Health & Safety

July 27, 2012

Mouth guard may save pearly whites

It’s all fun and games until someone gets a tooth knocked out

by Senior Airman Phylicia Rosander and Master Sgt. Christine Rodriguez
56th Dental Squadron

The Tooth Fairy loves to visit at night and leave money in exchange for teeth that have fallen out, right?

But, you wouldn’t want her to visit uninvited just because that hockey stick blind-sided you in the face at yesterday’s game. Now you’re two teeth shy of a perfect grill (smile) because you chose not to wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth.

Many think mouth guards should only be worn when participating in contact sports like football and boxing; however, even those engaging in noncontact sports such as gymnastics and baseball could benefit greatly from wearing one. Mouth guards cushion blows that could potentially cause broken teeth and injuries to the lips, tongue, face or jaw.

There are three types of mouth guards available — ready-made stock, boil-and-bite and custom-made. Knowing how to choose the right one is important to ensure the best fit. And, taking care of it will help keep it fitting properly and in good condition.

A ready-made stock device is preformed and ready to wear. It’s the least expensive, but the downside is that it can be uncomfortable. A boil-and-bite model is just as it sounds. It is softened by boiling, and then molded to fit the teeth by biting down while still warm. An advantage of this type is that it can be reheated and refitted to get the most comfortable fit. Both can be bought at most sporting goods stores.

The custom-made mouth guard is the most expensive but provides the best comfort and protection. It’s made by a dentist making an impression of the upper teeth from which a stone cast is made. Soft material is heated, formed over the cast, cooled, trimmed and polished into the final product. This can be made at the base dental clinic.

To produce the best protection, a mouth appliance should be resilient, tear-resistant and fit properly. It should be easy to clean and not restrict speech or breathing.

According to the American Dental Association, a few questions to ask are: Is your dentition changing? Do you still have primary teeth? Are you waiting for permanent teeth? What sport are you playing? At what level? Are you tossing the ball around with friends or will you be playing in a competitive league? Have you had any special dental treatment such as placement of crowns or braces that might require additional protection? The family dentist is a good resource to help in choosing the right appliance.

Once it’s been chosen, learning how to care for it will help keep it in good condition. Before and after each use, rinse it with cool water or a mouth rinse. It can also be brushed with a toothbrush and toothpaste. It should be stored and transported in a sturdy container that has vents to allow air circulation. Keep it from losing shape by not exposing it to high temperatures.

Avoid chewing or cutting pieces off the mouth guard. Check it regularly for tears or holes and ensure it still fits correctly. This kind of wear can irritate gums, lips or cheek linings and have the dentist check it to ensure it still fits properly and is in good condition.

Those who play sports, including recreational activities, will benefit from wearing a mouth guard. Active-duty members can have a custom-made mouth guard made at no cost at the Luke Dental Clinic. Mouth-formed mouth guards are also available for beneficiaries.

To schedule an appointment or for more information, call the dental clinic at (623) 856-7535.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Street Beat

The 56th Security Forces Squadron handed the following incidents at Luke Air Force Base July 13 through 19: Tickets Security forces issued citations for four moving violations and one nonmoving violation. Traffic-related incidents July 14: Security forces responded to a report of a minor two-vehicle accident at the intersection of Thunderbird and Kachina streets. There were...
 
 
Staff Sgt. 
LAUSANNE KINDER

944th ASTS Airmen saves child

Staff Sgt.LAUSANNE KINDER Tech. Sgt. Jude Joseph, 944th Aeromedical Staging Squadron medical technician and eight-year veteran of the Phoenix Police Department, poses in front of the 944th ASTS building July 8. Joseph was the f...
 
 

Justice Report

The following is a list of administrative actions issued at Luke Air Force Base in June. 56th Maintenance Group Articles 15 • A master sergeant received nonjudicial punishment for wrongful use of marijuana. The member received a reduction to technical sergeant, forfeiture of $1,813 pay per month for two months and a reprimand. • A...
 

 

Street Beat

The 56th Security Forces Squadron handled the following incidents at Luke Air Force Base July 6 through 12: Tickets Security forces issued citations for three moving violations and one nonmoving violation. Traffic-related incidents July 6: Security forces responded to a report of a minor vehicle accident involving a government-owned vehicle and a fixed object at...
 
 
Senior Airman 
JAMES HENSLEY

Always take children, pets, elderly when leaving vehicle

Senior AirmanJAMES HENSLEY During the summer, temperatures inside a vehicle can reach in excess of 140 degrees and can be extremely hazardous to a child, pet or elderly person left in a vehicle even for a few minutes. The thoug...
 
 

Hack attacked? Aaack!

You fiercely protect your online identity — regularly change and safeguard your passwords, upgrade your security scan to keep your antivirus software and firewall secure, monitor your credit rating and your bank statement. However, your information still exists online, and it can be vulnerable even when safety measures are in place. Unfortunately, the vulnerability led...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>