Lakeside Dental Dr. Russell L. Coad, D.D.S.
Posted on June 7th, 2017

When you think about mouthguards, do not just think about football or hockey. A mouthguard can protect your teeth and mouth from injury in just about any sport or exercise, like gymnastics or skating.

Mouthguards, also called mouth protecrots, can help cushion a blow to the face, helping reduce the chance of broken teeth.

There are 3 types of mouthguards:
1. Stock: you can buy these preformed mouthguards at many sporting goods stores or drugstores. They are inexpensive and come ready to wear right out of the package. Unfortunately, because they are "one size fits all," they many be bulky and might make breathing and talking more difficult.
2. Boil-and-Bite: these mouthguards also can be bought at sporting goods stores and drugstores. You first put the mouthguard in hot water, and then bite down and allow it to form to the shape of your mouth.
3. Custom-Made: these mouthguards are made by your dentist just for you. Because they are individually made, with a personalized fit, they are likely the most comfortable option, though they are more expensive than the other types.

If you decided to buy a stock or boil-and-bite mouthguard, look for the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance on the package. The Seal means scientific tests show that a product is safe when used as directed. These tests are reviewed by the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs.

Replace your mouthguard immediately if it does not fit well, looks worn, has tears, or loses its shape. For the mouthguard to do its job, it has to fit well in your mouth. Because their mouths are still growing, teens and children likely need to replace their mouthguards every year, if not more often.

It is important to keep your mouthguard clean and dry between uses. Here are some tips for taking care of your mouthguard.
     *Rinse with cool water before and after each use. Brush with a toothbrush and cool water after rinsing.
     *Bring your mouthguard to your dental visits. Your dentist may want to check the fit or look for signs of wear.
     *Store and carry the mouthguard in a sturdy container that has vents so it can dry, which will help keep bacteria from growing.
     *Never leave the mouthguard in the sun or in the hot water.
     *Your mouthguard should fit snugly over your teeth. Replace it if looks worn, tears, or loses its shape.
     *Never wrap your mouthguard in a tissue or napkin (it could get thrown away). Store your mouthguard and its case somewhere safe, away from pets and small children.
     *Check the package label or insert to see if the manufacturer gives any special instructions for caring for your mouthguard.

When accidents do happen, though, there are a number of first aid steps you can take before going to the dentist.

Prepared by Anita M. Mark

Posted on May 8th, 2017

Good Brushing Technique
Why is brushing and flossing your teeth so important? Because it removes plaque. If plaque isn't removed, it continues to build up, causing tooth decay, gum disease and eventual tooth loss. Fortunately, keeping your teeth clean is easy and takes only a few minutes to maintain your good oral health.

Eight Tips for Easy Brushing:     
1. Use a soft-bristled brush and toothpaste that contains fluoride.
2. Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against your gums.
3. Move the brush gently, using short strokes; don't scrub.
4. Pay special attention to the gum line.
5. Brush the outer tooth surfaces using short, back-and-forth strokes.
6. Brush the inner surfaces of the front teeth using gentle, up-and-down strokes.
7. Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath.
8. Rinse your toothbrush with water and store upright after use.

Follow The Floss To A Healthier Smile
Nobody wants to loose a tooth, but gum disease - which causes tooth loss - can sneak up on you. To get rid of the bacteria that causes gum disease you have to get rid of all the plaque. Flossing at least once a day helps clean the plaque from hard-to-reach places between teeth and under the gum line - lowering your risk of cavities and helping to prevent gum disease.

Foolproof Flossing in 6 Quick Steps:
1. Pull about 18 inches of floss and wrap most of it around the index or middle finger of each hand so you have a few inches between your hands.
2. Hold the floss between your thumbs and fingers and saw between each set of teeth until the floss gently pops between the teeth.
3. Pull the floss tight against the side of one tooth so it forms a "C" shape and slide it down.
4. Gently get down below the gum between each tooth and gum line.
5. Repeat for each pair of teeth.
6. Remember to floss the backside of the back tooth in each corner of your mouth.

Sugar Free Smiles Last Longer
Sugary treats may taste great for a few seconds, but they can cause cavities that last forever. By avoiding sugar, and by brushing and flossing right after meals and snacks, you can help prevent cavities from even starting in the first place. Soda pop, candles, cakes, cookies, pies and even fruit drinks can all create sticky plaque on your teeth and gums that lead to disease.

Quick Tips for Sugar - Smart Snacking:
1. Choose healthy treats like nuts, raw vegetables, or even low - fat yogurt.
2. Fruit is naturally sweet and contains vitamins that support a strong body and teeth.
3. Choose water over fruit juice, sports or energy drinks when you are thirsty.
4. Chew sugar - free gum after snacks to reduce the acids that cause cavities.

Healthy Smile, Happy Life
Oral health is a part of being well - and the foundation for a healthy and active lifestyle. When our mouths, gums or teeth aren't healthy, our bodies may be more susceptible to serious disease.

Is Your Oral Health Putting Your Overall Health At Risk?
About 40 percent of American adults experience a form of moderate to severe periodontal (gum) disease. Gum disease is caused by bacteria that form plaque on your teeth. Left untreated, these bacteria can severely infect the gums and lead to tooth loss. Researchers have associated gum disease with many different health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke and more.

Posted on January 18th, 2017

On Valentine's Day, showing our love and appreciation for someone often is communicating with a heart-shaped box of scrumptious chocolate candy treats. Unbelievably, Americans buy more than 35 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolates each year. Here are some other statistics about Valentine's sweets:

*American's spend $345 million for Valentine's candy each year
* Approximately 58 million pounds of chocolate are consumed around Valentine's Day
* The average American consumes between 10 and 12 pounds of chocolate each year; more than 60% of all chocolates in America are enjoyed by women
* About 8 billion candy hearts are sold between Feb. 1 and Feb. 14

While most of us are aware that consuming large amounts of candy during this holiday can contribute to a larger waistline, we may not think about how sweets impact our oral health.

Impact of Sweets on Your Teeth
Each time bacteria come into contact with sugar in your mouth, acid is produced, which attacks your teeth for at least 20 minutes. And the bacteria that cause cavities thrive in sweets and sodas. Cavities are caused by tooth decay that destroys the tooth structures and can affect both the enamel and inner layer of the tooth. 

Sweets that are tough on Your Teeth

Some foods and candies create more problems for your teeth than others, including those that are sticky, dissolve slowly or are sucked, such as lollipops, hard candies, toffee, gum drops, taffy, caramel corn, peanut brittle, dried fruit, chocolate-covered raisins and high-energy sports bars. 

Keep your Teeth Healthy
To maintain good oral health, brush your teeth at least twice a day, use floss daily, eat nutritious foods, limit snacks, including candy, pretzels, and chips, and visit your dentist regularly for cleanings and exams.

Posted on November 29th, 2016

The winder holidays are known for sweet treats and tempting goodies, but that doesn't mean that you have to end up at the dentist with cavities in January.

How do sweet foods and drinks cause cavities?
When you eat sugary foods or drinks, naturally occurring bacteria in the mouth feed on the sugar and create acids as a by-product. These acids then wear down the tooth enamel, making it weaker and more susceptible to tooth decay as well as a host of other problems, including gingivitis.

Snacking on sweets throughout the day or during an extended period of time (such as at a holiday party) is especially harmful, since damaging acids form in the mouth every time you eat a sugary snack and continue to affect the teeth for at least 20 minutes afterwards.

"Snacking on sweets and sugary beverages throughout the day can increase the chance of tooth decay and gum disease," said Dr. Kevin Sheu, managing dental consultant for Delta Dental. "Brushing and flossing after snacks definitely reduces bacteria."

5 tips to stay cavity-free
Keep cavity-causing bacteria in check by adding these strategies to your holiday routine.
Balance out your sweets with other foods.
Eating sugary and carb-rich foods as part of a balanced meal can lessen their impact on your teeth.
Choose sweets that don't stick around.
Instead of sticky foods that get on and in between your teeth, go for items that dissolve quickly, limiting their contact with your enamel. For example, swap our caramels and candy canes with plain dark chocolate.
Brush afterwards.
Always keep a toothbrush to brush away foods and plaque after you eat. If you're consuming foods or beverages that are high in acid, like oranges and wine, make sure to wait 30 minutes. Acid can soften the enamel, so brushing too soon can actually damage your teeth.
Stay Prepared.
You'll have no excuse to skip brushing and flossing if you always keep a toothbrush, travel tube of toothpaste and container of floss in your bag or car.
Rinse to refresh.
When you can't brush, rinse your mouth with tap water to wash away food particles and bacteria.

Brush up on your technique
Use your holiday vacations to spend more time brushing your teeth. If you're relaxed or have more free time during the day or with your morning or nightly routine, you can use the time to brush more thoroughly and develop better oral care habits.

It isn't necessary to brush vigorously to get your teeth clean. What's important when brushing your teeth is not how hard you scrub, but that you use the proper technique and that you do a thorough job. And that takes time. Dentists recommend that you brush your teeth for two to three minutes to get the most thorough cleaning.

If you get into the habit of brushing for two to three minutes every morning, every night and after every meal during the holidays, you make keep those good habits when your regular routine resumes.

Article by provided by Delta Dental.

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