Mouthguards 101: When Do Kids (and Adults) Need Them?

2020-12-21T19:02:51+00:00December 21st, 2020|Mouthguards|

If your kid is active in any way, you probably know about the importance of wearing a helmet, knee pads, and goggles. But one protective device that doesn’t get quite as much attention as it should is the mouthguard. 

In some kids’ sports, mouthguards are required. However, many sports don’t require them, which makes it easy to underestimate their function or simply forget to have your child wear one. Nonetheless, if your kid is participating in a sport that involves any kind of potential contact—with other individuals, the ground, or objects—then wearing a mouthguard should be part of their daily routine. 

Still not convinced? Well, the American Dental Association (ADA) estimates that mouthguards help prevent more than 200,000 dental injuries each year. Moreover, about three-million teeth are knocked out in kids’ sports in any given year! And mouthguards not only help prevent teeth from being knocked out, chipped, or fractured, they can even protect your tongue, lips, and face from injury, as well as help to lessen the impact from blows to the head. 

Below, we’ll cover the basics of mouthguards—including the different types, the sports that necessitate them, how both kids and adults can benefit from them, and more. 

 

WHAT ARE MOUTHGUARDS? 

Also referred to as a sports guard or mouth protector, a mouthguard is a device worn over the teeth to protect them from blows to the head or face. Along with helping prevent injuries to your teeth, a mouthguard can help protect your face and jaw, as well as the soft tissues of your tongue, lips, and cheek lining. If your kid plays any kind of sport that involves body contact, falls, or moving equipment, they should be wearing a mouthguard at all times while participating. 

In most cases, a mouthguard covers only the upper teeth. This is because your upper teeth stick out more, which means they receive the brunt of impact during an incident. The bottom teeth are a little further back, so they are typically safer from harm. 

Mouthguards are not only useful for kids playing sports. Adults can also benefit from them, whether they play contact sports or suffer from sleep disorders (which we’ll cover later). 

 

DIFFERENT TYPES OF MOUTHGUARDS 

Not all mouthguards are created equally. There are three main types, each of which works well in specific instances:

 

Stock Mouthguards 

This is the most accessible and cost-effective type of mouthguard, as almost any drugstore or sporting goods store carries them. Typically, stock mouthguards come in small, medium, and large sizes, and they simply fit over the upper teeth. 

Stock mouthguards work well if your kid plays contact sports only occasionally. However, whatever you open in the package is what you get. And since they’re not moldable, they usually don’t fit very well, are uncomfortable, and can make speaking difficult. 

 

Boil-and-Bite Mouthguards

Going a step up, a boil-and-bite mouthguard is similar to a stock mouthguard, except you can mold it to your teeth. This makes a big difference. A boil-and-bite mouthguard comes in one size; you mold it by boiling it until it softens, placing it over your upper teeth, and biting down. The mouthguard then dries and hardens to the shape of your teeth. Considering that boil-and-bite mouthguards are just as widely available and almost as inexpensive, they are clearly the better option over stock mouthguards. 

 

Custom Mouthguards

Then there are custom mouthguards. These are more expensive, but they are ideal when it comes to comfort and fit. In short, a dentist will take a mold of your teeth and fabricate a mouthguard to the exact specifications of your teeth and mouth structures. Kids who play sports regularly can greatly benefit from custom mouthguards, as can adults who deal with snoring or sleep apnea. 

 

SPORTS THAT CALL FOR MOUTHGUARDS 

As previously mentioned, your child will likely be required to wear mouthguards while playing certain sports. However, even if the league does not require it, that doesn’t mean your child should not wear a mouthguard. Here is a list of sports for which a mouthguard is necessary:

  • Hockey
  • Basketball
  • Indoor Soccer
  • Wrestling
  • Skiing
  • Snowboarding
  • Fencing
  • Football
  • Gymnastics
  • Outdoor Soccer
  • Lacrosse
  • Volleyball
  • Skateboarding
  • Raquetball
  • Martial Arts
  • Baseball
  • Softball

It’s worth noting that, along with competitions, mouthguards should be worn in all practices. 

 

BENEFITS OF CUSTOM MOUTHGUARDS 

The benefits of getting a custom mouthguard are many, which is why we’ve dedicated a section to explain why you should consider getting your child (or yourself) fitted for a custom mouthguard. Here are a few advantages of investing in a custom mouthguard from your dentist:

 

Perfect Fit 

Even at its best, a stock mouthguard will only fit well enough to stay on your teeth when your mouth is closed. A boil-and-bite mouthguard will fit better than that, but it will still be prone to coming loose, especially if you wear it regularly. That problem is fixed with a custom mouthguard. 

A qualified dentist like Adam Brown can have a mouthguard perfectly fitted to your teeth. You’ll simply come in to have an impression taken of your teeth, the cast will be sent to a dental lab, and you’ll come back to the dental office to test its fit. Chances are you’ll leave with a reliable mouthguard that fits snuggly and comfortably.

 

Optimal Comfort

When a custom mouthguard is fabricated for your teeth and mouth, it’s simply going to be more comfortable than a generic mouthguard. This is especially critical for children. After all, if your child’s mouthguard hurts or irritates them, they will be less likely to wear it of their own volition. 

 

Better Protection

Along with optimal fit and comfort, a custom mouthguard will provide you with more protection than other types. And protection is the whole point when it comes to mouthguards. The reason for this is that a custom impression will account for all the unique shapes and features of your teeth and mouth. For example, if your child has braces, a custom mouthguard will be shaped to accommodate the wires; that way, the wires won’t hurt your child or break during impact. 

 

The Right Thickness

One overlooked attribute of mouthguards is the thickness. How thick your mouthguard should be will depend on what you need it for. For example, if your child is participating in a sport that involves frequent significant impact, such as martial arts, they will need a thicker mouthguard than someone who plays racquetball. Your dentist will discuss with you the activities for which your mouthguard is needed and help you determine the appropriate thickness. 

 

Cost-Effectiveness

Yes, it will set you back more than a stock or boil-and-bite mouthguard, but a custom mouthguard can still prove to be cost-effective. In fact, it can end up being cheaper in the long run. This is for two reasons. First, generic mouthguards found at drugstores and sporting goods stores wear out rather quickly, meaning you have to replace them often. Second, because custom mouthguards are perfectly tailored to your specific teeth and mouth structures, chances of severe injuries and costly procedures are less likely. 

 

OTHER REASONS TO GET A MOUTHGUARD 

Mouthguards are essential for kids (and adults) who play sports. But they can also benefit the health and well-being of adults when it comes to snoring and sleep apnea. Let’s discuss how the right mouthguard can help with each of these conditions:

 

Snoring 

Almost everyone snores from time to time. But for some people, it’s a chronic problem that can lead to a wide range of health issues (in addition to being annoying to your partner). For example, snoring can disrupt sleep, which can lead to daytime sleepiness. This, in turn, can lead to difficulty concentrating, hindered productivity, frequent irritability or anger, and/or impaired driving. Snoring can also put you at a higher risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and many other health issues. 

In the most basic sense, snoring occurs when the soft tissue in your upper airway vibrates. A custom mouthguard can fix this problem. The right mouthguard—one that fits over both the upper and lower teeth—will help to pull your lower jaw forward, which will keep your airway open throughout the night. There are numerous over-the-counter mouthguards that supposedly prevent or reduce snoring. But these types of mouthguards have yet to be proven to work as effectively as custom mouthguards. 

 

Sleep Apnea

Often associated with snoring but much more serious, sleep apnea is a condition that calls for immediate action. In essence, sleep apnea means that your breathing pauses repeatedly throughout the night. Each time you stop breathing, your body wakes up in order to start breathing again. Obviously, such frequent interruptions make it virtually impossible to get restful sleep. 

There’s more. Along with making you chronically sleepy, sleep apnea can lead to heart disease, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and a whole host of other health conditions, including:

  • Depression
  • Memory loss
  • Acid reflux
  • A weakened immune system 
  • Asthma
  • Liver problems
  • Low blood oxygen 
  • High cholesterol

Much like with snoring, a custom mouthguard can benefit those with mild sleep apnea. By pulling your lower jaw and tongue forward, your airway is better able to remain open during sleep. You can even get a mouthguard that has a strap, which helps to re-adjust your lower jaw. It’s important to note, however, that if you suffer from a more severe case of sleep apnea, then you should ask your doctor about using a CPAP machine in lieu of a mouthguard. 

 

HOW TO CARE FOR MOUTHGUARDS 

If you or your child are using a mouthguard, it’s essential that you take the necessary steps to keep it clean and in good shape. Always brush and floss your teeth before wearing a mouthguard, and rinse the mouthguard with cool water before and after each use. To take it a step further, clean your mouthguard with a toothbrush and toothpaste between uses. Be sure to store your mouthguard in a hard, ventilated container so that it can stay dry while you’re not using it. Finally, always be on the lookout for signs of wear so that you will know when to replace it, and let your dentist evaluate it at each visit. 

 

WEARING MOUTHGUARDS WITH ORTHODONTIC DEVICES

Not only can you wear mouthguards when you have braces, dental implants, or dental bridges, but a custom mouthguard can go a long way in protecting both your teeth and orthodontic devices during impact. This is because the mouthguard fits around the unique shapes of your braces, implants, and/or bridges

 

INSURANCE AND MOUTHGUARDS 

Lastly, check with your dental insurance provider about their policies on custom mouthguards. Some plans will cover some or all of the costs associated with custom mouthguards, and you can also use funds from your health savings account (HSA) to pay for either custom or generic mouthguards. Moreover, some dental offices will provide you with a payment plan if your insurance will not cover the costs.  

 

In Sum 

The right mouthguard can do wonders in protecting your child from serious oral injuries when playing contact sports. The same goes for you if you suffer from snoring or sleep apnea as an adult. Be sure to consult your dentist about the type of mouthguard that will best meet the needs of you or your child. And remember, Adam Brown is just a call away if you would like an appointment to get fitted for that custom mouthguard! 

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Adam Brown, DDS: A Safe Return to Routine Dental Care 

2020-09-21T16:23:59+00:00September 9th, 2020|Adam Brown DDS|

Delaying oral care such as routine teeth cleanings can cause tooth decay, gum disease, and even heart disease, and with restrictions slowly being lifted, why continue to put your oral health at risk? Schedule an appointment with us at Adam Brown, DDS today to get your mouth clean and healthy. 

As the country slowly comes down off of high alert, there arise questions of what should and should not be done, where we can go and where we can’t. But with North Carolina going from Phase 2 to Phase 2.5, we have more clarity on what activities are safe, and which ones we should get back to right away—like going to the dentist.

But is it safe to go back to the dentist? Thankfully we have clear guidance on this issue, and from a trusted source: The American Dental Association. This association of respected professionals, who are a constant help in providing accurate science and practice procedures within the dental field, recommend keeping up on routine dental procedures.

The ADA has worked closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to make sure all decisions and recommendations are made concerning the health of all Americans. In March of 2020, the ADA called for practitioners to push all non-emergency care to a later date in order to limit the possible spread of Covid-19. This decision by the dental community not only limited the spread of the virus, but it also allowed hospitals access to more personal protective equipment and, in turn, saved lives.

In May, experts at the ADA—working closely with the CDC—called for the reopening of dental practices under new safety guidelines, encouraging everyone to get back on track with routine dental appointments.  

 

Is It Safe?

Nothing these days is one hundred percent safe, but with the right safety procedures in place, it is a good idea to go to the dentist. In fact, no Covid-19 cases have been traced to a dental office so far.

The dangers of forgoing regular checkups for a prolonged period can cause severe problems, especially during a pandemic since we are confined to small areas and tend to eat more tooth-decaying foods and exercising less. Throw in a few carbonated drinks and sweet snacks every day and it won’t take long for your oral health to drastically deteriorate. Even dentists have noticed dirtier mouths since the beginning of the pandemic.

If you have visited your dentist lately, you have certainly noticed the difference in your appointment—the change in procedure starts before you even enter the office.

After setting an appointment, patients complete a pre-screening questionnaire, which asks general questions about your current health status, and if you have been around anyone lately who has tested positive for Covid-19.

You may have also noticed fewer times slots for appointments. This is because dentists are seeing fewer patients each day so that each person who enters the office for a dental appointment won’t have to worry about getting too close to others.

Once you enter the office for your appointment, the nurse will take your temperature before you wait for the dentist.

 

Keeping Your Teeth Clean During Covid-19                                                                

Clearly, it’s time to get back to the dentist, but until you can make your appointment with us at Adam Brown, DDS there are plenty of things you can do on your own, during this unprecedented time, to maintain your oral health.                                                       

In order to maintain a pleasant smile during a pandemic, set a regime of brushing twice a day. According to www.mayoclinic.org, it’s important to brush your teeth in the morning and at night with fluoride toothpaste. In the morning it’s a good idea to begin with mouth wash, which breaks down plaque and food particles. Then thoroughly floss between each tooth to get those spots your toothbrush won’t reach. When brushing, hold the toothbrush at an angle pointing the bristles towards the gums. Brush, using back-and-forth motions on both the inside and outside of the teeth, making sure not to scrub too vigorously. Brushing too hard can cause the gums to recede and expose sensitive areas of the teeth. It is strongly advised to use a soft-bristled toothbrush. Brush for two minutes a side and repeat the same process at night. 

 

Quick Tip: How to Enjoy Sweets Without Killing Your Teeth                                                         

There’s no denying it, it is really hard to stay away from sweets and drinks that are bad for our teeth. And, whether in fresh cocktails to be enjoyed outdoors, or in cakes, candies, and cookies, sugar seems to be one of the main ingredients. Just how do these sweets affect your teeth and gums? What happens when we eat a lot of sugary treats or sip on too many cocktails, is the sugar combines with any plaque (hard or soft) in the mouth to create an acid. This acid then eats away at your teeth. And though this is a serious matter, as no one wants her teeth to be eaten away, it can be prevented. 

If you are regularly and correctly caring for your teeth twice a day, there are ways to still enjoy sweet foods and fresh drinks without damaging your teeth. If you are eating something high in sugar, gargle with mouthwash or water after you are finished. This will not completely clean the teeth and gums, but it can clear away enough unwanted matter before you brush next. As for drinks, try and find or make ones with fruit as a substitute for sugar. And, as with sugary treats, it’s a good idea to gargle or have a glass of water after.  

It’s best to see the dentist for a cleaning at least every six months. Here are four reasons why:  

  1. Removing Hardened Plaque. You know when you visit the dentist and he gets that sharp, silver hook tool and scrapes it against your teeth? Sometimes, he has to press extra hard and poke and prod. What he is doing is removing plaque from your teeth. You see, though flossing and brushing twice a day can get most of it from your teeth, little bits of plaque can remain and harden. In time, that plaque will discolor and can cause damage to the teeth and gums if it’s not removed. Visiting your dentist twice a year will keep this hardened substance from accumulating.
  2. Preventing Gum Disease. Bacteria in the mouth can cause gum disease, and most times it is not noticeable to the individual who has it until it’s festered. However, your dentist can help prevent gum disease from ever occurring by professionally cleaning your teeth and gums. And if signs of gum disease show up, he can recommend the proper medication to help illuminate it.
  3. Preventing Cavities. Plaque and food particles can create cavities, which eat away at the teeth. And like gum disease, cavities can be difficult to notice right away. Unless you see a dentist, that is. If they are found, cavities can be removed and the damaged tooth repaired, or, in extreme cases, the tooth will have to be pulled. Regardless, it is of the utmost importance that cavities are taken care of right away, as they can lead to more serious oral maladies.
  4. Preventing Oral Cancer. The thought of cancer can be scary, but it’s something that should not be ignored. Instead, it should be prevented. Seeing your dentist twice a year and having an oral exam can greatly help reduce your chances of contracting cancer of the mouth.

Besides have a bright smile while we wait for things to slowly become normal again, there are other reasons to keep your mouth clean. For instance, did you know cavities and gum disease, if left alone, could lead to serious medical problems such as heart disease? This is why it’s so important to be sure you are caring for your teeth and gums correctly. 

We are happy to be back to work, and we can’t wait to help you get your mouth back into shape. Visit us online today and schedule your next teeth cleaning appointment. 

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Should You Be Smooching Your Dog?

2020-06-11T13:19:15+00:00March 24th, 2020|Oral Health|

We love our pets, and as we find ourselves spending more time at home these days, an upside is being able to hang out with our little (or big) furry friends. But, if you are a dog owner could your oral health be at risk? Studies indicate those sweet doggy kisses we look forward to every day might be negatively impacting our gums and teeth.

 

Recent research shows that pets, such as dogs and cats, share the same type of bacteria as humans that causes periodontal (or gum) disease. However, despite the fact we share the same or similar oral bacteria, there is no scientific evidence showing that humans can actually develop gum disease directly from a pet. In fact, there have been certain defenses found in the mouths of humans that actually combat outside germs, such as those from dogs and cats, and prevent them from developing into gingivitis, cavities, gum disease, etc. But, simply knowing there is a chance of contracting something like gingivitis from your dog means we should look into it more.

Gingivitis is not something anyone wants, as it is a mild form of gum disease that is fairly common among American adults. If you notice your gums beginning to recede and turn white, gingivitis is most likely the culprit. A few other signs include swollen and bleeding gums, even painful irritation and loose teeth. The most common cause of gingivitis is poor oral care, so if you have fallen off the wagon a bit, it’s best to get right back into the routine of brushing and flossing regularly to keep from this uncomfortable situation, especially if you are a pet lover.

The fact is, your dog’s mouth is disgusting and teeming with germs. Simply relying on your body’s own defense systems to keep you healthy may not be wise. And it’s not just your oral health that could be at risk.

 

What You Could Catch

The odds are slim you will get sick from kissing your pet, but there is still a chance. So what could you catch?

According to the CDC, campylobacteriosis is the most common infection given to humans from their pets. Campylobacteriosis sounds like a good time, but it is actually an infection transmitted by the stool of an animal—an animal that may or may not seem or look sick. As we all know, animals tend to lick their rear-ends causing them to pick up particles of stool into their saliva, and well…there you go.

Once this is transmitted to a human, it can cause diarrhea, fever, and stomach pain.

Giardia is another infection that can be transmitted from our pets. This is a tiny, intestinal parasite that can cause the following:

  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach Pain
  • Nausea
  • Gas
  • Vomiting

Giardia is spread by the animal swallowing stool particles containing the parasite and passing it on to you; however, the risk of contracting this infection from your dog or cat is extremely low.

 

Keeping Your Mouth Clean

The good news is there are ways to build up your own defenses against these nasty infections, and the best way to maintain a healthy relationship with your pet is by maintaining your own oral health. Follow these procedures and keep your mouth clean!

 

  • Begin by brushing correctly. The best way is to brush in small, circular motions. This will keep the toothbrush bristles from pushing your gums away from your teeth, which causes irritations that can lead to any of the conditions previously listed.

 

  • Floss every day. Flossing is incredibly important for your oral health. This keeps food from resting between your teeth, which begins to rot and aid in gum disease. Floss every morning or at night right before bed. Be sure not to jam the floss down on your gums. Use soft, clean motions, going back and forth. Hit every area between the teeth and rinse with water or mouthwash after.

 

  • Watch your diet. Sugary drinks and foods, alcoholic beverages, even fatty meats can all have negative effects on your gums. You don’t necessarily have to cut these things out of your diet completely, but if you are the type of person who enjoys these on a regular basis, try and cut back a bit. At the very least, make sure you brush your teeth right after eating or drinking sugary or fatty substances.

 

Carolina’s Dental Choice wants you to keep up on your oral health and show your pets the attention they need.

 

*Source: https://www.self.com/story/kissing-pet-health-effects

 

 

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Teeth As Tools: How Our Teeth Have Been Used Throughout History

2018-11-05T14:35:48+00:00October 31st, 2018|Carolina's Dental Choice, Dental Trends, Teeth Cleaning|

Our teeth perform so many important functions throughout our life and on a daily basis. On a basic level, we use our teeth to talk, chew, digest food, and properly fill out our cheeks and lips to form our face shape. Without knowing it, you have probably used your teeth as tools in a multitude of ways. Whether you’re opening a bag of snacks by ripping open the seal with your teeth, cutting meat with your teeth, or holding bobby pins as you fix your hair, our teeth are one of the most important tools on our body.

While many of the ways that we use our teeth as tools aren’t particularly healthy for our teeth, and constantly put our teeth at the risk of damage, typically, a healthy tooth will not chip or break during normal function.

Now imagine a time and place where there were no electric toothbrushes, mouthwash, or even dental floss, and suddenly your teeth are one of the most important tools you possess. If teeth have less enamel, decay, or gum disease, they are more likely to chip, shift, or become loose, resulting in eventual tooth loss.

How have humans used their teeth throughout their history when they possibly weren’t as strong and healthy? What did it mean for humans to use their teeth as tools?

Early Ancestors: Teeth as Tools

Eating chocolate

Much of what we know about the life and diet of ancient humans is due to finding their teeth! Archaeologists find dozens to hundreds of teeth for every skeleton or skull. Why do our teeth survive at such high numbers? Our teeth are covered by enamel, which is 97 percent mineral, making our teeth stronger and more easily preserved than the rest of our bones. From the shape of the tooth to the thickness of the enamel, scientists can understand the evolution of humans, how our ancestors lived, what they ate, or even what diseases they had. Variations in teeth are a great way for scientists to classify early human species. As humans migrated across the globe, so did their diets; we know this because human teeth developed thicker enamel to eat other animals, seeds, nuts, and roots.

Looking back to Neanderthal teeth, scientists have hypothesized that they use their teeth as a tool, possibly gripping and clamping with their front teeth as they prepped animal hides for clothing and shelter.

What’s clear is that our teeth have evolved to serve us in similar ways as our ancestors. Like our ancestors, we use our teeth to access food or drink. Our teeth can still tell us a lot about our day-to-day life and culture as well!

Early tools to clean teeth

As far as we know, the earliest toothbrush dates back to around 3000BC, where Babylonians and Egyptians configured a toothbrush from frayed twigs. Fast forward a bit to 1600 BC, and we have the Chinese using aromatic twigs from trees as “chew sticks” to freshen their breath.
Some of the earliest tools to clean teeth were made from animal bone. For a stretch of history, and even today in certain parts of the world, coarse animal hair, such as hair from cows, was used to form the bristle on toothbrushes.

Did people in the past constantly have rotted teeth, cavities, and gum disease? Despite a lack of teeth brushing among ancient people, most people did not suffer from dental problems. There are a few explanations:

• The food being eaten was natural, unprocessed, and pure, containing nutrients and vitamins that strengthened teeth against bacteria
• Ancient diets were filled with fibrous foods, where the fiber acted as a brush against the teeth to filter away plaque and food
• Earlier diets lack sugary foods and acidic soda, two of the main detriments of modern diets
• Before cigarettes, humans didn’t smoke, and thus didn’t experience the harmful side effects of smoking on the teeth and human health

About 10,000 years ago at the dawn of the Neolithic period, our ancestors began farming, our teeth began to experience more decay, and dentistry emerged. As recent as the last decade, archaeologists found teeth that had been scraped and even drilled to possibly remove decayed tissue. With the onset of farming came carbohydrate-rich grains and starches. Some oral bacteria actually convert carbohydrates into enamel-destroying acids. There is evidence in numerous cultures across the world at various time periods where people combated decay by hand-drilling small holes into the teeth and scraping with different tools. At this point, you’re probably extremely thankful for the profound progress dentistry has made, even in the last century!

Cosmetic dentistry throughout history

It’s hard to pinpoint when improving the appearance of teeth became more fashionable rather than undergoing treatment to improve teeth function, but we know for sure that it has taken off in the past few years. Patients can now receive whitening treatments, veneers, and dental implants, all of which are cutting-edge procedures for a brighter, whiter smile! But cosmetic dentistry isn’t anything new—it goes back ancient times, where we know people developed tools to clean their teeth as early as 3000BC.
We’ve also been fixing our teeth since prehistoric times. Around 700 BC, there is evidence that Etruscans made dentures with ivory and bone, or constructed dentures from human or animal teeth. This practice lasted all the way up until the 1800s!

In 200 AD, the Etruscans also were using gold to create dental crowns and bridges, although it’s unknown whether this was for a dental treatment or for a fashion statement. The Ancient Egyptians used pumice stone and vinegar to create a toothpaste, and they hammered seashells into their gums as replacements for their teeth.

The 1700’s led to human teeth being used more commonly as dental implants, but our bodies tend to reject other humans’ teeth. In the late 1770’s, the first porcelain dentures were made, and they became extremely popular in the 19th century. By the early 20th century, dentists had switched to plastics and acrylics for dentures.

One of the most famous representations of cosmetic dentistry that comes to mind is that of the United States of America’s first president, George Washington. The legend surrounding Washington’s teeth was that they were made entirely of wood. But, in fact, they were actually made of animal bone!

How do our teeth become damaged from using them as tools in the present day and age?

Well, consider this: when we speak, our teeth are naturally separated during normal speech, and when we eat, food separates our teeth as we chew. When we use our teeth as tools, say to rip open a package or grind into tough foods, our teeth make contact, and suffer damage.

If your tooth has a filling or crown, using your teeth as tools they’re not intended for can pull out the filling or cause the crown to fall off. To those of you constantly holding bobby pins with your teeth to fix hair, bobby pins can actually pop off porcelain veneers on your teeth!

What does this have to do with our ancestors? Well, history repeats itself! We’re prone to using our strong, capable teeth as tools. Although we use our teeth as tools on a daily basis to eat, speak, and chew, improper use can lead to cracking and fracturing your teeth.

However progressive our dental care and habits are, we can truly damage our teeth. In comparison to the pain of damaging your teeth and the price of dental work, recognizing and changing our bad habits is better for our teeth and our wallets.

What if I already damaged my teeth?

You’re not alone if you didn’t know that using your teeth in certain, commonplace ways was damaging. What you should know, is that early treatment is always less extensive and less expensive. If a tooth suffers from minor cracks or chips, your dentist can easily repair them with a filling. If left untreated, these minor chips and cracks make the tooth weaker and more likely to break further, possibly chipping away at enamel and leaving the tooth exposed to bacteria.

Basically, the sooner you act with damaged teeth, the better for your wallet, your comfort, and the overall health of your teeth! Set up an appointment with Carolina Dental Choice to be proactive with your smile.

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Where Did The Tooth Fairy Come From?

2020-07-16T17:01:03+00:00March 31st, 2018|Carolina's Dental Choice, Dental Trends, General|

Do you remember the excitement of losing your baby teeth as a kid? Maybe even sticking your tooth under your pillow for the Tooth Fairy and waking up to a fun surprise. The Tooth Fairy makes losing teeth so much more exciting and helps children overcome any fears they have when teeth start falling out of their mouth. But where did this tradition come from? Carolina’s Dental Choice wants to share the story of the Tooth Fairy with you.

Each magical figure, like Santa Clause, the Sandman, and the Easter Bunny, has a story and reason that we love them. These stories are all interesting and are so different in many widespread cultures. Everyone’s traditions are all unique and the way people celebrate them make it fun and create charitable moments.

Where does the tradition of the Tooth Fairy come from?

The Tooth Fairy is an old, ancient, mythical figure from western folklore. The tradition began in Northern Europe by the Old Norse. They would reward children for the first tooth they lost. The tradition formed to help children escape the fear of losing teeth and replace the feelings with excitement. The myth goes as follows: children would lose their tooth and tuck it under their pillow at night. Once the child was fast asleep, the Tooth Fairy would fly in, collect the tooth, and in exchange leave the child a small gift or money. This tradition goes back to as early as the beginning of the 20th century.

Before the Tooth Fairy tradition, people did not celebrate teeth in quite the same way. Some actually feared teeth or thought that teeth could bring hardships or even cures. In the Middle Ages, people thought that teeth would bring bad experiences in the afterlife and that they would be searched for after death. To save children from future hardships, they would burn the teeth. Others burned their teeth out of fear that witches would find them and with the tooth, they could control them.

The Tooth Fairy myth came about to distract the fear of losing teeth. Children can be scared when it comes to teeth falling out. They may think that it will hurt or have fears that they won’t be able to eat or speak normally. Many are afraid that their tooth will never come back and that all of their teeth will just fall out. The Tooth Fairy tradition helps alleviate the fear of losing teeth and replaces it with a fun and exciting tradition that leaves children waiting for the fairy.

 

What does the Tooth Fairy leave in place of the tooth?

Twenty years ago, the tooth fairy may have left a quarter under the pillow but as with everything, teeth are subject to inflation. On average children receive between one and five dollars per tooth. Sometimes children receive different amounts based on which tooth is lost. Generally, the first tooth children lose is valued far more by the tooth fairy and children may receive a higher amount as a reward. Many warn against giving too much for a tooth, as it could cause problem amongst the child and their friends. Children love to share their encounters with magical figures. Who wouldn’t? But when the stories don’t add up, some might get angry or feel left out. This fun and exciting myth should stay fun instead of having children compare whose tooth was worth more.

 

When does the Tooth Fairy stop coming?

The Tooth Fairy stops visiting a child when they have lost all of their baby teeth or when they stop believing in the magic. Children begin loosing baby teeth between the age of four and eight. This process continues until a child is around nine to twelve years old. Many children will place every tooth under their pillow: some still believing and others just enjoying the fun in the magic. Others will outgrow the tradition before they have lost all their teeth. If this happens, don’t be discouraged: it is just a part of growing up but they will cherish the memories of the tradition when they are older. Children often stop believing in the magical figures around the same time. So if they have out grown the magic of the Tooth Fairy, be prepared for them to lose interest in the Easter Bunny and Santa Clause soon after as well. When children are around age seven to nine, they are psychologically expanding their mind to begin distinguishing fantasy from reality. They is usually when they begin questioning magical figures. 

Even if the child has figured out the myth, it can still continue in the spirit of fun and tradition. Many children admit that even once they no longer believe, they still enjoy the tradition and find it fun to do with their parents. As long as it’s still enjoyable and you don’t have to lie to keep the children believing, Carolina’s Dental Choice says continue with the fun. Who doesn’t love tracking progress with small rewards along the way? The Tooth Fairy is a great way to keep track of a permanent smile in growth.

 

Why Carolina’s Dental Choice loves the Tooth Fairy

Here at Carolina’s Dental Choice, we love the Tooth Fairy because it helps promote oral health early on. Children can’t learn about their teeth and the importance of the oral health early enough. Starting good habits and educating children on their teeth early in life will help children carry oral health skills with them as they grow. The Tooth Fairy lightens the introduction to dentistry. For children, visiting the dentist, losing teeth, and keeping up with oral hygiene can be scary, but the Tooth Fairy helps take away from the fear and makes the process of dental growth more exciting, less scary, and fun for children.

To get the most out of the Tooth Fairy while teaching children about oral health, we recommend telling your children that the Tooth Fairy likes healthy and clean teeth. This is a great way to encourage your child to brush their teeth and start building healthy habits. At Carolina’s Dental Choice, we love working with children to help them learn the value of their smile early. Our goal is to help you keep your child’s teeth healthy and will make sure your child leaves our office with a smiling face. Also children are able to earn small prizes for every appointment where they make the No Cavity Club! To make your appointment, call (704) 289-9519.

 

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Do People That Exercise Regularly Have Better Teeth?

2020-07-16T17:23:06+00:00January 30th, 2018|Dental Trends|

Exercising, Teeth, Smile, Dental Office, Dentist, Oral Health, Healthy Teeth, Dental Office Monroe

Carolina’s Dental Choice wants to share how important your physical health is for your oral health. The New Year is here and the resolutions to have a happier and healthier lifestyle for 2018 are back again. Whether your goal is to eat healthier, workout more, run a marathon, or join CrossFit, all of these goals can affect your teeth. Yeah, you probably already knew that healthy eating is good for your teeth but did you know that exercising also plays a role in the condition of your teeth?

A huge oral health concern for many people is gum disease. Gum disease is very common and believe it or not exercising can help to decrease the risk. Gum disease is caused by harmful bacteria in the mouth which cause the gums to swell. People who live an active lifestyle and exercise regularly have been found to have healthier gums and are less likely to have gum disease. This is because exercise lowers inflammation in your body, this includes the gums.

Related: The Trendy New Diet That Is Awesome For Your Smile

Exercise really does play a huge role in your overall health and especially your oral health. Exercise helps improve your digestive system; this helps increase blood flow and helps your body tissue resist infection. This allows the mouth to use the minerals and vitamins found in the food you eat. These help strengthen and protect your teeth and gums. Exercising, eating healthy, and getting lots of sleep are all habits that help you lead a healthier life.

Carolina’s Dental Choice wants to make sure you stay healthy, happy, and have an awesome smile. To keep your bright, shiny smile and to keep your teeth and gums healthy, it is important to exercise. Don’t forget: taking good care of your teeth, keeping up with oral hygiene, and visiting our office regularly for routine exams will help keep your oral health in check. 

 

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