Why Should You Wear a Mouthguard When Playing Sports?
When you picture protective sports equipment, what comes to mind? Helmets, gloves, shin guards, and face masks are easy to think of, but what about mouthguards?
All sporting activities have a risk of orofacial injuries due to collisions, falls, and contact with hard surfaces. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), about 32% of children who need maxillofacial surgery are injured playing sports. Wearing a mouthguard is the easiest way to prevent such injuries.
Who Should Wear a Mouthguard?
Sports that require or highly recommend mouthguards include football, lacrosse, rugby, ice hockey, boxing, and martial arts. Other sports—such as baseball, basketball, soccer, softball, wrestling, volleyball, and gymnastics—do not require mouthguards, but young athletes are encouraged to wear them. Kids, teens, and others participating in physically active pastimes—including skateboarding, roller skating, mountain biking, skiing, snowboarding, and jumping on a trampoline—also benefit from wearing a mouthguard.
Reasons to Wear a Mouthguard When Playing Sports
Whether your child’s coach demands it or not, consider having a custom mouthguard made for your young athlete. Here are five examples of sports injuries mouthguards can prevent:
- Broken teeth: Taking an elbow to the face can be enough to chip a tooth. Mouthguards offer a simple solution, shielding every tooth and reducing the chance of them breaking on impact.
- Knocked-out teeth: A chipped tooth is one thing, but teeth are liable to be knocked out entirely while playing sports. Mouthguards act as a protective shield, absorbing the impact and significantly lowering the risk of dislodged teeth.
- Tooth root damage: When teeth are bumped hard enough to displace them, blood flow to the roots may be cut off, causing the tooth to die. The tooth becomes discolored, but what’s more, bacteria may spread from the dead tooth to the surrounding teeth, gums, and jawbone. Wearing a mouthguard can prevent this irreversible harm.
- Soft tissue injuries: As if damaged teeth weren’t enough, injuries to the tongue, cheeks, lips, and gums are also likely when an athlete is hit in the face. By encasing the upper teeth in a soft, rubbery material, mouthguards limit the ability to bite down on anything but the guard itself, protecting surrounding soft tissues from injuries that could require stitches or surgery to correct.
- Concussions: Head injuries are a great concern for every parent whose child plays contact sports. And while helmets have come a long way, they aren’t the only tool that can keep athletes safe. Mouthguards cushion the blow and limit jaw movement during a collision, reducing the chance of a concussion when coupled with a properly fitted helmet.
Park 56 Dental is proud to be an authorized dealer of Under Armour® mouthguards and mouthpieces designed for full-contact and non-contact sports. Made from the highest quality materials and powered by premium Armourbite™ technology, athletes of all ages enjoy maximum protection while wearing these custom mouthguards. If you or your child is an athlete, call us at (212) 826-2322 today to schedule a 20-minute custom mouthguard fitting.
How Dental Implants Can Improve Your Confidence
Everyone wants a beautiful smile, which is why you strive to take good care of your teeth. However, if you’ve lost a tooth due to injury or decay, your smile may now embarrass you rather than boosting your confidence. Sure, dentures are a temporary fix, but they’re sometimes uncomfortable and frustrating to wear. They could even become a source of embarrassment themselves if your false teeth shift as you talk or eat.
Dental implants are the superior choice for replacing a lost tooth. This dental advancement has come a long way in recent years and is now considered the most permanent and effective treatment for tooth loss. Learn how dental implants can improve your confidence as you decide whether this restorative treatment is right for you.
The first thing most people notice about you is your smile. If you have a gap from a missing tooth, this becomes the focal point of your appearance.
The biggest reason to choose implants is that they restore a natural-looking smile. They are expertly crafted to match the shape, color, and sheen of your surrounding natural teeth, so no one will know you have implants. This knowledge gives you the confidence to talk and laugh freely.
The biggest problem with dentures is that they don’t allow you to eat your favorite foods comfortably or at all. People with dentures may learn this the hard way after an embarrassing incident during lunch with friends.
Implants don’t just look like your natural teeth—they act like them. Expect to regain up to 70% of your biting force, and feel free to chew the stickiest foods without worry.
Preserved Oral Health
A beautiful smile relies on healthy gum tissue and strong jaw bones. If you’re missing one or more teeth, your oral health may suffer. Gums recede, bone deteriorates, and surrounding teeth shift and weaken, putting your whole smile at risk. If left untreated long enough, your entire face shape may change, making you look older.
Implants are the solution to these problems. They include a titanium post that mimics a tooth root, giving your jaws and gums the structure they need to retain youthful vibrancy. No other tooth replacement option offers this benefit.
Dental implants have over a 95% success rate and are considered a permanent solution. This means you don’t need to pay to replace them every few years like traditional dentures. Best of all, caring for implants is easy—simply brush, floss, and visit the dentist regularly to get the most out of them. With good oral hygiene habits, implants can last a lifetime!
The NYC dentists at Park 56 Dental have years of experience performing dental implants. Our skilled team uses the most advanced technology to ensure you’re thrilled with your new smile. So don’t go another day hiding the gap between your teeth—call Park 56 Dental at (212) 826-2322 or contact us online to ask the best dentist in New York all your implant-related questions.
How Water Plays a Role in Dental Health
You probably already know that drinking enough water is essential for good health. After all, it keeps your skin radiant, encourages proper organ function, and helps distribute nutrients around the body. But have you considered how water plays a role in dental health? Dentists promote drinking water as one of the easiest and most beneficial things you can do to promote a healthy smile, especially if the water contains fluoride. Here’s why.
Strengthen Your Pearly Whites
Fluoride is nature’s cavity fighter. When added to drinking water, the optimal fluoride level strengthens teeth and makes them less prone to decay. Most municipal water supplies around the US have fluoridated water, including New York City. The American Medical Association, the American Dental Association, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention commend fluoridation as one of the top 10 most important public health measures of the 20th century.
Wash Away Particles and Debris
Water cleans your mouth with every sip, washing away leftover particles and residue that cavity-causing bacteria love to eat. Water also dilutes the acids produced by oral bacteria and helps your breath stay fresh. Of course, you still need to brush and floss daily to deep-clean your teeth and gums, but drinking water throughout the day goes a long way.
Prevent Dry Mouth
Saliva, which is 99% water, is your mouth’s first line of defense against cavities. One of the most important roles of saliva is to remineralize your teeth with calcium, phosphate, and fluoride. A depleted saliva level, also known as dry mouth, interrupts the remineralization process, increasing your risk for tooth decay. While certain underlying diseases and medications can cause dry mouth, drinking water is an easy way to keep this condition at bay.
Avoid Excess Sugar Consumption
Juice, soda, and sports drinks may wash down your meal, but they leave unwanted sugar and acid behind. Sugar feeds harmful oral bacteria, which can lead to cavities. At the same time, acid erodes the outer layer of your teeth, known as enamel, leaving the underlying dentin more vulnerable to decay. Drinking water causes none of these problems. In fact, it rinses away residue to achieve a healthy equilibrium in your mouth.
Protect Your Overall Health
Have you heard of the mouth-body connection? Cavities and gum disease can send harmful inflammation-causing bacteria to other parts of the body through your bloodstream. This increases your risk for heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, respiratory infections, kidney disease, and other health complications. By drinking more water and adopting other good oral hygiene habits, you can protect your overall health for years to come.
If you make only one change regarding your oral health, have it be to drink more water! Then, remember to visit Park 56 Dental for a checkup twice a year. We’ll help your smile stay healthy and bright with routine cleaning and restorative services when you need them. Call us at (212) 826-2322 or contact us online today to schedule your next visit with NYC’s best dentist.
Natural Remedies for Toothaches
Pain, swelling, redness, and other symptoms around your teeth and jaws could indicate an oral health problem. If your pain is severe or persists for more than a day or two, call an emergency dentist in NYC and request a same-day appointment. A dental professional can recommend personalized ways to treat your toothache and perform any necessary interventions. In the meantime, try these seven natural remedies for toothaches to relieve your pain at home.
- Rinse with saltwater: This simple tip is the first treatment most people try. It’s fast, easy, and effective for minor toothaches. Simply mix 1/2 teaspoon into a small glass of warm water and swish it around your mouth to reduce inflammation and help oral wounds heal faster.
- Apply a cold compress: If your cheek feels hot and swollen, wrap an ice pack or bag of frozen peas with a towel and hold it to the achy area for 20 minutes at a time. Repeat every few hours throughout the day to help reduce the swelling.
- Rinse with diluted hydrogen peroxide: This mild antiseptic kills bacteria and can help bleeding gums heal faster. A safe, effective rinse consists of one part 3% hydrogen peroxide and one part water. Alternatively, you can buy hydrogen peroxide-based mouthwash at a drugstore or pharmacy.
- Apply peppermint tea bags: After steeping a bag of peppermint tea, place the used bag in the freezer for a few minutes. Then, apply the wet, chilled bag to your achy tooth to soothe and numb the affected area.
- Apply vanilla extract: The antioxidants and alcohol in vanilla can help relieve your pain. Dampen a cotton swab with vanilla extract (not imitation vanilla) and apply it to the sore area a few times per day.
- Chew garlic: The antibacterial and pain-relieving properties of garlic make it an effective toothache remedy. Slowly chew on a clove of garlic with your achy tooth or apply a crushed garlic paste around the affected area.
- Apply diluted clove or thyme: These essential oils have healing properties that may help your toothache. For a safe, effective remedy, dilute the clove or thyme oil with a carrier oil, such as sunflower or jojoba oil, at a ratio of 15 drops of clove or thyme oil to one ounce of carrier oil. Dip a cotton swab into this mixture and apply it to the affected area a few times per day. Alternatively, you can add a drop of clove or thyme oil to a small glass of water and use it as a mouthwash.
A severe toothache could indicate an abscess, dental decay, teeth grinding, or periodontal disease, so don’t ignore your symptoms if the above natural remedies prove ineffective. Park 56 Dental is your emergency dentist in NYC, serving the 10022 zip code area since 1997. Call us at (212) 826-2322 to schedule your same-day appointment with the best dentist in New York. We’ll diagnose the source of your toothache and begin the proper treatment without delay.
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