The starting point to achieving and maintaining strong teeth and gums is their preventative care.
- Regular Check-ups & cleaning – Dental plaque is a thick sticky film of bacteria that builds up on the teeth. Plaque can harden to become calculus, also known as Tartar. Plaque and calculus are caused by poor hygiene which is when the teeth have not been cleaned thoroughly or often enough. Bacteria in plaque react with sugars and starch in food to produce acids which attack tooth enamel and gums and cause dental cavities. The dentist will check you oral health by examining your teeth and gums and noting whether plaque and calculus are present. Teeth are examined for any decay and also check any existing fillings. Digital x-rays are used as an aid to detect decay. Regular check-ups every 6 months will ensure problems are detected and treated early.
- Fissure Sealants – The deep grooves in the back molar teeth are called fissures. These can be hard for young kids to clean properly leading to the development of cavities. Sealing the fissures is a quick and easy wayof protecting the fissures; it only takes a few minutes. The tooth is prepared with a special blue solution, washed and dried with air. The liquid is applied and set hard using a special light. It is pain free.
- Mouthguards – Sporting accidents are one of the most common causes of dental injury. Every year thousands of people, including children, are treated for dental injuries that could have been avoided or minimised by wearing a protective, custom-fitted mouth guard.
Why do you need a mouthguard?Damaged or knocked out teeth, broken jaws and cut lips can be sustained when playing sport. Wearing a custom-fitted mouthguard helps to absorb and spread the impact of a blow to your face, which might otherwise result in an injury to your mouth or jaw.Dental injuries can result in time off school or work to recover, can be painful and disfiguring, and may involve lengthy and complex dental treatment. The cost of an injury to your teeth or jaw far exceeds the cost of a custom-fitted mouthguard.
When should I wear a mouthguard? Custom-fitted mouthguards should be worn whilst playing and training for any sport where there is a possibility of contact to the face. These sports can include hockey, netball, baseball, basketball and even skateboarding and skiing. Just like having the correct shoes and sporting equipment, all people playing these sports need to wear a custom-fitted mouthguard.
Other mouthguard tips
- The Australian Dental Association strongly recommends investing in a custom-fitted mouthguard from your dentist.
- Have your mouthguard checked at your regular dental check-up to make sure it fits correctly and offers maximum protection.
- Keep your mouthguard clean and store it in a rigid container, away from heat to ensure it maintains its shape.
- – See more at: http://www.mouthguardawareness.info/about-mouthguards.html#sthash.xqaqRI6G.dpuf
- Occlusal Splint (NightGuards or Bite Splints) – these are removable dental appliances customised to fit occlused surfaces of the teeth in either upper or lower arches.
They are commonly used to protect teeth and restorations, manage and stabilise occlusion, especially in people with night time clenching and grinding habits (nocturnal bruxism).
They are also routinely worn at night to manage and reduce pain from temporomandibular joint dysfunction commonly seen in patients with nocturnal grinding habits.