Friday, February 28, 2014

HOW MOUTH GUARDS CAN SAVE YOUR CHILD’S TEETH

If your kids play sports, they need a mouth guard.  It’s that simple. We believe that the protection that a custom fit mouth guard provides is so important that we offer free custom fit mouth guards to teams and individuals in our community.  Just call us to schedule your team’s visit –631-427-8444.

  • A custom mouth guard can prevent broken teeth, the complete loss of teeth, and soft tissue injuries to the mouth, lips and tongue. 
  • A custom fit mouth guard can also prevent or lessen the force of a blow that might otherwise cause a jaw fracture or concussion. 
  • Mouth guards protect against neck and central nervous system injuries because they decrease the amount of force transmitted through the jaw to the base of the skull.  
  • For kids wearing braces, a mouth guard is a necessity.  It serves as a physical barrier between the brackets and the mouth, cheeks, lips and tongue to protect them from an impact.

Think of the mouth guard as an AIR BAG for the teeth!

The American Dental Association reports that studies of mouth guard users and nonusers have consistently shown that mouth guards offer significant protection against sports-related injuries to the teeth and soft tissues. 

The custom fit mouth guard is easy to make and provides better protection than the ones sold in most sporting goods stores.  Using a tray with impression material, a member of our clinical staff takes an alginate impression of the teeth, which is used to make a model that is then crafted into a custom-fit mouth guard.

We want to remind our patients, their parents and their coaches to remember to wear mouth guards and appropriate protective gear when participating in sports and any recreational activities that could lead to getting a facial injury. 


Just call us to schedule your team’s visit – 631-427-8444.  This is one ounce of protection that’s worth a lifetime of smiles!

Friday, February 7, 2014

White Spots on My Teeth – Where’d THAT come from?

We spend a lot of time teaching our patients how to take care of their teeth and gums during orthodontic treatment so that there are no surprises when their braces finally come off.  One reason we do this -- to avoid white spots on the flat surfaces of the teeth. 

Known clinically as “white spot lesions,” these spots are actually subsurface porosities, flat, shallow and porous, located on the surface of the teeth and caused by dental plaque, the same substance that causes cavities.  Dental plaque is the sticky substance that good brushing and flossing keeps under control.  When dental hygiene is bad, dental plaque accumulates and creates acids that eat away the enamel that coats your teeth, leading to cavities.  When plaque builds up between the gums and the braces, or around the brackets, white spots are created.

It’s disappointing for everyone when your braces come off and the beautiful straight smile is marred by white spots on the surface of your teeth.  Even the best orthodontic treatment can’t prevent white spots – only you can!

How can you avoid white spots?
  • Keep teeth and gums spotless, brushing after meals and using dental floss.
  • Make sure to brush the area between the gums and braces, even when it takes an extra effort. 
  • Follow the food and beverage recommendations from your orthodontist.  The fewer sticky foods you eat, the better your dental hygiene will be.

What if you get white spots?

It will take time, but in most cases some of the spots do become less prominent, and some may disappear completely.  This happens because of the normal process of your oral fluids, which help enamel repair itself through a process called “remineralization,” although it may take about six months.

Extra fluoride may make the spots WORSE by creating a barrier between your normal oral fluids and the white spot.  Wait six months, and then ask your orthodontist if it’s okay for you to try a low concentration over-the-counter fluoride rinse and/or remineralization paste.

For white spots that don’t go away, resin infiltration products may be used in conjunction with micro-abrasion (removing the superficial white spots). Other treatments include cosmetic bonding to replace the damaged enamel, or, in extreme cases, applying porcelain veneers to cover the damaged areas.


Our recommendation:  take good care of your teeth by brushing and flossing so that plaque doesn’t get a chance to build up in the first place!