Sealants are a great way to protect against tooth decay in the gooves on your back teeth (molars). These are the teeth that are most vulnerable to cavities and decay because they are used in the chewing process and are the most difficult to reach and clean. Molars first come in at around 5-7 years of age, with a second set coming in between the ages of 11-14. It is best to have a sealant placed when the molars first come in to ensure they are protected early.
To place a sealant an adhesive is first applied into the grooves of the teeth. The sealant is then placed over the adhesive as a liquid, as if it is painted right onto the tooth. The liquid then hardens and creates a barrier between your tooth and any plaque, food particles, and bacteria. Sealants last for about 10 years and can be reapplied if necessary.
Be aware that sealants do not protect the smooth side areas of your teeth and therefore do not protect those areas from decay. You must still be vigilant about brushing and removing food from between your teeth.
Mouth guards are an essential piece of equipment in contact sports. They should be worn by athletes of all ages who participate in sports such as:
- Any contact sport
Wearing a mouth guard helps prevent against structural damage to your teeth and jaw and also helps prevent injuries such as lacerations to your cheeks, tongue, and lips. Mouth guards have also been shown to help decrease the risk of concussions.
Mouth guards are available in most any sporting goods store but be aware that there is a difference between these and the custom fit type made in the dental office. “Boil and bite” type of mouth guards do not offer the best level of protection. Despite your best efforts, they can be ill-fitting and uncomfortable.
For the highest level of comfort and protection, you should visit your dentist for a custom mouth guard. A custom mouth guard is created specifically for the optimal protection of YOUR mouth. It is created with flexible plastic that is vacuum formed to protect your teeth. The custom fit of the professionally made mouth guard allows for easy breathing and also allows for easy communication (especially important for you star quarterbacks calling out the signals).
See your dentist today for a custom mouth guard to protect your teeth and ensure that you maintain the highest level of performance on the field, court, or rink.
Tongue & Lip Ties
Babies are born with a piece of tissue called a frenum that helps guide/restrict tissue during development. There is a frenulum that attaches the upper and lower lips to the gums as well as the tongue to the floor of the mouth. The frenums are supposed to become laxed or dissipate around birth so it does not cause restriction of tissue. In infants, a shortened/tight frenulum can restrict the tongue and lips to inhibit proper breastfeeding. There are many signs and symptoms to be aware of as a new mother to help determine if your child could improve their breastmilk intake.
If deemed beneficial for the child to have the frenectomy procedure done during an initial consultation appt, a frenectomy is a minor surgical procedure that is performed in our dental office the same appointment. Dr. Reider and Dr. Steele have the ability to perform the surgery with new laser technology and takes less than 15 minutes. Using a laser causes very little bleeding and does not require stitches. Utilizing the laser also results in less postoperative discomfort and a shorter healing time. Infants are able to have the procedure completed with only local topical anesthetic. Proper postoperative instructions and stretching exercises will be reviewed with parents after the procedure.
Tongue-ties and lip-ties are also associated with inhibiting proper speech as well as altering proper tooth alignment in the mouth. If your child is going through speech therapy or was advised to, be sure to have the frenulum in their mouth checked to make sure it is not a physical limitation.
If your child needs a frenectomy, the procedure is very successful and causes minimal discomfort while encouraging astronomical benefits for your child. Call our office today if you have more questions or would like a consultation appt!