches can contribute to tooth decay. Maintaining proper oral care after these types of food and beverages will help keep decay at bay. Routine dental visits will also help to prevent small dental problems from developing into larger issues.

As we age, gum disease becomes more common. Most often, an excess of plaque can be attributed to this dental condition. When left on the teeth and around the gumline, plaque turns into tartar, which causes inflammation. Untreated, this inflammation leads to a condition called periodontitis. Periodontitis is a gum disease which causes gums to recede and bone to pull away from the teeth. The best way to prevent this unnecessary disease is to have regular checkups every six months.

Toothaches are a common dental health issue. There are many reasons for toothaches: nerve damage can cause severe toothaches, as can cavities, grinding and clenching your teeth and even gum disease. All of these conditions are easily treatable. It’s vital for you to visit Dr Gilmer immediately when you’re experiencing any abnormal dental symptoms. Dr Gilmer will be able to accurately diagnose and treat the reason for your dental discomfort.

The fourth most common dental health issue concerns overly sensitive teeth. Over time, brushing too aggressively, grinding and clenching your teeth or excessive bleaching can cause your teeth to become more sensitive than normal. Additionally, gum recession can cause your teeth to feel more sensitive than normal. Dr Gilmer will be able to recommend the appropriate types of toothpastes and rinses to help ease your sensitivity.

The fifth most common dental health issue is acid erosion. This dental condition occurs when the enamel on your teeth has literally been eroded as a result of coming in contact with an excessive amount of acid. Eating highly acidic food like oranges, lemons or limes can cause acid erosion. As we age, erosion can occur from tooth decay or gum disease. Symptoms of acid erosion include general sensitivity, a loss of enamel, or even discolored spots on the surface of the tooth. Be sure to ask Dr Gilmer for dental treatment options.

As you can see, these five dental care issues are all easily treatable, and in some cases completely avoidable. Regular dental checkups and preventative maintenance are key to prolonging optimal dental health.

Teaching Your Child Proper Dental Care

Mar 1st, 2019
Easton Dentists May 18th, 2019

Teaching your child proper dental care in their younger years is an investment in their health that will pay off in their latter years. 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 child protect their teeth and gums, teach them to these simple habits:

  • Brushing twice a day to remove plaque-the sticky film on teeth that’s the main cause of tooth decay.
  • Flossing 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.

Supervising your children until they get the hang of these steps may be a good idea:

  • 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.

How Stress Affects Oral Health

Dec 21st, 2018
Easton Dentists Dec 21st, 2018

Most of our patients know a thing or two about stress. Whether you’re dealing with chronic stress, or a brief stressful life circumstance, we all encounter it from time to time. Most people associate stress with heart attacks or ulcers, but do you know how stress can affect your oral health?

Stress may negatively affect your oral health in indirect ways.

For starters, stress can cause folks to reach for coping strategies that aren’t so good for your teeth (or the rest of your body).

Junk food, sweets, cigarettes, or alcohol are just a few examples. When these substances interact with your teeth, they can do a lot of damage in the way of gum disease and tooth decay.

Secondly, when we are stressed, we tend to stop making positive health behaviors a priority. Let’s say you’re in the hospital after a car accident; your brushing and flossing routine will not be forefront on your mind.

Even a minor bout of stress from a tough day can have us reaching for our cozy bed and some relieve instead of taking the time to brush first.

And of course, keeping up with routine dental visits may fall completely off our priority list while under stress. This can prevent us from finding the early signs of decay and can cause more pain and stress later on.

How does stress affect our mouths directly?

Well, lots of folks grind their teeth as a physical way to deal with stress. You may be doing it without even realizing it! Ask a partner or someone who knows you well to tell you if you have this habit. Many of our patients benefit from wearing a mouth guard at night to protect against the damage of grinding their teeth. It protects wear and tear damage and alleviates muscle tension from the forces exerted when tightly clenching your jaw.

Also, when we are stressed we have higher levels of stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline, that put our body in a “flight or fight” state. This causes our blood pressure and blood sugar to increase, and our digestive and immune function to decrease. When our immune system isn’t functioning as it should, this can make periodontal disease more likely. It can also slow down the healing of other oral issues or injuries we may have.

What can you do about it?

The best thing you can do to prevent the stress of oral health issues is to maintain good dental hygiene and visit us regularly for routine visits. We want what’s best for you — and that includes a healthy mouth for a lifetime! Schedule an appointment today!

Should I Brush Before Flossing?

Nov 16th, 2018
Easton Dentists Nov 16th, 2018

The age-old question – should you floss before you brush or after? If you asked any one of our team members, you just might get a different answer on this one!

Before you report them for not knowing their stuff, each response can be right! As long as you’re doing a thorough job, we don’t care when you floss!

The Case for Flossing Before Brushing

Theoretically, flossing first dislodges the gunk between your teeth, letting the fluoride in your toothpaste reach those crevices better.

Also, behavioral scientists say since most people don’t like to floss, it’s better to get the least-pleasant half of your dental routine out of the way first – you’ll be less likely to skip it. Once you have a minty, fresh mouth from brushing, you might be less inclined to feel the need to floss afterward.

The Case for Flossing After Brushing

Some say flossing last is better because it clears your mouth from extra food and debris that could otherwise be carried by the floss into the very spaces you’re trying to clean out.

Plus, it might be more pleasant to put those flossing hands into a clean mouth versus an unbrushed one.

Bottom Line

Floss when it works for you. But make it a habit! Choose the same time every day, floss once a day, and floss thoroughly.

And don’t forget to use the right flossing method: for each new set of teeth, use a new section of floss, and hug each side of the tooth by dragging the floss upward in the shape of a “C.”

Want us to show you how? Just ask!

Electrical or Manual Toothbrush: Which is Better?

Oct 26th, 2018
Easton Dentists Oct 26th, 2018

This is one of our most frequently asked questions! Our answer? It’s not the brush that matters, it’s who’s doing the brushing.

Let’s break that down. The goal of tooth brushing is to remove plaque from your teeth on a consistent (daily!) basis, so that we prevent the buildup of tartar which leads to tooth decay. A manual toothbrush is a great and inexpensive tool that helps us do just that. Make sure to brush two minutes per day, twice a day. Gently brush ALL surfaces and make sure to reach those back molars.

For some people, it can be difficult to brush properly with a manual toothbrush. Those with some form of motor disability or arthritis may benefit from using an electric toothbrush. An electric brush can also be helpful for kids or anyone with braces.
The same tooth brushing rules apply – two times per day, two minutes at a time. One advantage of an electric toothbrush is that some have a built-in timer. If you’re one of those quick brushers who has a hard time making it to two minutes, consider using a timed electric brush.

At your next dental visit, ask us whether we think you would do better with a manual or electric brush! And, as always, don’t forget to floss!

How Does Smoking Impact Dental Health?

Oct 11th, 2018
Easton Dentists Nov 12th, 2018

The use of tobacco products is the leading preventable cause of disease and early death in the United States.

Smoking has been linked to a myriad of dental health problems. The most well-known are bad breath and tooth discoloration. On a more serious note, smoking can be linked to a higher risk of gum disease, loss of bone mass in the jaw, and oral cancer.

And yet, approximately 42 million Americans still smoke cigarettes!

Every year, the American Cancer Society’s celebrates the Annual Great American Smokeout – one day each year that is set aside to encourage people to make the pledge to quit smoking.  Easton Dental strongly encourages people to quit smoking and thus promote better dental health. Why?

Because…

A person that smokes has twice the risk for gum disease as a non-smoker. The American Academy of Periodontology makes the assertion that the use of tobacco is one of the greatest risk factors in both the origin and progression of gum disease.

Not only does smoking increase likelihood of gum disease, but has also been discovered to make the treatment of gum disease not as effective.

A list of serious health conditions due to tobacco use includes heart attack, stroke, diabetes, osteoporosis, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, and cancer.  Gum disease has been found to also be a leading cause of tooth loss, along with being linked to complications during pregnancy.  At least 75% of cancers of the mouth, lips, tongue and throat are found in people that use an excessive amount of tobacco.

But all is not lost. It has been found that the effects of smoking begin to reverse themselves almost immediately once a smoker quits this harmful habit.  According to the American Dental Association, even after many years of heavy tobacco use, reducing the amount a person smokes or quitting all together is very beneficial.  This action can greatly reduce the health risks, even so far as reducing the likelihood of gum disease to the point as if that person had never smoked!

A life without the cigarettes can lead to: Better breath, whiter teeth, healthier gums, and overall better health. Who would not want that?

How Apples are Good for Your Teeth

Oct 5th, 2018
Easton Dentists Oct 5th, 2018

Good for my teeth

People have been asserting that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” since the 19 th century. While it may not necessarily be true that those who eat apples never have to see a doctor, apples certainly have great health benefits for our bodies! Did you know they can even be good for our teeth? Let’s take a look at what the research says …

It’s widely thought that chewing a crisp, fresh apple can help brush away plaque on our teeth. We’re not too sure on this one, as some studies show a higher plaque content on teeth after eating an apple. At the same time, there is evidence to suggest some polyphenols in apples can lower the ability of cavity-causing bacteria to adhere to teeth. Further, some studies have shown that the antioxidants in apples can help prevent periodontal disease.

Apples even contain a (very) small amount of fluoride. This is worth noting, as fluoride is so important in helping prevent cavities.

Lastly, the act of chewing an apple stimulates saliva production. Saliva helps wash away food debris and bacteria. Remember, though, apples contain sugar and acid so it’s best not to go overboard with them.

You can even swish with water after eating one to wash away some of the sugar left behind. As the science continues to look into how apples affect our teeth, one thing we know is true: regular dental visits, along with daily tooth brushing and flossing, is your best defense against tooth decay! Schedule an appointment today!