Highlight On Health
"Sports Are Underway, Are Your Athletes' Teeth Protected?" by Heather Bahr RDH
School is just around the corner and sports practices and games have begun. Those of us in dentistry have seen many accidents involving sports and teeth, many of which could have been prevented. A mouthguard is an easy fix and affordable way to protect your child's teeth. Professional mouthguards can be made in our office, however a child's mouth will continue growing into high school and an over-the-counter mouthguard is suffice. Don't wait until a tooth has been damaged to start wearing a mouthguard. In addition to helping protect the teeth and jaws, mouthguards have been proven to reduce the chance of head concussions by 60%.
Sports drinks is another topic of sports interest. This beverage marketed as a performance miracle is loaded with sugar. Where else does the energy come from? It is important for athletes to stay hydrated and drinking a sports drink prior to a practice or game, then switching to water for the remaining time is acceptable. We instruct athletes to drink sugary drinks quickly and not to nurse them over long periods of time. Water is still best to hydrate and protect your athletes teeth.
In accordance with the ADA, Pediatric Dentistry is now using a varnish fluoride application in place of foam for patients who are moderate to high risk for cavities. The patient may eat and drink immediately with the exception of hot liquids. We advise a patient not to brush 4-6 hours after application and if an appointment is later in the day, a patient may wait to brush until the following morning.
Varnish is a 5% concentrate form of fluoride and leaves a thicker, long-lasting, clear residue. The release time is longer, more effective, and has a 100% compliance rate. Due to its full effect, it is not recommended to be used in conjunction with other fluoride rinses or supplements for 3 days time.
Pediatric Dentistry now has Sonicare, Oral B, and Xylitol products available in our office. These products significantly cost less than at department stores in order to ensure our patients have easy access to better home care.
Xylitol is a natural sugar substitute proven to reduce cavities and have fewer calories than common sugar. Pediatric Dentistry has gum and mints available in mint or cinnamon for your convenience. Each box of gum contains 60 pieces and can be purchased for $6/box.