Choosing Mouthguards For Youth Sports


With Spring right around the corner, now is a good time to learn about the importance of mouthguards for youth sports.  Whether your son or daughter plays Lacrosse or some other sport, plan to buy a mouthguard when you buy your child’s sports equipment.

You can choose from three different types of mouthguards. An important point to know is all types of mouthguards are effective. The differences between the mouthguards are cost, comfort, and how long they will last.

If cost is an issue, consider a stock mouthguard. This type of mouthguard is ready-made, and is available in small, medium, and large sizes. You can purchase a stock mouthguard from any store that sells sports equipment.

The boil-and-bite mouthguard is more comfortable. The mouthguard is meant to be softened with hot water, and molds to fit your child’s teeth.

The custom-made mouthguard is the most comfortable and durable.  This type of mouthguard can be made right in our office. It is the best option if your child wears braces. If your child is a young teenager, this mouthguard can last for as long as he or she plays sports. With proper care, it will not have to be replaced.

Your child should never play a sport without wearing a mouthguard. Not only can there be damage to unprotected teeth, not wearing a mouthguard can result in damage to your child’s gums and jaw.

Sports injuries can be painful and upsetting to a child. While a minor injury can take the fun out of sports, serious injuries can require hospitalization or extensive dental work. If you do not want your son or daughter to have these experiences, protection from injury is as simple as wearing a mouthguard.

If you are not sure which type of mouthguard is right for your child, discuss youth sports with your dentist. This small piece of equipment can keep your child healthy and safe on the playing field or on the basketball court. Your dentist can recommend a mouthguard that will work for your child, and is affordable for you. Your child may never experience a sports injury when he is prepared and protected.

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How To Teach Kids Dental Health Habits

The American Dental Association has designated February as National Children’s Dental Health Month. You can start your child on a lifetime of good habits with tips to get kids to brush and floss regularly.

1. Involve your child when purchasing dental health products.

Children are naturally curious. Take him with you when you shop for a new toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss. Explain to him the reason you have chosen one particular brand or style over others. He will learn the reasons products are different, and how to make the right choices.

2. Make routine flossing and brushing a game.

There is no reason dental care cannot be fun.  One idea is to use an old-fashioned egg timer. When the timer shows the length of time it takes to brush and floss, it will encourage him to do a good job.

A second approach is to use a chart with reward stickers. Each time he completes his dental care routine, place a sticker on the chart. When the chart is filled with stickers, he will be proud of his accomplishment.

3. Dental visits can be a learning experience.

You do not have to be the only person to teach your child dental health habits. Encourage learning at the dentist’s office, too. The dentist can demonstrate proper brushing and flossing methods, and answer your child’s questions about dental care.

4. Help your child understand the need for routine care.

You can teach your child to associate other habits with dental habits. It can include getting dressed in the morning, changing into pajamas at night, and eating meals and snacks. He can learn at an early age that each of these activities means taking the time to brush and floss.

5. Be open to your child’s questions.

Kids want to know why brushing and flossing is necessary. Take time to explain why good habits are important. Your child will be more likely to develop good habits when he understands the benefits.

Your child can learn to brush and floss regularly, and have good dental health for life.

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How To Choose Foods And Good Snacks For Great Dental Health

National Children’s Dental Health Month is the perfect time to think about the foods and snacks you are giving to your children. You can start serving more products that are good for their dental health.

It cannot be stressed too strongly that you should limit the amount of sugar your children eat. However, you will find many products that are sugary and sticky, other than candies and cakes. Raisins are one example. Raisins can stick to the teeth and increase your child’s risk of tooth decay.

Raw vegetables are healthier for your child’s teeth than many fruits. Introduce your child to the idea of eating fresh vegetables when he is hungry between meals. Slices of fresh cucumber, broccoli, celery, and carrots are all good snacks for great dental health.

Products that help your child develop strong teeth are also good snacks. One example is yogurt. Yogurt will provide calcium for strong, healthy teeth, while giving your child the taste he enjoys. You can give him sugar-free yogurt, with or without fruit.

Cottage cheese is another product that is high in calcium. If you want to add extra flavor, you can add some sliced fruit or berries.

There are other snacks your child may love, but not realize it is good for his dental health. He can enjoy a wide range of nuts and seeds without harming his teeth. Pretzels can be salted or unsalted, and served with peanut butter.

Depending on your child’s tastes, there are some other healthy snacks he can try. There are many cheeses you can serve in chunks or slices. Cheese is another food that is high in calcium, and contains no sugar.

While there are some children who dislike rice cakes, others consider this relatively new product to be a special treat. Rice cakes have few calories, and nothing that will harm his teeth.

The American Dental Association wants parents to know the importance of healthy foods. Whether your child is a toddler or a teen, now is the time to encourage him to make good choices. He can have snacks during the day, and better dental health.

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The Importance Of Teaching Kids Good Dental Hygiene

The dental hygiene habits your child learns when he is young can affect his oral health for the rest of his life.

First, he must learn home oral care is a priority. When you teach your child to brush and floss at the correct times each day, he will see dental hygiene as a natural part of his everyday life.

Second, he can learn to enjoy oral care. From choosing an appropriate toothpaste that he especially likes, to helping him understand the value of healthy foods and beverages, he will become motivated to make healthy choices.

Third, your child’s early visits to the dentist can affect the way he approaches dental visits in the future. You can prepare him for his first visits, provide information about what to expect, and present the visit in a positive manner. When your child has a good relationship with his first dentist, and knows there is no reason to be afraid, he will look forward to the visits throughout the years.

Adults who have poor oral health often lacked proper training when they were children. Tooth decay and gum disease are often the result of many years of neglect. If you do not want your child to have oral health problems when he grows up, make good dental habits a part of his life when he is young.

Adults who avoid dental visits often had bad experiences with a dentist when they were children. This can include only visiting a dentist when there is a dental emergency, or forcing a child to see a dentist who is unreasonably harsh. If you want routine dental visits to be a consistent part of his life, make sure his earliest visits are pleasant.

These approaches can help prevent cavities, and build life-long habits for good oral care. You can schedule his first dental visit, and begin practicing home oral care, as soon as he has his first teeth. This will give your child the opportunity to see dental health as a priority, long before he learns to brush his own teeth.

National Children’s Dental Health Month is the ideal time to find more information on this important topic. You can access information on the American Dental Association’s website, and order any publications you find interesting.

Your child’s dentist is another source of information. You can learn which products are best for your child, how often to schedule appointments, and receive answers to your questions about oral health.

The way you approach dental health today will impact your child’s future. He may never have a cavity, or need extensive dental work, if you help him learn good dental habits during his early years. He can have all of the benefits of good oral care.

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Foods That Can Improve Your Oral Health

Brushing and flossing twice daily is not enough to keep our mouths healthy. While these routines can contribute to a lower risk of gum disease and cavity formation, we have to provide our body with proper nourishment as well because a proper diet and oral health are symbiotic.

There are many kinds of food and beverages that can keep your teeth and gums in healthy condition. Here are the best foods and drinks for good oral health.


Being the universal solvent, water neutralizes acidity that is found in our sweet or sour food choices. It acts as a lubricant, to prevent dry mouth (xerostomia), which is a major factor that contributes to cavity formation.

If you have access to fluoridated drinking water, you are in luck. Fluoride turns the hydroxyapatite in the enamel layer into fluoroapatite, which is much more resistant to damage and decay.

Foods Rich in Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that improves blood circulation as well. It helps keep your gums healthy as it assists in collagen production. This reduces your risk of gum recession and periodontal disease.

There are many types of food that contain vitamin C. Grapefruits, kiwi, strawberries, cherries and oranges are the best sources of ascorbic acid.

Calcium-Rich Food

Keep your alveolar bone strong and healthy with a dose of calcium per day. This can prevent oral problems caused by bone density loss. This can include loosening of dentition and even fractures.

High-Fiber Food

Fiber helps improve digestion and also helps clean our teeth. This is why it would be wise to stock up on celery or other fibrous vegetables and fruits. They are excellent palate cleansers as well.

Since a well-balanced diet and oral health go hand in hand, we should be picky when it comes to planning our meals. Please note that although all these are excellent foods to eat for good oral health, they can never take the place of flossing and brushing. Remember that healthy foods also do not eliminate the need for a check up and professional cleaning twice per year.

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Four Types Of Food To Avoid For Good Oral Health

White smileThey say that we are what we eat. While it may seem like a corny quote, there is some truth to it, with regard to oral health. Not everything we ingest is good for us. There is plenty of proof that there is a link between our diet and oral health. The ADA has compiled the following list of foods to avoid for good oral health.


Hard Food

People with weak enamel should avoid chewing hard substances as this can lead to tooth fracture or breakage. Cutting hard food into smaller pieces will help reduce the risk. However, if possible, it would be best not to chew on hard candy or ice, especially if you have weak teeth.

Acidic Food and Beverages
The enamel is one of the hardest substances in the human body. However, it is susceptible to damage caused by acidity.

Soda, beer, wine, hard liquor, dairy products, berries, vinegar, cocoa and sugar are the common culprits. Please note that acidic food temporarily weakens the tooth surface that it comes in contact with. If a person indulges regularly, his or her oral health will suffer in time.

Sticky Food

Sticky treats like caramel, toffee, licorice and other sweets are packed with sugar, which is acidic. They pose a greater danger to teeth due to their consistency, as sticky food can become lodged in hard to clean crevices, especially the occlusal surface of molars.

Sticky food provides bacteria with a fantastic breeding ground, especially if some leftover particles adhere to the tooth surface for days.

Darkly-Pigmented Food and Beverages

Chromogens are pigmented particles that give color to our food and drink. Red wine, berries, tomato sauce, coffee, tea and other colored beverages can stain teeth, if consumed regularly.

Tea, although excellent for over-all health, contains tannins. This will stain the teeth, leaving dark brown spots over time. In fact, tannins can be used to tan leather and as ink. Please note that eating acidic food beforehand can make the stain worse.

The obvious link between our diet and oral health is reason enough to do what we can to keep our teeth in the best condition possible. Most of us who have scanned the list will agree that we will find it impossible to give some of them up. Therefore, it would be best to improve our oral hygiene to make up for indulging occasionally.

Along with watching your diet, it is important to schedule a regular appointment with your dentist.  Not only will you get a professional cleaning, your dentist will be able to see if any oral health issues exist, or if you are at risk.  Contact Dana Walters DDS today to schedule an appointment.

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Your Oral Health In The New Year

Resolutions often begin with good intentions, but fall behind when the weeks and months pass. When you make resolutions for your oral health, start with lifestyle changes that will become a habit. Your oral health will continue to be a priority throughout this year and years into the future.

Lifestyle changes must include home care. Regardless of how busy your daily life may be, make a point of scheduling time for care of your teeth and gums. A quick whisk of the toothbrush is not enough for oral health. Plan in advance to spend a few minutes brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash. Plan to do this once in the morning and once in the evening.

Lifestyle changes for the new year should include healthier food choices. Learn to enjoy fresh vegetables instead of sweet treats. Limit your consumption of soda pop, coffee, and tea. Caffeinated beverages can harm the tooth enamel, even if they do not contain sugar.

If you do not have a dentist, make regular appointments part of your new year’s resolutions. Even the best home oral care cannot substitute for routine dental visits. You can make an appointment with Dana Walters DDS for a complete examination.  Your dental visit will also include professional cleaning. This process will remove plaque and tartar that can cause tooth decay and gum disease. Professional cleaning will remove residue and bacteria from between your teeth and other areas you cannot easily reach with your toothbrush. When you leave the dentist’s office, your teeth will be sparkling clean and fresh.

When you visit the dentist, you will receive helpful information about oral care products. The new year is the ideal time to purchase new toothbrushes and toothpastes that are appropriate for your needs. The products you use will be more effective when they are the right products for you.

Everyone wants to start the new year with resolutions that will have long-term benefits. It is not enough to make a list that will be set aside and forgotten. You can have better oral health for the rest of your life if you take a sensible approach to these lifestyle changes.

Make sure you are never too busy to care for your teeth, visit the dentist, and choose healthy foods and beverages. Your lifestyle changes will become permanent, healthy habits.

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New Year Resolutions and Dental Health- Continued


Let’s discuss the top two priorities that will help you make your care a priority in 2015. 

Resolve to Visit Your Dentist at Least Two Times Per Year

If you do not have any oral health problems, visit your dentist every six months.  However, if you have a problem that must be corrected, or an issue that should be addressed, resolve to see your dentist more frequently.

One example is to fix your smile with clear braces.  If your teeth are not perfect, braces can result in healthier, more attractive teeth.  A little extra time at the dentist’s office can result in a lifetime of benefits.

Resolve to Include Dental Health as Part of Your Overall Health

You would not allow a year to pass without visiting your doctor, or taking care of your physical health at home.  The wisest resolution you can make is to see dental health and dental visits the same way.

When you resolve to visit your dentist regularly, follow the dentist’s advice, and take care of your oral health at home, it will make a difference.  If you make a point of including these dental health resolutions on your list of New Year resolutions, your New Year can be the start of many healthy changes.

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New Year Resolutions and Dental Health


It is never to early to start thinking about your 2015 New Year Resolutions.  Remember to include resolutions that will affect your dental health.  Dental resolutions not only affect your oral health, but your general health and appearance, too.

Resolve to Make Home Oral Care a Priority

First, brush your teeth at least twice each day.  It is better if you resolve to brush after every meal.

Second, use dental floss every day.  Proper use of floss will result in healthier teeth and gums.

Third, make some changes in your snacking habits.  While you do not need to eliminate sugary treats and beverages entirely, they do require extra brushing and flossing.  Resolve to consume more healthier foods and beverages.

Next week, we will discuss the top two priorities that will help you make your care a priority in 2015.  Enjoy your friends and family!

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Holiday Stress And Your Dental Health

Holiday stress does not have to interfere with your dental health. Your oral health can be a priority while you enjoy the holiday season.

First, never fail to floss and brush. Even if you are planning a full day of shopping, decorating, or celebrating, your teeth and gums need attention. Take proper care of your gums and teeth before you start the day, and before you go to bed at night.

Second, limit foods and beverages that can harm your teeth. Fruit and raw vegetables are better than candy and soft drinks. You can take a healthy product with you when you go shopping, and have an assortment of healthy products amongst your holiday treats at home.

Third, think about your dentist. If you have not had an examination lately, a visit will take little time out of your holiday schedule. Your teeth will be professionally cleaned, and your dentist will notice if you have any dental problems. You can enjoy the holidays even more when your teeth are clean and healthy.  Click here to schedule an appointment with Dana Walters DDS.

Fourth, consider the way you deal with stress. If snacking on junk food is one of your habits, now is a good time to make changes. Instead of unhealthy habits for coping with stress, allow yourself time to relax. When you feel stressed or overworked, relax with some nice holiday music, a holiday special on television, or a good book.

The holiday season is meant to be enjoyed with your friends and family. This does not have to mean neglecting your dental health. These tips can mean better oral health after the holiday season is over.

You can relax and have a good time during this holiday season. If you continue to make dental health a priority, you will benefit in the future. Start by reducing your stress and enjoying the season.

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