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The Differences Between Store-Bought and Custom-Fit Mouthguards

September 9, 2022 / DENTISTRY

If you or your child participate in team sports, chances are you’ve either encountered a mouth injury or know someone who has.

We’ve all seen the grin of a professional hockey player with large gaps between their teeth. This is something that can often be avoided by using a mouthguard when you play.

What is a mouthguard and why do I need one?

Sports mouthguards are worn in the mouth to protect the teeth, gums, and jaw from being injured during sports. When they were first introduced, these devises were only used for high impact, contact sports like football, boxing, and hockey, but that has changed. With increased awareness of the benefits of wearing mouthguards and the potential for injury from sports like martial arts, skiing and skateboarding, the use of mouthguards is now more common than ever.

Mouthguards provide a barrier between your teeth and the tissues that surround them, so if your mouth ever sustains a heavy impact like a fast-moving elbow or hockey puck, you have an extra layer of protection. They also act as a shock-absorber to protect the head and neck from impact-related injuries like whiplash.

People often choose a store-bought mouthguard over a custom-fit mouthguard made by their family dentist without knowing the difference between the two options.

Store-bought mouthguards

You can find generic, one-size fits all mouthguards at your local sports store or pharmacy, and if this is your only option, it is better than nothing. These are far less expensive than custom-fit mouthguards and they are easy to find if you’re ever in a pinch.

Unfortunately, because these mouthguards were not custom fit to the size and shape of your mouth, they are not as effective in protecting the teeth from injury. Plus, users report that they’re large and bulky, making them less comfortable to wear than the custom-made alternative.

An improvement to the one-size fits all option is something called a boil-and-bite mouthguard. Essentially, this is a store-bought option made of a pliable material that, when dropped in hot water, softens to allow the wearer to bite down into a mold to create an option that more closely fits your teeth. These are slightly more expensive than the other store-bought option, and they don’t tend to last as long.

Custom-fit mouthguards

If you play sports regularly, we highly recommend investing in a custom-fit mouthguard to protect your mouth and teeth from injury. While they are more expensive than the store-bought options, custom-fit mouthguards are more comfortable, longer-lasting, and provide far better protection than the options mentioned above.

Are you an athlete that wants to protect their teeth while they play? Call your family dentist in Caledon today. We’ll walk you through your options and determine whether a custom-fit sports mouthguard is right for you.

Dental Care for Seniors

August 7, 2022 / DENTISTRY

The aging process impacts every part of our bodies, including our teeth.

It’s very important to establish a consistent oral hygiene routine at a young age and maintain it throughout our lifetimes, right into our senior years.

While brushing twice a day, flossing regularly, and making sure to visit your dentist in Caledon regularly, there are specific areas of dental care for seniors that are important to be aware of and watch out for.

These include:

Tooth discolouration

You’ve likely heard about how drinks like red wine and coffee can discolour your teeth, and it makes sense that the longer you consume these beverages, the more discolouration you will experience. However, even without heavy consumption of wine and coffee, you will likely experience tooth discolouration caused by the aging process alone. As we age, our tooth enamel thins, bringing the dentin (the soft tissue inside the tooth) closer to the surface, making the teeth appear darker in colour.

Gum disease

Gum disease starts out as gingivitis which can turn into periodontitis if not caught early. Periodontitis can lead to tooth loss. If you are experiencing puffy, bleeding gums, it’s important to make an appointment with your dentist in Caledon right away, so the problem can be identified and treated before it progresses.

Tooth decay

As we age, our gums begin to recede which can leave the roots of the tooth exposed to the elements, which can result in sensitivity to extreme temperatures, infections, and tooth decay. If the decay progresses too severely you could need a tooth extraction, so be sure to reach out to your dentist immediately if you are experiencing any increased sensitivity or discomfort. Your Caledon dentist is specially trained to recognize the early signs of tooth decay, so it’s important to visit them regularly and give them a chance to catch a small problem that is easily treated before it develops into a major problem requiring invasive, expensive treatment.

Mouth dryness

As we age, we tend to take more medications, and some of the side effects of these medications lead to dryness of the mouth. Saliva plays an important role in rinsing the food debris, sugar and bacteria left on your teeth after eating and drinking, and a lack of saliva can lead to increased decay and cavities, so if you’re experiencing dry mouth, it’s even more important than normal to drink a lot of water and stay on top of your brushing and flossing routine.

If you’re a senior and it’s been a while since you visited your family dentist, call Caledon Dental Centre to schedule an appointment today. Our team of professionals will assess your current condition and work with you to keep your smile bright and healthy for years to come.

Everything You Need to Know About Tooth Extractions

June 14, 2022 / DENTISTRY

Learning you need to have a tooth extracted is never welcomed news. Here’s all the information you should know about tooth extractions and what to expect from the procedure.

What is a tooth extraction?

A tooth extraction is the removal of a tooth from the jawbone. There are many reasons why you may need an extraction, but the most common reason is that the tooth has experienced significant decay that cannot be fixed through non-surgical methods. This decay is often caused by periodontal disease, or a dental accident causing a crack or break in the tooth that cannot be repaired.

How is a tooth extraction performed?

There are surgical tooth extractions and non-surgical tooth extractions. Speak to your family dentist in Caledon to decide which option is best for you.

Before your tooth is extracted, your dentist will take a complete medical and dental history and discuss the length and severity of your pain. The tooth will be assessed, and x-rays will be taken.

When it’s time for the extraction, your dentist will administer a local anesthetic to make sure you don’t feel a thing. This is delivered via injection into your gum right near the root of the tooth being extracted, and another into your nerve.

The dentist will use multiple instruments to remove the tooth from the bone where it sits.

How do I know I need a tooth extraction?

There are many different reasons you may need a tooth extraction, but here are the most common:

  • Pain in the tooth – now this doesn’t always mean that you need a tooth extraction, but it is definitely a sign that you need to see a dentist either way.
  • Crowding – if your teeth are crowded and misaligned, you might need to have one or more extracted. Your dentist can help you determine if this is the case.
  • Gum disease – if left unchecked, gum disease can become severe enough to require a tooth extraction.
  • Wisdom teeth that have become impacted.
  • Tooth decay that is too severe to be treated.
  • Breaks, cracks or chips in the tooth that are too severe to be fixed.

If you’ve been told you need a tooth extraction or are concerned that you might, call the team at Caledon Dental Centre today. We’ll schedule a time to examine your teeth, assess your situation, and discuss the best treatment options for you.

Everything You Need to Know About Cold Sores

May 12, 2022 / DENTISTRY

Do you experience cold sores? If so, you’re not alone. According to the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control, studies estimate that nearly 90% of Canadians have been exposed to the virus that causes cold sores, and while this virus may never evolve into cold sores for many of these people, suffering from cold sores is a very common thing.

What is a cold sore?

Cold sores are small blisters that are filled with fluid, most commonly found on and around your mouth and lips. They can present as one single blister, or as a group of cold sores that appears like a patch on your skin. Like most blisters, cold sores will eventually break open, forming a scab that can last for several days.

I have a cold sore. Now what?

Cold sores can be very painful and avoiding certain foods can spare you a lot of discomfort.

These include:

  • Citrus fruits – Imagine having a cut on your finger and accidentally filling it with lemon juice. Ouch. Well, eating citrus fruits when you have a cold sore is a very similar feeling.
  • Pickled foods – Any pickled foods are highly acidic and will sting badly if they come in contact with a cold sore.
  • Spicy foods – Spicy foods like curry and peppers can irritate the area around your cold sore, so best to stick with milder options while you recover from this virus.
  • Large foods – The skin around your cold sores is delicate and sensitive, so avoid stretching it by opening your mouth wide to eat large foods like pizza slices or chips. Instead, opt for foods that come in small pieces or are easy to cut and bite.

Aside from avoiding certain foods, there are home remedies you can try to alleviate the discomfort caused by your cold sores.

These include:

  • Over the counter anti-viral ointments – these are most effective if you start using them in the early stages of your cold sore.
  • Pain relief gel – this is another over-the-counter option that can help numb the area and take away some of the sting.
  • Ice chips, ice cubes, or cold compresses – use these to numb the area but avoid placing them directly on the skin.
  • If your doctor recommends it, you can take over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

Most cold sores heal on their own within 2-4 weeks.

If you are overdue for a dental visit or want to discuss your cold sores with an oral health professional, call the team at Caledon Dental Centre today. We’ll assess your condition and work together to find a treatment plan that best meets your needs.