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.


 
 

 
NEW_1

Luke F-35s visit Columbus AFB

Airman 1st Class Daniel Lile A T-6 Texan II roars overhead as the pilots of two Luke Air Force Base F-35 Lightning IIs prepare to exit their aircraft July 23 at Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi. The pilots are Capt. Nichola...
 
 

Gillespie Loop: Honors Airman who made ultimate sacrifice

BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan — The men and women of the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing came together for a road dedication ceremony to honor Master Sgt. Randy Gillespie, a fallen Airman who paid the ultimate sacrifice. Master Sgt. Randy Gillespie was a career fuels specialist who died July 9, 2007, from wounds sustained during small...
 
 

Who’s afraid of a little blood?

I have been in the Air Force for 22 years and have been a medical laboratory technician since the beginning of my career. The medical or clinical laboratory is where specimens are tested to provide information to medical providers who directly assist in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease in patients. After graduating basic...
 

 

Pursue education for career’s sake

Everyone knows education can be a good bullet on an enlisted performance report, but few know the true value of an education in regard to a military career. The pursuit of an education can be just as valuable as the degree acquired at the end. The knowledge acquired in the pursuit of an education can...
 
 
Pg-3--photo-illustration

Candid money talk improves relationship

There are many reasons why people divorce but at the top of the list are lack of communication and finances. That’s why it’s important to combine these two topics to make for a successful long-lasting relationship. “I bel...
 
 

News Briefs July 31, 2015

Total body conditioning class A new total body conditioning class is 6:30 and 9 a.m. Monday and Wednesday. The 6:30 a.m. class is broken into two half hour segments to accommodate squadron or individual physical training. The 9 a.m. class is one hour. The class consists of body weight movements and the use of equipment...
 




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>