Month: March 2018

Custom sports Mouthguards

4 Reasons why athletes should wear custom mouthguards

1. A properly fitted mouthguard protects the soft tissues of the lips, cheeks, gums and tongue from tearing during impact.
2. It cushions the teeth and jaw joints from impact.
3. Allows breathing and speaking, making it easier for athletes to wear it during training and games.
4. The cost of a custom mouthguard is low compared to the cost of any treatment associated with injury sustained by not wearing a mouthguard.

What are mouthguards?

A mouthguard is a soft plastic that helps to cushion the teeth, jawbone and gums during a traumatic event (e.g. a blow to the face during sports). They help to significantly reduce the risk of broken or knocked out teeth as well as injuries to the jaw, gums, lips, cheeks and the tongue. They also help to reduce injuries to the jaw joint (TMJ). They cover the top teeth because they are usually the ones that receive the initial blow. The bottom teeth are normally set behind the top teeth, this naturally gives them a bit more protection.

When should they be worn?

They ideally, should form a part of protective gear during all sporting activities, including team practice. They are typically worn when playing contact sports like rugby union, rugby league, AFL, hockey and boxing. Children and adults involved with non-contact sports like soccer, skateboarding, touch football, netball, basketball and trampolining which also carry a risk of accidental collision, which may result in injuries to the mouth, might also consider wearing a mouthguard.

What are the different types of mouthguards available?

1. Custom Fitted Mouthguards
They are individually designed and made in our dental clinic. The dentist will take an impression/mould of your teeth. The mouthguard is then moulded over the model of your teeth. Because it is custom made for your teeth, it fits well, and is very comfortable. You can breathe and speak with it in the mouth. It provides the best protection for you or your child. The Australian Dental Association recommends the use of custom fitted mouthguards.

2. Stock Mouthguards
These are preformed and come ready to wear. They can be bought at sporting good stores. They are ill-fitting, bulky, make breathing and talking difficult. They provide very limited protection, our dentists do not recommend them.

3. Boil and bite mouthguards
They can also be bought at sporting good stores. They offer a slightly better fit than the stock mouthguards. They do not confer as good protection as the custom mouthguards.

How do I care for my Mouthguard?

• Rinse the mouthguard with cold water or a mouthwash before and after each use.
• Clean the mouthguard with cool soapy water and a soft bristled toothbrush and rinse it thoroughly before storage.
• Place the mouthguard in a firm container to store or transport it.
• Protect the mouthguard from high temperature eg water or direct sunlight, to minimize distorting it’s shape.
• Keep the mouthguard out of reach from pets, dogs can eat them!
• Bring your mouthguard to your routine check up appointments so that the dentist can examine it.

7 Tips to Establish Health Oral Habits in Children

Is one of your new years resolutions better health? What about your oral health as part of your overall well-being? Or your children’s oral health? It is imperative to establish healthy habits in your children, of any kind, from early on to be able to maintain them for life. By introducing children to the correct way of tooth brushing, flossing and taking care of their teeth and mouths, they will generally grow up seeing oral health care as an easy and fun way to establish a confident smile.

1. Your baby’s teeth 
Before your baby’s first tooth comes through at about 6 months after birth, you should clean their gums with a moist gauze or cloth. After the first tooth comes through, you should use a very soft bristled, child appropriate tooth brush, to brush their teeth. At this stage, toothpaste is not required as the baby will swallow instead of spitting it out.

2. Tell, show & demonstrate
Have your young child make open mouth faces on the mirror to start developing awareness of how clean, or not, their teeth are. Show them where food is stuck before they brush, and how clean their teeth are after brushing their teeth, gums and the tongue. Demonstrate to them, on the mirror, the correct way of brushing their teeth.

3. Gradually handover
From their third birthday, your child starts to develop the manual dexterity to brush and spit out. At this stage, most will have a full set of their deciduous teeth. You can now start to gradually hand over the responsibility of keeping their own mouth clean. Pea sized amounts of children’s toothpaste can be placed on the toothbrush and encourage the children to spit out. Encourage the child to have their teeth cleaned twice a day.

4. Model good dental habits
Children learn by copying what they have observed. Invite your child to watch you brushing your teeth and tongue, and flossing. When you are done, flash a big smile on the mirror and say your mouth feels fresh and clean.

5. The value of good nutrition
What a child eats and drinks also significantly impacts their oral health. Instead of constantly portraying sugary foods and drinks as ‘bad’, encourage ‘good’ healthy foods and water. It helps to mainly have healthy snacks available for them during the  day, and in their school lunch boxes. 

6. Dental visits
Always talk about the dental visit in positive  terms, your own personal unpleasant experiences, if any, should not be mentioned as it models their behaviour. Talk about the friendly staff, the cool chair they get to sit on. Ensure that the child views dental cleans as part of a normal dental visit. Some procedures are not enjoyable, and these should be viewed as an exception, not the rule to associate dental visits.

7. Share the excitement of all their visits.
Announce the good news about your child’s dental visit to your friends and family. Be it a great check up or excellent behavior during treatment. It may even be worth it to take a picture of them being fantastic at the dentist. It’s all worth sharing to build the child’s confidence. Prime those friends and family members to ensure that they only have positive, raving feedback. 

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