Summer is just around the corner, which for many people means vacations, baseball season, days spent at the beach, and fun in the sun! Now that you have braces, it’s important to take special precautions to prevent facial injuries and preserve your healthy smile for a lifetime. That’s why Dr. Dale Davis, Dr. Lisa Davis and our team wanted to answer a few of the common questions that we often receive from patients and their parents during the summer months.
How can I help prevent my teeth from becoming chipped or broken while I play sports this summer?
The very best way to protect you teeth while playing sports is to wear a mouth guard. At Davis & Davis Orthodontics we provide a variety of mouth guards, including custom mouth guards offered in your choice of colors with your high school or college logo. We also have a selection of Under Armour Performance Mouthwear and Mouthpieces, ranging from a boil and bite mouth guard to a custom-made mouthpiece. Under Armour offers a new type of technology that can improve stamina, strength and reaction time for all athletes, from football and wrestling to running and golf. For more information, you can watch our patient care video about mouth guards, visit the Under Armour website or call our office.
If I’m hit in the mouth, and a tooth gets knocked out, what can/should I do? What should I do if I am injured on a weekend when the office is closed?
If you have an accident involving your mouth and are in braces, Davis & Davis Orthodontics has an emergency number you can contact. A team member on call can direct you in what steps you need to take to receive proper medical attention. If you are out of braces, you should contact your general dentist. The loss of a tooth can be quite alarming, however, the good news is that—even if you lose a permanent tooth from injury or an accident—there is a good chance that it might be re-implanted successfully if you act fast. Time is of the essence.
If you loose a tooth, we recommend that you:
1) If a permanent tooth is knocked out of its socket, you should pick it up carefully by the crown and not the root.
2) Rinse the tooth gently in either milk or a saline solution if it picked up any dirt or debris. Make sure that you don’t rinse the tooth for too long. Do not scrub the tooth no matter how much debris is on it.
3) If the person who lost the tooth is conscious, gently replace the tooth in its socket, also making sure that it is faces the right way.
4) Hold the tooth in place with a bit of aluminum foil or by biting on a clean piece of cloth.
5) If you can’t put the tooth back in the socket for any reason, you should wrap it in clean cloth or a kitchen wrap. Soak the tooth in milk or a saline solution.
6) Contact you general dentist immediately for proper dental care.
Can my teeth be fixed if they are chipped, broken or knocked out?
There are so many options available in the field of dentistry to handle the cosmetics of broken, chipped or lost teeth. For chipped or broken teeth, veneers and bonding are a couple of choices available. If a tooth is lost or missing there are a variety of bridges available, or you could choose to have an implant. Your general dentist and Davis & Davis Orthodontics can guide you in choosing which option is best for your particular circumstance.
Are sports drinks bad for my teeth? What can I drink to stay hydrated and keep my teeth healthy?
Sports drinks may boost your energy, but they can also weaken your teeth, a new study shows. The popular energy drinks sipped by many athletes to increase stamina contain levels of acid that can cause tooth erosion, hypersensitivity and staining. The beverages can also cause excessive tooth wear and bay damage underlying bone-like material, which causes teeth to soften and weaken.
To prevent tooth erosion, the following is recommended:
1) Drink sports drinks in moderation
2) Wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth to allow softened enamel to reharden
3) If you drink a lot of sports drinks, ask your dentist if you should use an acid-neutralizing remineralizing toothpaste to help reharden soft enamel.
If I wear Invisalign aligners, will they help protect my teeth, or do I still need to wear a mouth guard?
Invisalign aligners are not intended to replace the use of a mouth guard in sports. A mouth guard is made of a special material with a specific thickness to offer protection of the mouth in case of a trauma or blow to the mouth.
Can I still play sports while wearing my retainer, or is it best to take it out?
We do not recommend that our patients wear their retainer(s) during any sport where physical contact could occur or the possibility of having a ball hit the person in the face. The retainers should be in a retainer case, in a safe area, where they will not get lost or broken.
Can I still wear a mouth guard with braces?
At Davis & Davis Orthodontics, we do have a standard slip-in mouth guard that will accommodate the braces, or depending on where the patient is in treatment, it may be possible to make a custom mouth guard (in your favorite school color and logo!). It is also possible to use the boil and bite mouth guard from Under Armour. These mouth guards can be reboiled to change the fit up to 10 times.