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 handled the following incidents Jan. 19 through 25: Tickets Security forces issued citations for six moving violations and three nonmoving violations. Traffic-related incidents Jan 22: Security forces responded to a report of a weapon identified during a random vehicle inspection at North Gate outbound lane. The nonmilitary driver self-identified as...
 
 
sports_20140123-F-BZ180-002

Losing body fat different than dropping weight

Aaron Anderson, 56th Medical Group dietitian, enters data into the Body Composition Tracking System for the BOD POD at the Health and Wellness Center Jan. 23. The BOD POD measures body composition which is different than weight...
 
 
DT_150114-F-BI157-034

MDOS heartbeat of MDG

Staff Sgt. Miranda Pyles, 56th Medical Operations Squadron allergy and immunization technician, receives a third dose of the papilloma vaccine Jan. 14 from Senior Airman Cassandra Saunders, 56th MDOS allergy and immunization te...
 

 

Phoenix winters still pose threat of sun damage

Summers spent poolside and sunny vacations during winter can do more than provide relaxation. Exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays leaves behind lasting damage on the skin – including wrinkles, leathery or sagging skin and brown spots. In fact, more than 90 percent of these visible changes commonly attributed to skin aging are caused by...
 
 

Street Beat

The 56th Security Forces Squadron handled the following incidents Jan. 12 through 18: Tickets Security forces issued citations for five moving violations and eight nonmoving violations. Traffic-related incidents Jan. 13: Security forces responded to a report of a civilian driving on base with suspended driving privileges. The civilian’s supervisor stated it was an isolated incident...
 
 

Most cervical cancer caught early with regular screening

January is Cervical Health Awareness Month. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that in 2012, eight million U.S. women, ages 21 to 65, reported they had not been screened for cervical cancer in the last five years. Seven out of 10 of those women had a regular doctor and health insurance. While 93...
 




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=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin