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Best New Years Resolutions for you and your teeth

“New year, new you!”

You may be considering saving some extra money, getting a better job or losing weight. Many people set new goals about having a healthier lifestyle in the new year.  Why not try adding some New Year resolutions for your teeth into the mix? Setting a goal to improve dental health is easy and it can benefit your overall health too.

Simple New Years Resolutions for you and your teeth

  • Schedule out your two dentist appointments – We all know that professional cleanings should happen twice a year, but most people have a hard time making it into the office for just one of the two appointments. We all have packed and growing schedules. So, make it a point to actually see the dentist twice in 2015, even if that means scheduling the appointments right now. You will be glad you did once you’re walking out with a healthy smile!
  • Diet Change (2 birds 1 stone) – Eating well is important for your dental health. Poor nutrition can affect the entire immune system making you more susceptible to a long list of mouth problems (including gum disease). Luckily, eating crisp fruits and raw vegetables like apples, carrots and celery help clean plaque from teeth and freshen breath.  Antioxidants and other nutrients found in fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts improve your body’s ability to fight bacteria and inflammation, helping to protect your teeth and gums.
  • Quit smoking – Smokers experience twice the tooth loss of non-smokers, due to plaque and tartar buildup that encourages dental decay.  Your ability to fight infection throughout the body decreases significantly, including in the mouth and gums.  Lastly smoking causes bad breath (and it’s much more pleasant to kiss a non-smoker!)
  • Finally (possibly the hardest resolution) Pick up that FLOSS! – It’s been in the drawer for months just hoping to get it’s big break – why not make 2015 the year? Flossing is the only way to get between the teeth and all the way down in the gum line. The seemingly never ending list of benefits  might just be the kick you need.

So we’ve got you on the right path and hopefully you will think about your teeth while you plan out your New Year’s resolutions, and you will have a healthier, better-looking smile by the time the next year rolls around!

The first and easiest step is picking up the phone to make your appointments – Dr. Chauvin is waiting for your call!

Happy New Year!

mouth guard

Custom night guard benefits

A custom night guard protects people that have problems with bruxism. Bruxism is the compression and gritting of teeth. For some people, it is a mild annoyance. For others, this can become a serious issue that becomes difficult to control and treat at advanced stages.Typically, bruxism happens in your sleep.

The damage caused by bruxism can include:

  • Serrations in the teeth
  • Deterioration of the biting surface area
  • Tooth fractures or breaks
  • Tooth loss
  • Headache
  • Jaw pain
  • Neck pain

As a person grinds their teeth, the incisors and canines move against one another sideways. This causes the degradation of the enamel, which leads to dulled biting edges. Bruxism not only causes problems for the individual suffering for it, but also for those around them. Some people grind their molars loudly while they sleep. If they are sleeping with anyone, that person is going to have a hard time trying to stay asleep.

Teeth grinding leads to serious dental harm, if left untreated. Many people are usually either unaware they have a problem, or aren’t as severely affected as others. That is because only five to ten percent people develop severe symptoms.

Treatment for Bruxism:mouth guard

Unfortunately, there isn’t a direct treatment for bruxism itself. The best way to prevent additional damage is with a custom night guard. While this helps protect a person’s teeth, it doesn’t do much for the head and muscle pain caused by grinding. There are a few things someone can do to try to reduce the severity of their grinding:

  • Reduce caffeine consumption
  • Stay away from alcohol
  • Avoid chewing on things that aren’t food, especially chewing gum
  • Be more observant during the day. If you find yourself clenching, put the tip of your tongue in between your teeth. This forces your jaw to relax.
  • Before bed, place a warm washcloth on your jaw to relax the muscles.

While these won’t necessarily eliminate the problem, they can help reduce the severity of it. Over the counter night guards are available, but if they don’t fit well, they can actually make the problem worse. A custom night guard will be measured to fit your mouth exactly. A dentist will use putty to take a mold of your mouth, and then he’ll send the impression off to be turned into a night guard. The end result is a perfect mold of your mouth that will protect your teeth and help you manage your grinding. Questions? Give us a call!