Posts for: November, 2016
If we could go back in time, we all probably have a few things we wish we could change. Recently, Dr. Travis Stork, emergency room physician and host of the syndicated TV show The Doctors, shared one of his do-over dreams with Dear Doctor magazine: “If I [could have] gone back and told myself as a teenager what to do, I would have worn a mouthguard, not only to protect my teeth but also to help potentially reduce risk of concussion.”
What prompted this wish? The fact that as a teenage basketball player, Stork received an elbow to the mouth that caused his two front teeth to be knocked out of place. The teeth were put back in position, but they soon became darker and began to hurt. Eventually, both were successfully restored with dental crowns. Still, it was a painful (and costly) injury — and one that could have been avoided.
You might not realize it, but when it comes to dental injuries, basketball ranks among the riskier sports. Yet it’s far from the only one. In fact, according to the American Dental Association (ADA), there are some two dozen others — including baseball, hockey, surfing and bicycling — that carry a heightened risk of dental injury. Whenever you’re playing those sports, the ADA recommends you wear a high-quality mouth guard.
Mouthguards have come a long way since they were introduced as protective equipment for boxers in the early 1900’s. Today, three different types are widely available: stock “off-the-shelf” types that come in just a few sizes; mouth-formed “boil-and-bite” types that you adapt to the general contours of your mouth; and custom-made high-quality mouthguards that are made just for you at the dental office.
Of all three types, the dentist-made mouthguards are consistently found to be the most comfortable and best-fitting, and the ones that offer your teeth the greatest protection. What’s more, recent studies suggest that custom-fabricated mouthguards can provide an additional defense against concussion — in fact, they are twice as effective as the other types. That’s why you’ll see more and more professional athletes (and plenty of amateurs as well) sporting custom-made mouthguards at games and practices.
“I would have saved myself a lot of dental heartache if I had worn a mouthguard,” noted Dr. Stork. So take his advice: Wear a mouthguard whenever you play sports — unless you’d like to meet him (or one of his medical colleagues) in a professional capacity…
Brush up on the basics to make sure that you are giving your smile the best care possible.
How often do you really think about how you brush your teeth? Probably not at all, right? That’s because you’ve been brushing and flossing your teeth for years. It seems like common sense and a natural habit, but it’s important to sometimes take a look at your oral routine to make sure that you are doing everything you can for your smile. Our Springville, UT family dentists, Dr. Stephen Pratt and Dr. Stephanie Winterton, want to make sure you are doing your part to keep your smile healthy.
How to Brush Your Teeth
It might seem like a silly statement since you’ve been brushing your own teeth for so long already but it’s amazing how we fall into bad habits or don’t even realize that we are missing a crucial component to our oral regimen until we do some research. You should spend at least 2 minutes brushing at least twice a day.
While you may already know this, you would be surprised how many people don’t even spend that much time brushing. If you aren’t sure, time yourself to make sure you are doing a thorough job.
The Toothbrush You Use
While we hear a lot of patients asking whether a manual or a powered toothbrush is better, we are here to tell you that whatever gets you brushing and whatever feels best for you will be the best option. No studies have found that either is more effective for cleaning, it’s how you clean that’s important. However, there are still some things to think about:
- If you have arthritis or other dexterity issues a powered toothbrush might be easier.
- You should never push too hard on your teeth while brushing. An electric toothbrush will provide the exact amount of pressure you need.
- A toothbrush doesn’t last forever. Replace a toothbrush head every 3-4 months or whenever the bristles start to splay out. Also, replace your toothbrush immediately after an illness to prevent putting that bacteria right back in your mouth.
Don’t Forget to Floss
As your Springville dentists will tell you, flossing is key to maintaining good oral hygiene. After all, a toothbrush won’t be able to get into all those tiny nooks and crannies between teeth like floss can. You should be flossing once a day, preferably at bedtime before you brush your teeth. Make sure you target every tooth and follow the curve of the tooth as you floss. Do not snap floss out of the tight spaces, as it can damage both gums and teeth.
Have questions about how to care for your smile from the comfort of your own home? Need to schedule your six-month cleaning? Then it’s high time you called Hobble Creek Dental Care in Springville, UT.
If you've lost a tooth or need to have one extracted, you have to decide how to replace it. Of all the options available none can match both the lifelikeness and function of a dental implant.
A dental implant is a prosthetic (false) tooth that mimics the root of a natural tooth. Once that implant root form fuses to the surrounding bone, we attach the crown, which is the part of the tooth you can see.
While other replacement options like bridges or dentures can restore the lifelikeness of the tooth crown, they don't replace the root. An implant's titanium post can: using a minor surgical procedure we imbed the post into the bone. Because bone cells have a natural affinity with titanium, they will grow around and adhere to the post over a few weeks after surgery. This further adds strength to the implant's hold in the bone.
Although the attachment isn't exactly like natural teeth, it can maintain this hold for many years. And because it encourages bone growth, a dental implant will help minimize bone loss, a natural consequence of losing teeth. Other replacement options can't do that.
Of course, implants are more costly than other restorations. With an attached crown, an implant can replace any number of teeth. But if you have extensive tooth loss, bridges or dentures would be more cost-effective selections.
But even then, implants could still play a role. We can strategically place a small number of implants as supports for a bridge or even a removable denture. Not only will the implants better secure their attachment, they'll also stimulate bone growth.
Is a dental implant the right choice for you? Visit us for a complete examination and evaluation. Afterward we can discuss your options and whether this phenomenal tooth restoration method could help restore your smile.
If you would like more information on dental implants, 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 “Dental Implants: Your Best Option for Replacing Teeth.”