Last March I was invited to watch an exhibition game of the Philippine Basketball Legends, a group of retired professional basketball players who travel to different parts of the world to play against local Filipino basketball teams. The first game was between the Baltimore Filipino basketball team and the Washington DC Filipino team for ages sixteen and below. Prior to watching this game I was not a fan of basketball at all. In 1990 I even passed up an opportunity to watch the Detroit Pistons play – the same year they won the NBA championship!

That day in March was cold, windy, and dark with freezing rain. All I wanted was to be at home in my flannel pajamas reading a book under warm covers. But because I promised my patient, the basketball commissioner, that I would go, I went to the game. The game was held at Notre Dame College in Baltimore. It was exciting and the score remained close the whole game. In fact the two teams were tied four times and they had to break the tie four times until team Baltimore won the championship. One thing I noticed was a young boy from the Washington DC team. He was a swift runner and a very talented and confident player. What really set him apart in my mind, though, was that he was the only one wearing a mouthguard.

After the game was over I got to thinking about the newly titled champions. I wanted each and every one of them to have a custom-made mouthguard. I told the coach and the commissioner who both happen to be patients of mine that I would give the boys a custom-made mouthguard. Tom Glass, another dentist friend of mine, liked the idea and volunteered to share the cost of making them.

As we started our project the Academy of General Dentistry came out with an article in their May/June Journal about how custom mouthguards prevented Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries/Concussions (MTBI) in football players. Two doctors did a test on over 400 high school football players comparing custom mouthguards with store-bought over-the-counter versions. The reason the custom mouthguards prevented these injuries was because they are thicker and fit well, extending to the back molars. When there is impact on the lower jaw, the head of the mandible does not jam the skull, thus preventing trauma.

I remembered seeing a skull model at Tom’s house and got to thinking that to show these players the actual difference between a custom made mouthguard and a store-bought one I would have to get “ Skully” the skull a custom-made mouthguard and a store bought one. After all we all are visual people and learn better from show and tell. Hopefully this effort will convince these young athletes to wear them to prevent future injuries.

Protect your child from tooth decay by taking the following steps.

Decrease exposure to sugar containing liquids that cause tooth decay .Limit their consumption of sugary beverages like soft drinks or sweetened fruit juices as well as starchy snacks. If you give them a sippy cup, for long periods of time it is best to put water inside. Children should learn to drink from a regular cup as early as possible.

When should my child see a dentist?

Early visits are best even before they are three years old. This familiarizes your child to the dental office and the dentist and staff ,reducing anxiety. The dentist can teach you how to properly take care of your child’s teeth.

How can I help them with their oral care at home?

If  the child is younger than eight years old help them brush their teeth either before or after they do it themselves. Their gross motor skills are not as good and they might miss some areas with plaque. Let them brush two minutes and two  times a day. Start flossing their teeth as soon as they have two teeth that are touching each other. Give them fluoridated water and as soon as they can spit you can brush their teeth with a fluoride toothpaste. Always monitor the child’s technique and their thoroughness. Lead by example children follow what you do more than what you say.

For more information visit the AGD’s site www.2min2x.org

 

LUMINEERS – the painless way to bring out the beautiful, healthy, natural, permanently white smile in you! Here’s a before and after gallery so you can see how good your teeth could look.

 
 

 
 

You can trust your dentist and DenMat®, the providers of your LUMINEERS®. DenMat has been a global leader in dental innovation and technology for more than 30 years and is a preferred supplier to your dentist.

Dental Work

Dental Visit – Every Six Months

Have you ever wondered why the American Dental Association and your dentist recommend you come back every six months? It’s because regular dental visits are essential for the maintenance of healthy teeth and gums. And in between those examinations, it’s important that you work to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy. If you need additional help, your dentist may even suggest more frequent visits.
What Goes On During A Regular Visit

Checking your teeth for tooth decay is just one part of a thorough dental examination. During your checkup appointment, your dentist (or dental hygienist) will likely evaluate the health of your gums, perform a head and neck examination (to look for anything out of the ordinary) and examine your mouth for any indications of oral cancer, diabetes or vitamin deficiencies. Don’t be surprised if your dentist also examines your face, bite, saliva and movement of your lower jaw joints (TMJs). Your dentist or dental hygienist will then clean your teeth and stress the importance of you maintaining good oral hygiene at home between visits.
Many dentists will pay special attention to plaque and tartar. This is because plaque and tartar can build up in a very short time if good oral hygiene is not practiced between visits. Food, beverages and tobacco can stain teeth as well. If not removed, soft plaque can harden on the teeth and irritate the gum tissue. If not treated, plaque can lead to gum disease.
During your regularly scheduled dental appointments, your dentist will likely look at your gums, mouth, tongue and throat. There are several routine parts to a dental examination.

 

The Head And Neck Examination

Your dentist will start off by:

  • Examining your face
  • Examining your neck
  • Checking your lymph nodes
  • Checking your lower jaw joints (TMJs)
  • The Clinical Dental Examination

 

Next, your dentist assesses the state of your teeth and gums by:

  • Examining the gums
  • Looking for signs of gum disease
  • Checking for loose teeth
  • Looking at the tissues inside of your mouth
  • Examining your tongue
  • Checking your bite
  • Looking for visual evidence of tooth decay
  • Checking for broken teeth
  • Checking for damaged fillings
  • Looking for changes in the gums covering teeth
  • Evaluating any dental appliance you have
  • Checking the contact between your teeth
  • Taking X-rays
  • The Dental Cleaning

 

During the final part of the dental visit, your dental professional cleans your mouth using these methods:

  • Checking the cleanliness of your teeth and gums
  • Removing any plaque and tartar
  • Polishing your teeth
  • Flossing between your teeth
  • Reviewing recommended brushing and flossing techniques

 

 

Once your examination and cleaning have been performed, they’ll tell you about the health of your teeth and gums and then make any additional recommendations. It’s important that you see your dentist every six months and that they give you routine examination and cleaning. Remember, by seeing your dentist on a regular basis and following daily good oral hygiene practices at home, you are more likely to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Credit: Oral B

Cosmetic_Dentistry_Towson_MD

Men and women of all ages are using teeth whitening products to remove surface stains and achieve bright, white teeth. Indeed, today’s standard of beauty includes teeth that are whiter than ever before. But in order to achieve that beautiful smile, or even restore the level of whiteness that you enjoyed in your teens or early adulthood, professional teeth whitening is the most effective treatment option. We use Zoom! whitening system to lighten the teeth by several shades. Zoom! whitening is a safe treatment that offers many advantages and few side effects, as detailed in this blog post.

Zoom!® Whitening Benefits

Zoom! whitening is one of the most popular professional, in-office whitening systems on the market; it is used by thousands of dentists in the United States. This is a testament to the benefits of Zoom! whitening:

Quick treatment: Zoom! whitening is performed during a one-hour appointment. The hydrogen peroxide-based bleaching gel is applied to the teeth and a laser light is directed at the mouth for a period of 15 minutes. This process is repeated up to two more times to produce the desired shade of white. Once the bleaching process is complete, the patient undergoes a five-minute fluoride treatment to minimize sensitivity and the occurrence of side effects after teeth whitening.

Immediate results: The results of treatment are noticeable instantly. Patients come to our practice with tooth stains and discolorations, and leave our office an hour later with bright, white teeth.

Dramatic difference: Unlike over-the-counter products that offer a minimal change in the color of teeth or take weeks to work, Zoom! whitens the teeth by six to ten shades.

Zoom!® Whitening Side Effects

For our patients, teeth whitening is a safe and effective treatment, but that does not mean it is not without potential side effects. Patients with a history of tooth sensitivity are at the highest risk of experiencing these side effects during and after treatment.

Tooth pain: Some patients report tooth pain when the treatment gel is applied the teeth, and for a few days after treatment. We perform a fluoride treatment on patients to minimize tooth pain after teeth whitening.

Gum irritation: If the hydrogen peroxide-based bleaching gel comes into contact with the gums, it can cause pain. Dr. McMenamin will isolate the teeth to keep the gel from touching the gums.

Sensitivity to hold and cold: After treatment, patients may experience tooth pain when eating or drinking hot or cold foods. We recommend that patients consume foods and drinks at mild temperatures for a few days after Zoom! whitening treatment.

Discomfort when eating hard foods: Since the teeth may be sensitive for a few days after treatment, it is a good idea to eat soft foods while the effects of the teeth whitening gel wear off.

To find out if you are a good candidate for Zoom! teeth whitening, schedule a consultation.