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Keep your teeth safe this summer: Avoid dental injuries when playing sports

30 May

summer-fun

Summer is the time for enjoying the great outdoors. However, some popular summer sports – such as swimming and softball – can expose your teeth to danger. Here are several seasonal activities that could lead to dental injuries and ways to keep your smile safe:

Swimming

Frequent swimmers may be at risk for developing yellowish-brown or dark brown stains on their teeth.

Those who swim more than six hours a week continually expose their teeth to chemically treated water. Pool water contains chemical additives, which give the water a higher pH than saliva. As a result, salivary proteins break down quickly and form organic deposits on teeth. These hard, brown deposits, known as “swimmers’ calculus,” appear most frequently on the front teeth.

Swimmers’ calculus can normally be removed by a professional dental cleaning.download

Diving

Scuba diving, a sport enjoyed by more than 4 million people in the U.S., can lead to jaw joint pain, gum tissue problems or “tooth squeeze” – pain in the center of the tooth.

All of these symptoms add up to what’s called “diver’s mouth syndrome” (also called barodontalgia), a condition caused by the air pressure change involved in scuba diving and by divers biting too hard on their scuba air regulators. Tooth squeeze is caused by the change in air pressure, particularly if a diver has a big cavity, a temporary filling, gum disease, periodontal abscess or incomplete root canal therapy.

The best way to avoid these problems is to visit your dentist before scuba diving and make sure your dental health is tip-top. Ask your dentist’s advice about fitting the mouthpiece of an air regulator. Sometimes dentures can be inadvertently swallowed during a dive, so denture-wearers should consult with dentists before diving to discuss any potential problems.

imagesContact sports(soccer, softball, basketball, etc.)

According to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), soccer players are more likely than football players to sustain a dental-related injury – and these statistics do not include people playing pick-up games with friends.

Soccer is a sport where mouthguards and face masks are not mandatory, upping the odds for mouth and face injuries. Softball, basketball and pick-up games of touch football involve similar risks. In addition to causing injuries during contact, these sports also may be costly for people who have had extensive dental work, especially people who wear braces.

When participating in such sports, a mouthguard is your best ally.

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What Types of Problems Do Dental Veneers Fix?

23 Jul

Veneers are routinely used to fix:

Teeth that are discolored — either because of root canal treatment; stains from tetracycline or other drugs, excessive fluoride or other causes; or the presence of large resin fillings that have discolored the tooth

Teeth that are worn down

Teeth that are chipped or broken

Teeth that are misaligned, uneven, or irregularly shaped (for example, have craters or bulges in them)

Teeth with gaps between them (to close the space between these teeth)

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How to Prevent Tooth Erosion

23 Jul

Tooth erosion can cause mild dental problems, from tooth discoloration to sensitivity to more severe dental problems, such as indentions in the teeth, severe tooth sensitivity, and even cracked teeth.

Tooth erosion can do severe damage to your teeth, but it can also be prevented. The Academy of General Dentistry offers these tips to prevent tooth erosion:

After eating or drinking acidic foods or beverages, rinse your mouth with water so that the acid will be neutralized.

Wait at least an hour before brushing your teeth after consuming acidic foods or beverages to allow the teeth to remineralize after the acid exposure.

Cut back on carbonated drinks and try replacing them with water, milk or un-sweetened coffee and tea.

Use a straw when drinking carbonated beverages or other sweet drinks, such as natural fruit juices, which are very acidic. A straw enables the liquid to go quickly to the back of your mouth instead of washing over the teeth.

Swallow acidic liquids quickly instead of swishing them around or holding them in your mouth.
Chewing sugar-free gum can help reduce dry mouth and increase the saliva flow, allowing for your teeth to remineralize.

Always use a soft toothbrush and toothpaste that contains fluoride.

Fluoride can help to reduce tooth sensitivity.

For more information ask your doctor or hygienist.

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Give yourself the gift of a radiant smile!

7 Jul

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6 Apr

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