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Top 6 Things Every Parent Should Know Before Getting Your Child Braces

Many parents postpone orthodontic care because they have a preconceived notion that getting braces will cost a fortune. The truth is that the fees for orthodontic care varies by child. The only way to know what your child needs is by making a visit to our office and asking questions.

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Do Braces Boost Your Child’s Self Confidence?

From an increasingly younger age, children are impressionable and self-conscious about their appearance. When they’re unhappy with their teeth, they avoid smiling and hide behind their hands or refuse to have their picture taken. Self-esteem and self-confidence impact children’s mental and emotional well-being during the critical early years of development, and these feelings about self shape who someone grows up to be.

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Dental Did You Know: Initial Newborn Evaluation Protocol-Tethered Oral Tissues

All newborn infants should have an oral assessment as early as birth. Infants having difficulty in achieving a deep, comfortable and efficient latch onto a mother’s breast should be examined by a lactation consultant within (24-48 hrs) after birth and should have an evaluation of the oral tissues, especially of the tongue and upper lip attachments completed.

Athletic Mouthguards for Protection and Performance

A mouthguard is a flexible plastic appliance that is worn during recreational and athletic activities to protect the teeth from trauma or loss and to prevent jaw fractures, neck injuries and concussions. It has been estimated that wearing a mouthguard will reduce concussions by 50%. Mouthguards also minimize lacerated and bruised lips and cheeks by keeping these soft tissue areas away from the teeth. This is especially true for youngsters with orthodontic braces.

The mouth is the most injured area of the body during contact sports. Wearing mouthguards is highly recommended for those participating in boxing, basketball, field hockey, football, ice hockey, lacrosse, martial arts, soccer, wrestling, water polo and rugby. The American Dental Association for those partaking in acrobatics, gymnastics, volleyball, handball, racquetball, skiing, skydiving, squash, surfing, weightlifting, shot putting and discus throwing also suggests mouthguards. Participants in recreational activities such as skateboarding and bicycling should wear mouthguards, especially in competition. An effective mouthguard should remain in place during the activity while not interfering with speech or breathing. It should provide maximum protection while being comfortable to wear. There are three types of mouthguards from which to choose:

Stock (Ready-made) – Most sports stores carry these, and they are the least expensive. They are available in various sizes and shapes, but cannot be adjusted to fit your mouth. Often, they are loose and bulky and may interfere with speaking or breathing. These are the least desirable.
Mouth-formed (“Boil & Bite”) – These are available in most sports stores and are relatively inexpensive. The plastic mouthguard shell is boiled in water for 10-45 seconds, cooled under tap water and molded and adapted directly in the mouth. Compared to custom-made guards, the fit is not as accurate, and it may not last as long.
Custom-made – This type is highly recommended and the most effective. We make them at our dental office from a cast of your teeth. While they are a little bit more expensive than the store-bought variety, they provide the greatest protection and comfort. We know it’s well worth your safety and peace of mind.

Like any other sports gear, mouthguards can wear out and lose their effectiveness. They may have to be replaced after each sports season. However, proper care will increase their longevity. Heat is bad for mouthguards, because it may cause them to deform. Keep them out of direct sunlight and never leave them in a closed car. Rinse them under cold water with each use, and occasionally use soap and cold water to clean them. When not in use, either store your mouthguard in a well-ventilated plastic box or in a container immersed in water. Don’t handle or try to wear someone else’s mouthguard.

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Setting Priorities for Good Dental Health

Many people have bleeding gums, and they don’t think twice about it. They view it as a minor inconvenience. If you were bleeding from any other part of your body, you wouldn’t hesitate to see a physician. If you lost a body part you wouldn’t hesitate to have it replaced. We have 32 teeth – they are all body parts.

While we may not need our teeth to live like one needs a heart, we need our mouth to be pain-free and functional to enjoy a good quality of life.

But like exercising, dieting or anything that requires a routine, many of us fall short of a sustained effort to accomplishing long-term results. Why do we run out of toothpaste, floss, toothbrushes vitamins, etc. when we know their importance? Why do we have problems maintaining an oral hygiene regimen? Perhaps, we don’t make the answers priorities.

We in this dental office believe in the philosophy espoused by Dr. F. Harold Wirth who said, “The mouth in its entirety is an important and even wondrous part of our anatomy, our emotion, our life; it is the site of our very being. When an animal loses teeth, it cannot survive unless it is domesticated; its very existence is terminated; it dies. In the human, the mouth is the means of speaking, of expressing love, happiness and joy, anger, ill temper, or sorrow. It is the primary sex contact; hence it is of initial import to our regeneration and survival by food and propagation. It deserves the greatest care it can receive at any sacrifice.”

This is our passion. Make it yours and the rest will fall into place. Call and ask us how we may help you achieve your oral hygiene and health goals and ensure a greater quality of life.

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