April is National Facial Protection Month, so we are answering all of your burning questions about mouthguards and how to protect you teeth from unnecessary damage.

What is a mouthguard?

A mouthguard is an inexpensive piece of protective gear worn over the teeth. Athletes frequently use them to prevent sports-related injuries.

Why are mouthguards important?

Mouthguards help cushion a blow to the face, minimizing the risk of broken teeth and injuries to your lips, tongue, face or jaw. According to the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation, athletes are 60 percent more likely to suffer harm to the teeth if they’re not wearing a mouthguard.

Which sports require a mouthguard?

Many parents think mouthguards are only required for heavy contact sports like football and hockey, but the truth is oral injuries can happen during any sport! In fact, the American Association of Orthodontics encourages all players to wear a mouthguard during both games and practices.

But aren’t mouthguards difficult to wear?

Some people think mouthguards are uncomfortable and distracting, making it more difficult to focus during an intense game. Luckily new advances in mouthguard technology have made products even more comfortable and easy to wear. There are many options to choose from including custom-made mouthgaurds and less expensive “boil and bite” protectors. Dr. Pulsipher can help you decide which mouthguard will provide the best protection and comfort based on your individual needs.

Mouthguards are an essential piece of sports equipment, so don’t wait until it’s too late! Call Dr. Pulsipher today to discuss your options for protecting your teeth.

Some people think straight teeth are only important to help you look and feel great. But the truth is, having straight teeth is really important for your health too!

When teeth are crooked and crowded, it can be more difficult to brush and floss. Brushing is important to help remove plaque from the large surfaces of your teeth and eradicate bacteria in the mouth. Regular flossing removes plaque from between your teeth and helps prevent cavities and gum disease.

Over time, poor oral hygiene can cause all kinds of problems including tooth decay, periodontal disease (infections of the structures around the teeth), and possibly tooth loss. An improper bite can also interfere with chewing and speaking, cause excessive wear to tooth enamel, and lead to problems with the jaws.

Pulsipher Orthodontics can help! Orthodontic treatment is used to correct a “bad bite,” also known as malocclusion, that involves crooked or crowded teeth. Correcting the problem can create a better smile, but more important, orthodontic treatment makes it easier to take care of your teeth and results in a healthier mouth.

Are you ready for a healthier smile? The good news is that orthodontic treatment is now easier than ever before. Braces are smaller and more comfortable than they used to be. You can even choose to straighten your teeth using clear, removable aligners.

Make an appointment with Dr. Pulsipher to discuss your unique smile and what alignment options are best for you.

A clean mouth is a happy mouth. And when Dr. Pulsipher and his staff see you have a clean mouth, we are happy too! When you have braces, you are playing a game of hide-and-go-seek with everything you eat. Here are 5 simple tips to keep your mouth happy.

1. It’s all about the angles. Brush the tops of your teeth and braces with your brush angled down. Brush the bottom of your teeth with the brush angled up. Pointy brushes, aka interproximal brushes, are good for reaching the tiny spots around braces.

2. Brush after every meal! If those sneaky food bits hide in your mouth for very long, they will turn into plaque. Plaque is a sign of a very unhappy mouth!

3. Brush one tooth at a time for at least 10 seconds, and pay close attention to the spots where your braces youth your teeth.

4. Be sure to floss after every meal. Water picks are also very helpful in dislodging any particles you might have missed when brushing.

5. Use a Mouth Rinse. Even after properly brushing and flossing, there are probably some food particles in your braces. A fluoride mouth rinse is the best way to ensure that every bit of food is removed after meals.