From Olympic athletes to kids just starting out on the slopes, mouth-guards are imperative to maintaining optimal dental health and protecting those pearly whites. Mouth-guards are proven to protect teeth from damage due to injuries, falls and aggressive performance, and have also been shown to limit and reduce the impact of concussions. Elite winter athletes are required to wear mouth-guards when competing and more frequently amateur and new athletes are wearing them as a precautionary measure. Although Whistler Blackcomb does not have a rule making mouth-guards compulsory they are highly recommended by the mountain.
CORNUCOPIA GUIDE TO PROTECTING YOUR TEETH WHILE DINING AND DRINKING
Whistler’s foodie event of the year is almost here! Cornucopia, which is taking place all over Whistler, begins on November 9th and runs for 10 days. Yes, that’s 10 days of drinking, dining and indulging which can be disastrous for the waist line and destructive for your teeth too (we’re not saying don’t do it though). There are tried and true ways of protecting your teeth from copious wine consumption, teeth staining foods and onslaughts of sugar. Here is our guide to protecting your teeth while enjoying the festivities of Cornucopia this year.
THE TOP 5 DENTAL MYTHS BUSTED!
Like any topic, there is a lot of information out there (especially on the internet) and sometimes it’s hard to decipher if the information is true or not. Here we debunk some of the most infamous dental myths by dropping some truth bombs on these hotly debated dental topics. Here at Whistler Dental, we care about the oral health of our Whistler community so want to make sure that you have your facts straight when it comes to taking care of your teeth!
DENTAL MYTH # 1- ADULTS ARE TOO OLD TO HAVE BRACES
Not anymore! Although metal braces are not aesthetically appealing to most adults there are now modern solutions to fix crooked teeth and create stunning smiles (for people of all ages!). You are never too old to wear a smile you are confident about. Here at Whistler Dental, we use a fantastic braces alternative called Invisalign which slowly moves teeth into shape using clear and undetectable aligners. Adults can now achieve their ideal smile without having to sport a set of bulky metal braces.
DENTAL MYTH #2- DENTAL X-RAYS ARE DANGEROUS
Although we wouldn’t recommend having an x-ray just for the fun of it, there is a lot of over blown hype about the dangers of dental x-rays. The average person is exposed to 3,100µSv of radiation per year and the average full mouth dental x-ray contains a mere 34.9 to 170.7µSv; in fact, a dental x-ray contains about the same radiation as eating 50 bananas! The importance of having dental x-rays to identify and examine potential problems far outweighs the negligible radiation from x-rays.
DENTAL MYTH #3- SUGAR IS THE MAIN CULPRIT BEHIND CAVITIES
There is no denying that consuming sugar leads to dental decay and cavities in most people but there are often other more significant contributors that fly under the radar. The direct cause of tooth decay is more a genetic and environmental combination which causes a greater propensity towards cavities. Genetic and environmental factors affect tooth enamel, oral bacteria populations, and saliva composition. Sugar can cause the increase of bacteria in your mouth that causes cavities, but genetics and the environment are more likely to determine if this bacteria will cause cavities or not.
DENTAL MYTH #4- VANITY IS THE ONLY REASON FOR COSMETIC DENTISTRY
We regularly perform cosmetic dentistry at Whistler Dental and let us tell you, vanity is hardly the motivator for these treatments. Cosmetic dentistry is often an investment for overall health and wellbeing improvements and many treatments are recommended to enhance better overall oral health. Aligning a bite and replacing missing teeth with implants to maintain bone structure are examples of orthodontic and cosmetic procedures that provide a cosmetic solution to a problem and at the same time increase overall health and wellbeing.
DENTAL MYTH #5- YOU DON’T NEED TO BRUSH BABY TEETH
Just because baby teeth have a shorter lifespan than adult teeth doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be brushed! Not only does starting to brush a child’s teeth when young (from the occurrence of their first tooth) instill good habits, but it’s absolutely imperative to avoid painful dental implications, cavities, and gum problems in pre-school aged and young children. Children usually lose their last few teeth at the age of twelve. Brushing baby teeth is absolutely important and should never be deferred until children have their adult set.
Have any other questions about dental care, or additional dental myths you’d like addressed? Make sure to contact us at Whistler Dental, we’d be happy to help!
Teeth grinding, also known as Bruxism, is a very common condition experienced by one in every three people. The severity of bruxism varies, but on the more extreme end of the scale it can result in aching jaw, headaches, tooth pain, loosening of teeth from the gums, losing and fracturing teeth, receding gums and developing jaw joint disordered like TMJ. Teeth grinding wears away enamel and can be a cause for serious dental treatments down the road. Preventing bruxism is important to avoid painful symptoms and costly dental treatments. Here are five tips to stop grinding your teeth and maintaining healthy pearly whites.
1. REDUCE STRESS AND ANXIETY
Many people clench or grind their teeth due to stress. If you suspect this could be the cause of your grinding, taking time to relax before bed could help ease teeth grinding and enable a better night’s rest all together. Spend ten minutes before bed doing a meditation or some breathing exercises, try and shut off your thoughts, or allow yourself to zone out with a bit of television before bed. Transitioning from stressful activities like work right into sleep can increase stress levels when heading into slumber. Take the time to de-stress before bed, and save your teeth from wear and tear caused by grinding.
2. BE MINDFUL OF CLENCHING
Make a conscious effort to check in throughout the day about clenching of the teeth and jaw. You may be surprised when you tune into this to find that you are subtly clenching throughout the day or that you are resting your teeth together. There should always be slight gap between the top and bottom teeth, being aware of this and consciously tuning into the position of your jaw and teeth can reduce the impact of bruxism.
3. USE A MOUTHGAURD
Many people continue to grind their teeth even after conscious awareness and action has been taken to stop. In these cases, a mouthgaurd is highly recommend to prevent further damage to the tooth enamel and structure of the tooth. Here at Whistler Dental we fit patients with comfortable and protective mouthgaurd custom to the bite, to protect their teeth while they sleep. These mouthgaurds work wonders in maintaining the health of the tooth, preventing more serious dental problems down the road, and the related expenses incurred.
4. OPT FOR SOFTER FOODS
In an attempt to break the habit of teeth grinding, a diet with softer foods will often give your jaw muscles a break from repeated clenching and grinding. The jaw muscle is one of the strongest muscles in the entire body with researchers saying it has 600 pounds of force per square inch! This relaxing of the jaw by eating softer foods can be a good practice to re-set, and will give your jaw some temporary relief from being overworked.
5. DRINK MORE WATER
Drinking more water is the easiest cure for many health ailments, and has been proven to help relieve Bruxism. By staying hydrated before you go to bed, you are more likely to have a sound sleep, and reduce the occurrences of teeth grinding. Avoiding caffeine and alcohol and substituting with water instead is a good practice for those wishing to maintain oral health at night.
If you are aware that you grind your teeth, or suspect that you may due to waking up with headaches or a sore jaw, book in with your family dentist for an assessment. Here at Whistler Dental we will examine the surface of the tooth, and assess any symptoms to make an assessment of grinding. We will then recommend strategies to reduce grinding, including the tips listed above. For more information about teeth grinding, contact us today.