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What Is a Sports Guard and Why Might You Need One?

What Is a Sports Guard and Why Might You Need One?

Sports guards are required and beneficial for any sport where there is a risk of contact with objects (such as a ball, puck or stick) or another person. Examples of contact sports include hockey, basketball, football and lacrosse. A sports guard consists of a plastic tray that covers your upper teeth and palate to prevent any tooth or jaw injury. Sports guards work by reducing/eliminating the amount of trauma sustained during an injury by taking the force and dispersing it throughout the guard. The guard acts as a cushion between the upper and lower jaw. 

There are two main types of sports guards, professionally made sports guards and store-bought sports guards. These two options offer very different protection and come in at a very different price point. 

Store-Bought Sports Guard

Store-bought sports guards come in a universal shape and are made out of plastic, which is boiled and bit into to leave the jaw’s shape for a comfortable fit. A boil and bite sports guard offers protection for the teeth and jaw, but because it doesn’t fit precisely to each individual mouth, it lacks the quality of a professionally made sports guard. Boil and bite sports guards are recommended for kids whose mouths are changing and growing. Around 14 years of age, it is recommended to switch over to a professionally made sports guard. 

Professionally Made 

A professionally made sports guard is fabricated in a lab, specifically for each mouth. The first step in the process is to have impressions of your mouth to give an exact mould of your teeth and jaw. After about a week, you will return to your dental office to try the guard in and make sure it fits snug. Because professionally made sports guards are made for each mouth, they offer a far superior fit and better protection against tooth and jaw trauma. 

How to Care For Your Sports Guard 

  • Clean your sports guard after each use with a separate toothbrush and warm water 
  • Avoid hot water on your sports guard as this can warp the plastic material and alter the fit 
  • Store your sports guard in a clean sports guard case 
  • If you notice any cracks or chips in your sports guard, bring it in to the dentist for a check 
  • Wear your sports guard any time there is a risk of a contact injury, even during practice 
  • If you can pop your sports guard out with your tongue, the fit is too loose, and it requires adjustment 

If you believe you would benefit from a sports guard or have any questions about how they work, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment. 

 

How To Keep Your Teeth Clean With Dental Braces

How To Keep Your Teeth Clean With Dental Braces

It can be tricky to keep your gums and teeth healthy while wearing dental braces. However, it is vital to do so properly to prevent cavities and gum disease. Listed below are essential components in an adequate at-home oral hygiene regimen.

Electric Toothbrush

While wearing dental braces, it is essential to use an electric toothbrush. An electric toothbrush will provide you with a superior clean. They can complete more brush strokes in two minutes than you can accomplish with a manual toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes are also able to access tricky areas around the brackets, especially due to their smaller heads.

Water Flosser

A water flosser uses a thin jet of water to flush out bacteria from between the teeth, the brackets and the gum line. A water flosser can be used with either water or mouthwash.

Super Floss / Floss Threaders

For daily flossing, floss aids must be used to access underneath the wire of the braces. You can use either super floss, which is a pre-cut piece of floss with a ridged end to put between the teeth, or floss threaders, which are small loops to put the floss through. Try both options and use the method you prefer.

Proxabrush

A proxabrush is a small pipe cleaner like brush that is great to clean between brackets under challenging areas to reach — the bristles on the brush help to pull plaque out from the sides of the brackets.

Fluoride

Fluoride is an integral component in keeping your teeth healthy and free of cavities. Use toothpaste at least twice a day that contains fluoride as well as a mouthwash once a day that contains fluoride. Fluoride works by strengthening the enamel.

Regular Check-ups and Cleanings

Make sure to see your dentist and dental hygienist regularly for your cleanings and check-ups. It is recommended to come every 3-4 months while the braces are on to help keep your gums and teeth healthy.

If you have any questions about braces or keeping braces clean, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Tips To Keep Your Child’s Teeth Healthy

Tips To Keep Your Child’s Teeth Healthy

Keeping Your Child’s Teeth Healthy

While going to the dentist regularly is strongly encouraged, teaching your child good oral hygiene is arguably more important. Keeping your child’s teeth healthy is important to help the adult teeth come in properly. A good oral hygiene regimen includes both brushing and flossing. Brushing should be done 2 times per day – once in the morning and once just before bedtime. Flossing should be done before bedtime. When your child says they have brushed their teeth, it is best to check after. See if they did a good job, and cleaned all plaque from the front, back and tops of the teeth. They will appreciate their lovely smile when they are older. Prevention is the best way to avoid costly dental treatment

How Do I Know If My Child Is Brushing Properly?

Be in a well-lit area and pull their cheeks back. Plaque deposits usually accumulate along the gumline and can range in color from yellow to white, even colorless. If you are not sure, just use your clean fingernail to scrape gently along the tooth towards the gumline. Check to see if anything is stuck to your nail. If your child has brushed properly, there should be little to no plaque on your fingernails.

Alternatively, there are plaque disclosing solutions, tablets and mouth rinses available which will stain the plaque. The benefit of staining the plaque on the teeth is to give a clear visual cue on where leftover plaque is located after improper brushing. Use this as a teaching tool and have your child look in the mirror to see missed areas of brushing. Should there be some plaque remaining, you can guide their hand for them.

kids teeth healthy toronto dentist

When can I let my child brush themselves?

The general rule of thumb is 8 years old before a child can do a proper job of brushing their teeth. If you are diligent, it may be younger.  Brushing their own teeth is a life skill, and as such, it takes time to develop the necessary dexterity and technique to master it. The more experience your child has, the better they will get at it, and the sooner they will be able to do it themselves. Contact us to schedule your child’s next visit.