In terms of prevention, we offer: sealants / preventive restorative resins, custom mouth guards, and multiple preventive &/or habit-appliances such as space maintainers, thumb-sucking appliances, and snoring & sleep apnea appliances.
Sealants act as a barrier to prevent cavities. Sealants, plastic in nature, are generally applied to the chewing surfaces of back teeth (premolars and molars) where decay occurs most often due to natural depressions and grooves in these areas.
Sealants withstand normal chewing and may last several years before replacement is required.
Sealants are primarily recommended for children, however adult patients are prime candidates as well in some cases. Good oral hygiene is still a must following sealant application, however, regardless of age.
Mouthguards, commonly called sports guards, protect the face from trauma by minimizing the risk of broken teeth and injuries to your lips, tongue, face or jaw upon contact.
A mouthguard should be considered standard sports equipment. Studies show athletes are 60 times more likely to sustain damage to the teeth if they’re not wearing a mouthguard. You only have one set of teeth and repairs & replacements costs can be significant.
A custom mouthguard (i.e. one that has been custom made for your mouth by your dentist) provides the best protection especially if braces &/or bridgework is involved and as an added bonus: they are available in several fun colors and designs. If a custom guard is not feasible for whatever reason: it's still better to wear a stock or a boil-and-bite mouthguard than no mouthguard.
Food for thought: the expense of a mouthguard is minimal when one considers the potential costs involved with repairing &/or replacing teeth.
Tips for caring for your mouthguard:
- rinse before and after each use or brush with a toothbrush and toothpaste
- transport the mouthguard in a sturdy container that has vents
- never leave the mouthguard in the sun or in hot water
- check for wear and tear to see if it needs replacing
Adult teeth can erupt in the wrong place if space maintainers are not placed in such cases and that can lead to further problems for each tooth that erupts thereafter in terms of spacing and alignment.
Thumb-sucking is a natural reflex for some children. It often soothes them giving them a sense of security and happiness. It can lead to problems when permanent teeth come in terms of proper growth and alignment. Pacifiers can affect growth in similar ways but it is often an easier habit to break.
Habit breaking appliances are sometimes recommended for aggressive &/or persistent thumb suckers.
Tips for helping your child stop thumb-sucking:
- Praise your child for not sucking their thumb.
- Try to find alternatives if your child is anxious &/or uncomfortable. Involve your child in the process of choosing an alternative if he or she is a bit older.
- Enlist our help if necessary. We would be happy to encourage your child by explaining what could happen to their teeth if they do not stop sucking their thumb.
Sleep Apnea and Snoring
Sleep apnea is a common / serious sleeping disorder that occurs when regular breathing is interrupted during sleep. Snoring is common for those with sleep apnea but sleep apnea is not a problem for everyone that snores.
Sleep apnea can affect any one at any age however men are more likely to develop the disorder. The risk is also associated with health, weight, age, large tonsils, a large tongue, a small jaw, a family history of sleep apnea, or a nasal obstruction of some sort due to a deviated septum, allergies or sinus problems.
There are 2 main types of sleep apnea:
- Obstructive sleep apnea is the more common form, is the result of blocked airflow during sleep, which occurs when soft tissue at the back of the throat collapses during sleep.
- Central sleep apnea is a result of a miscommunication between the brain and breathing muscles. The airway is not actually blocked in this instance - the brain fails to signal the muscles to breath. Conditions such as: heart failure, brain tumors, brain infections, and stroke often contribute to this type of sleep apnea.
There are several treatment options to treat these disorders such as sleeping adjustments, habit appliances &/or surgery. Talk to us about your symptoms and options today.
The exceptional image quality has also increased our capability to accurately diagnose conditions in the mouth.