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Tips for Protecting Braces While Playing Sports

A mouth guard is an essential piece of equipment for any young athlete, but especially important for those who are wearing braces. A mouth injury could be made worse on the field if it affects the braces, potentially hindering the progress of treatment. At Edinburg Family Dentistry, we look out for the oral health of our patients. Here are a few tips for how to keep braces safe while playing sports.

Wear a mouth guard

Mouth guards can be made to fit easily over braces and other orthodontic equipment. They are effective for protecting against injuries such as a knocked-out tooth, a tooth fracture, a tooth pushed into the gums, and damage to the braces themselves.

Pick the right type of mouth guard

There are three types of mouth guards: boil-and-bite, pre-molded, and custom-fitted. A pre-molded mouth guard is the cheapest option, but generally will not fit very well, especially over braces. Boil-and-bite mouth guards offer a little more customization, but the most comfortable – and effective – choice is a custom-made mouth guard provided by your dentist.

Make wearing a mouth guard fun

Because they’re not the most comfortable thing to wear, it can be a challenge to get your child to wear their mouth guard consistently. Help make it more enjoyable by getting it in fun colors or with their team logo put on it. Some companies even offer flavored mouth guards, such as bubblegum and strawberry. Once they are in the practice of wearing a mouth guard, it’ll be easy for them to remember to put it on during practices and games.

Know how to take care of a mouth guard properly

Mouth guards need to be cleaned after each use. Simple rinsing with soap and warm water is enough. If you’re worried about losing it, look for ones that come with a strap that allow it to be attached to a helmet. Carrying cases are useful for storage in a gym bag.

Know when to go to the emergency room

If your child has, unfortunately, suffered an oral injury, it may not actually require a trip to the emergency room. Examine the injury. If you can get the bleeding to stop, and it looks like the braces have not been damaged, there is no gaping wound, and your child is not in an inordinate amount of pain, you can probably skip the emergency room. Dislocated or repositioned teeth will require a visit to an oral surgeon and if the braces have been damaged, you will need to schedule an appointment with your orthodontist.

By taking care of the braces, you can ensure that your child’s orthodontic treatment will progress as it should. The professionals at Edinburg Family Dentistry are here to assist you.

What are Dental Implants, & Why Consider One?

Many patients come to us to find a solution to missing teeth. A popular option has been dental implants. Why is this option so popular? Let’s look at a few of the reasons, then we’ll look at what’s involved in getting dental implants.

Why Dental Implants are so Popular

  • Dental implants are long-lasting. Modern implants are highly durable compared to other prosthetics such as dentures. Whereas dentures are removable, implants are permanent fixtures.
  • Implants improve your appearance. Care is taken to design the implant’s prosthetic to feel, function and look just like your natural teeth.
  • They improve your speech. Misfit dentures often loosen or may even fall out of one’s mouth. This severely affects speech. Implants, on the other hand, do not have these problems.
  • Implants make eating easier and more enjoyable. Dentures tend to slip while chewing, making eating more of a chore than it needs to be. But, since implants are anchored to your jaw just like natural teeth, eating is normal and enjoyable.

What is the Dental Implant Process?

  • Consultation and examination. Your dental surgeon will have a personal consultation with you to evaluate your current health and circumstances to see if dental implants are a possibility for you.
  • Tooth Extraction. Before getting your new implant, what is left of your current tooth must be removed before it can be replaced. The extraction process is simple and can occasionally be done as a part of the same procedure as the implant.
  • Implantation. Once the implant site is ready, a titanium rod is then inserted directly into the jaw bone. This new root is secured to the jawbone by a process called osseointegration. This is the fusing of the bone to the titanium as the jaw heals. This process takes some time, anywhere from six to 12 weeks.
  • Prosthetic placement. Once the bone has healed and the rod has been firmly infused into the jaw, the procedure can be completed. The dentist will create a custom dental prosthetic that will look and feel exactly like your natural teeth. Once this prosthetic tooth has been attached to the titanium root you can use your tooth like normal.

Not everyone qualifies for such a procedure. But, if you are considering such an option, or have questions about dental implants, book an appointment at our office for a consultation.