HOW CAN I PROTECT MY CHILD'S TEETH DURING SPORTS?

Sports are great for children for a variety of reasons. Children can develop their motor skills, learn how to solve conflicts and work together, and develop their work ethics. As a parent, you may recognize the benefits of sports, but also naturally worry about your child’s health and safety. Your job goes beyond providing a water bottle and making sure your child follows the rules of the game.

Although you may not think of your child’s teeth first when you think about sports, accidents can happen that affect your children’s teeth. A stray hockey stick, an errant basketball, or a misguided dive after a volleyball are examples of ways a child could lose a tooth. In fact, studies show that young athletes lose more than three million teeth each year.

Becoming a Better Athlete to Protect Teeth

Becoming a better athlete involves refining skills, learning the rules of the game, and being a good sport. These components are not just about winning. They are also about safety. Young athletes who are better ball-handlers and who are careful to avoid fouls and penalties are less likely to have harmful contact with the ball, teammates, or opponents. Children who are better roller-bladers are less likely to take a face plant into the blacktop, and more likely to save their teeth. Being a good sport and avoiding unnecessary contact is one way to protect teeth.

Proper Protective Equipment for Teeth

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If your child is in a sport that poses a high threat to teeth, it is essential for your child to wear a mouthguard. Mouthguards fit your child’s mouth and consist of soft plastic. Dr. Val Tsar can custom fit a mouthguard if generic ones are uncomfortable. While children may resist wearing a mouthguard initially, your persistence in insisting that they wear it should be enough to convince them. A helmet or face mask provides additional protection.

While prevention is best, rapid treatment can improve the situation if your child does happen to lose a tooth during sports. Rapid implantation can work in about ten percent of cases. To learn about ways to save a lost tooth, contact our North Palm Beach office.

DENTAL EXAMS AND CLEANINGS

Preventing Problems Before They Start

The health of your teeth and mouth is very important to the well-being of your entire body, and while routine brushing and flossing at home is necessary to keep your smile looking its best, visiting your dentist for a comprehensive exam and cleaning is essential. The American Dental Association recommends that you visit your dentist every six months to ensure your teeth stay healthy and your smile stays beautiful.

By routinely seeing your dentist for exams and cleanings, you can:

  • Prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath

  • Save money by avoiding costly and extensive dental procedures

  • Keep your teeth white by reducing staining from food and drinks

  • Shorten the time spent in your dentist's office

  • Have a smile that will last a lifetime

The Exam

During your exam, Dr Val Tsar will thoroughly examine your teeth and gums for signs of tooth decay, gum disease, and other health problems. Your dentist may also want to take X-rays to see what is happening beneath the surface of your teeth and gums. Whether these X-rays are traditional or digital, the images provided will help your dentist discover dental issues not visible to the naked eye.

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Professional Cleanings

Your dental hygienist will begin your cleaning by exploring the surface of your teeth to determine if you have any cavities and to examine the quality of existing fillings. The dental hygienist will then perform a periodontal exam to make sure your gums adhere tightly to your teeth, and no periodontal disease or bone loss may be occurring.

Next, your hygienist will carefully clean your teeth with a variety of tools to remove any hard mineral buildup (tartar) from your teeth. Then your hygienist will floss your teeth, use a polishing compound, and apply fluoride. Cleanings usually aren't painful, but if you have any anxiety about your dental exam, be sure to let your hygienist know. They may offer several sedation options to ensure your comfort. If your dentist or hygienist finds tooth decay or gum disease, they will talk to you about changing your brushing or flossing habits. In severe cases, they may recommend antibiotics or other dental treatments. If your teeth and gums appear to be healthy, your dentist will probably recommend that you continue your brushing and flossing routine as usual.

Alleviate Tooth Sensitivity

There’s nothing like the simple seasonal pleasures. What’s more enjoyable than a cup of hot apple cider on a blustery winter day, or a tall glass of ice water in the middle of a summer heatwave? Until, that is, tooth sensitivity makes that hot or cold treat no treat at all. If untimely tooth sensitivity is causing you problems, there are solutions we can offer!

Improving Brushing Technique

Careful brushing is a wonderful habit to get into, but sometimes there can be too much of a good thing. Over-energetic brushing can actually damage our enamel. And underneath that enamel is dentin, a more porous substance which allows heat and cold to reach the more sensitive inner tooth.

But, please, don’t give up on brushing! Switching to a soft-bristled or electric toothbrush and a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth can make a world of difference. Dr. Val Tsar can recommend the most effective and safest way to brush, as well as suggest toothpastes designed to fight tooth sensitivity. Until you recover, now is the time to avoid acidic and sugary foods and drinks (which can also bother sensitive teeth) and home tooth-whitening products as well.

Preventing Gum Disease

When gum disease progresses, the gums can begin to pull away from the teeth. This recession exposes part of the root area, which is much more sensitive to heat and cold.  Regular checkups and cleanings can keep gum disease from developing. Gum disease that is already present can be treated, and we can discuss whether more intensive care, such as a gum graft, is advisable to protect the root area.

Treating Injuries to the Tooth

If you have a cavity, a fracture, or another injury to the tooth or nerve, sensitivity is a good sign that you should call us right away. And, sensitivity is a symptom that can disappear when we restore the compromised tooth, whether it requires a new or replacement filling, a crown, or a root canal. If your teeth are more sensitive as a result of tooth grinding or other orthodontic problems, we can identify those issues as well.

No matter the reason for your tooth sensitivity, we want to work with you to find out the cause of the problem and to find a solution for it. Call our North Palm Beach, FL office if you notice any unpleasant or painful reactions to temperature, foods or even wind and air. Whether it’s advice on correcting your brushing style or treating tooth and gum conditions, we are here to help you.

Your Oral Health and How Tobacco Affects It

“Smoking is dangerous to your health!” That is what’s written outside a pack of cigarettes and that message also means it affects your oral health. You could maybe easily solve discolored teeth and use mouth rinse forever if only to mask tobacco-related foul-smelling breath but what about the following other serious health issues? You see, tobacco does not only stain your tongue and your teeth but it can lead to oral cancer and several gum diseases which may not only cost your pockets a lot of burden but cost you your life as well.

Tobacco can cause serious oral cancers.

Cancer of the throat, the lips, the tongue, the mouth, the throat are among the serious effects of tobacco and the longer you have been using it, the higher the chances of you getting the disease. According to the American Cancer Society, a majority of those who acquired oral cancer used tobacco. More than half of the cases end up in death.

Smoking can lead to worse kinds of gum and jaw diseases.

Many smokers suffer from redness, irritation, swelling and bleeding of gums. This could lead to a more serious periodontal disease that may eventually damage the jawbone and cause loss of teeth if left untreated.

Do all kinds of tobacco cause oral health problems?

Yes! And it doesn’t matter if it is smoked, chewed or simply inhaled; it is just a matter of time. Given enough exposure, the risks tobacco poses would manifest in the form of decay, cavities or worse, oral cancer. In that sense, there is no safer tobacco to use contrary to some belief that when chewed instead of smoked, or when used with a pipe, the risks are not as high.

What if you are having trouble quitting your tobacco habit?

Habits are hard to break especially if you don’t get help particularly in the case of tobacco use. It has an addictive effect and quitting may be difficult. You could try gradually cutting back if quitting cold turkey is not possible. While you are in the process, it would be of great help to regularly see your dentist so that in case a disease is developing or has already developed, it may be detected and appropriate treatment may be delivered. Don’t wait until it’s too late because some treatment may not be a pleasant experience.

Here are 3 ways to help you get on the road to good oral health:

1.     Maintain a religious oral hygiene and do it properly.

Most of the components of tobacco can cause several dental problems including cavities (some tobaccos contain sugar to make them taste better). Without proper dental hygiene, they could worsen faster. Brush and floss regularly and correctly. As unusual as it may sound but you may need to have your dentist show you the proper way to brush and floss just to ensure you prolong the health of your teeth and gums while trying to quit tobacco.

2.     Naturally, you will have to kick the habit.

If you want to reduce the chances of you acquiring any of the dreaded tobacco-related oral diseases, quit as early as you can. There are many ways to help you kick the habit. Ask your dentist to give you recommendations. Despite the threat of periodontal disease, 10 years after kicking the habit, you are as good as new.

3.     Regularly visit your dentist for a dental checkup.

Early detection is your best defense against the threats of tobacco-related oral diseases most especially cancer. This can only become possible when you frequent your dentist’s office for a checkup and early treatment can go a long way in saving your teeth, your gums and your overall health.

Are you in the habit of using tobacco? It’s about time you see your doctor and dentist about it.

 

 

Keep Your Family Healthy

Keep Your Family Healthy!

Families can work together to prevent gum disease and cavities. It is important for parents to teach their children good habits that will follow them into adulthood. In between dental visits, here are some tips so that everyone from the youngest member of the family to the oldest member can do their very best to maintain great oral health.

Eat Well Together

The American Dental Association asserts that a nutritional and balanced diet is paramount to maintaining good oral health. Ensure that you and your children are eating a diet rich in calcium and protein so that your teeth remain protected, and your enamel stays strong and keeps rebuilding. Dairy products and lean meats are a great way to ensure you’re getting enough protein and calcium.

Tooth decay is commonly caused by very sugary foods and drinks. You can eat these foods in moderation, but you should try not to eat them in excess. Start your kids out on a healthy diet young, so they don’t expect to get too many sweets! If you find yourself eating a lot of unhealthy foods, as well as feeding your children these foods, try to cut back on the sweets as a family to reduce tooth decay. You can eat healthier snacks like fresh fruit, and you can drink more water!

 

The Importance of Fluoride

Fluoride helps keep our teeth from decaying. It can also help to prevent cavities in children and adults. Tap water is generally fluoridated, which means it contains enough fluoride to help prevent your teeth from decaying.

Drinking tap water rather than bottled water will save you money, as well as ensure that you and your entire family are getting a healthy amount of fluoride. If you have a home filtration system, make sure you install one that does not remove your water’s fluoride content.

Proper Brushing Technique

It is very important that you know how to correctly brush your teeth, and that in turn you teach your children how to brush their teeth. Your toothbrush should be placed at a 45-degree angle when it’s at your gum line. You should start by brushing your gum line to remove bacteria there, and then make sure you get every surface of your teeth.

Ensure that your children are brushing their teeth at least twice a day. Make sure this lasts two minutes each time!  

If your children understand how to care for their teeth from a young age, this will help prevent cavities and keep their smiles bright and beautiful. Most importantly, these techniques and habits will also follow them into adulthood!

Call our office today to schedule your cleaning or exam. A healthy mouth is a happy mouth!
(561) 855-4703. Convenient evening and early morning appointments always available. 

How to Stop Grinding Your Teeth at Night

How to Stop Grinding Your Teeth at Night

How to Stop Grinding Your Teeth at Night

If you wake up with a sore jaw and teeth, you might be grinding your teeth at night. This is called bruxism. This habit might start at any age, and is usually done without you knowing in your sleep. However, it can also be done when you are awake. If you grind your teeth during the day, it is usually when you are concentrating on a task. If you grind at night, you place your teeth together and use the jaw to put pressure on your teeth. When you sleep, teeth grinding is usually just rhythmic and clenching contractions.