Our Blog

How to Protect Your Child's Teeth While Playing Sports

September 14th, 2018

A new school year has begun, and with that, sports season is just around the corner. As the buzz of club try- outs, evaluations, selecting teams and practice/games schedules begins, it is important to not forget about safety!

Proper Equipment
When participating in sports, safety equipment should be at the top of the list when it comes to an athlete’s uniform. Helmets are typically required when playing sports such as football, baseball, softball, etc. But are mouth guards a part of the standard equipment? The American Association of Orthodontist found that 84% of children playing an organized sport do not wear a mouth guard because they are not required to do so. This is very concerning because athletes who do not wear a mouth guard are 60 times more likely to damage their teeth. If your child is playing in any of the following sports, it is recommended by the American Dental Association that they wear a mouth guard: football, basketball, lacrosse, gymnastics, martial arts, roller hockey, skateboarding, soccer, volleyball and even surfing! We will take it a step further and say that players involved in baseball and softball should wear a mouth guard, as well. Any time there is a chance for contact to the face by the ground, another player or a ball, a mouth guard should be worn.

Injuries
While wearing a mouth guard is not a sure proof way of preventing all dental injuries, it certainly helps reduce the potential severity of the injury. Approximately, 50% of sports injuries are directly to the mouth and many require professional treatment to minimize long term complications.

  • Tooth fracture/Tooth loss
    One of the most common dental injuries that occurs in sports. When a tooth cracks or is knocked out due to impact with the ground or a hard ball, it is imperative to seek medical treatment in order to try and preserve the tooth. Wearing a mouth guard will significantly lower the chances of cracking a tooth or having one knocked out completely. Treating these injuries can be very costly for the parent and uncomfortable for the child.
  • Splitting of the Lip/Tongue
    This occurs quite frequently when a player does not wear a mouth guard. They take a stumble, make hard contact with another player or have a ball hit them directly in the mouth, causing one or more of their teeth to puncture their tongue or lip. Again, a mouth guard can significantly reduce the risk of this injury.

Types of Mouth Guards

  • Ready Made/Boil and Bite
    These are the most common mouth guards because they are the least expensive. While they do not offer the same protection as a mouth guard that is made by a dentist or orthodontist, it is still better than wearing nothing.
  • Custom Made Mouth Guards
    These mouth guards are more expensive than the OTC mouth guards, but they offer the best protection. They are customized by a doctor or professional technician to ensure a proper fit and are the best option for players with braces or dental implants.

Proper Handling of the Mouth Guard

It is crucial to explain to your child the proper positioning of the mouth guard. We understand it is very common for players to complain that a mouth guard is uncomfortable or bulky and not want to wear it. To ensure the effectiveness of the mouth guard, the player needs to leave the mouth guard in place while in action and not chew on it. The mouth guard cannot do its job if is being treated like a piece of gum.

Once the game or practice is over, the mouth guard should be washed with a non alcohol mouth wash or brushed with toothpaste and a toothbrush. Gently dry the mouth guard and store in a dry case. Never leave the mouth guard loose in a gym bag or store damp, as it can collect loads of bacteria and germs.

Ultimately, it is impossible to guarantee an injury free sports season but there are steps that can be taken to lessen the chances. It is our sincere hope that parents and coaches will do everything in their power to provide proper safety equipment for all sporting participants. Please let us know if we can help in any way!

We wish everyone a safe and fun sports season! Remember, protect those teeth!

Does Your Child Have Difficulty Concentrating?

August 10th, 2018

If so, it may not be a lack of interest of boredom but something important YOU as a parent can help with.

Here are some crucial facts about SCHOOL AGE SCREENING FOR SLEEP PROBLEMS IN YOUTH.

 

 

Sleep Disordered Breathing (SDB) problem causes:

  • Obstructive: Large adenoids / tonsils or tongue displaced back into an airway.
  • Environmental: Allergies or chronic sinusitis.
  • Genetic: Mismatched, narrow jaws.
  • Anatomic/structural: Misaligned jaws or airway dysplasia.

Here are important symptoms to watch for with your child:

  • Mouth breathing, loud snoring, tossing and turning, gasping and choking during sleep.
  • Attention difficulties, unpredictable behavior, mood disorders at school, even depression can be caused by a lack of restful sleep.
  • Bed-wetting, sleep-walking, diminished growth, hormonal problems, metabolic problems and narrow dental arch problems are common.

Obstructive sleep apnea increases the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

Insufficient sleep in the youngster’s formative years is associated with metabolic, cognitive and emotional behavioral effects. Pediatric sleep-disordered breathing is a growing area of interest and kids can fall through the diagnostic cracks when this is not recognized and managed.

25% of ADHD problems are children deprived of restful sleep and thus behavioral problems.

Sleep-disordered breathing in the first five years of life is associated with 40 – 60% greater chance of special educational needs by age 8.

PARENTAL AWARENESS

The American Association of Pediatrics “Practice Parameters” recently stated that all children should be screened for snoring because of the 70% overlap of snoring and sleep apnea. The numbers are staggering.

Sleep-disordered breathing is under diagnosed, and often clinicians take a wait and see approach. Invasive interventions are needed to correct the problem later. Your child suffers lessened quality of life, behavioral and/or learning challenges unless helped to restore normal breathing and sleep.

A simple questionnaire and selective 3-D images of a child’s airway helps identify restrictions. Facial orthopedics can help to open the airway, with teamwork by medical and dental sleep specialists for related treatments to optimize the airway and sleep quality.
Patients may benefit from a home sleep study, or see an Ear/Nose/Throat (ENT) doctor if tonsils or adenoids need to be removed. Simple allergy medications may work for some. A common approach may be simple upper jaw orthopedic expansion to correct a narrow jaw, or lower jaw lengthening with widening of the dental arches. Within weeks / months the child typically rests better and awakens normally.

Studies show a strong association between pediatric sleep disorders and childhood obesity. Weight management, oral appliances, or positive airway pressure therapy are very effective treatments.

Bruxism (teeth grinding) occurs during restless sleep and causes primary teeth to become worn – a direct connection with sleep-disordered breathing. Also, sleep-deprived kids may have a lisp caused by inadequate tongue space and poor teeth alignment, chronic dark circles under the eyes, difficulty waking up in the morning, irritability, fidgety behavior, mouth breathing and recurrent episodes of nasal congestion.

DO THE RIGHT THING TO HELP EACH CHILD

Clinicians and parents can do harm by doing nothing. The key factors are recognizing and preventing airway problems and breathing conditions when your child is young.

Everyone feels, performs and behaves our best when well rested.

Contact Jupiter Orthodontics for simple screening and proper guidelines for your child.

Dr. Roy King, Board Certified Facial Orthopedics/Orthodontics, Jupiter Orthodontics
www.Jupiter-Orthodontics.com

How to Attain Straight Teeth ASAP

July 13th, 2018

Once you have decided to seek orthodontic treatment and the braces have been applied, your next question is probably “how soon can the braces come off?” We understand that a straight, beautiful smile is the number one goal but the second goal is achieving that smile quickly. In this post, we have listed a few suggestions to help you work with your orthodontist to achieve fantastic results as quickly as possible.

Follow the Orthodontist’s Instructions
Dr. King carefully charts out every patient’s treatment plan/timeline. At each appointment, he will give instructions on how to continue to move the teeth into perfect formation. It is important to make and keep your appointments in order for your progress to be closely monitored. Trust the expert, not following the instructions given can lead to a major setback in creating the smile of your dreams!

Eating Healthy and Safe Foods
Following a diet that is low in excessive sugar will help prevent plaque buildup in the mouth. If excessive tooth decay or gum disease occurs during orthodontic treatment, the braces may have to be removed in order to address the problem properly. Furthermore, make sure that you avoid foods that could damage the brackets or wires. Crunchy, sticky or hard foods/candy can knock wires loose or break brackets. When this happens, it is not only uncomfortable, but the braces are unable to work properly. Still, accidents happen and if you experience a loose wire or bracket, call the office and we will fix it for you.

Wear Your Rubber Bands
Wearing rubber bands helps to accomplish tooth movement and not wearing them can cause a need for additional months in braces. We understand that it is annoying to take them in and out when you eat, but being consistent with your rubber bands will keep your progress on track. A small inconvenience for a beautiful end result…

Protecting Your Braces
If you or your child plays sports, wearing a mouth guard will help prevent braces from being damaged. It can also lessen the likelihood of injury to you or your child. Another potential hazard for your braces is mindlessly chewing on pencils, pens or any other non-food item. It is important to be aware of what is put into the mouth. Believe it or not, aggressive brushing can also damage braces and the wires. Be sure to clean the teeth properly. Any member of Dr. King’s team would be happy to show you proper brushing technique, if you need a reminder.

Be Patient
Lastly, be patient with the process. A beautiful smile is not attained overnight. It takes time and precision. As treatment nears the end, it is very common for patients to want to quit or to become frustrated. Dr. King has almost 40 years of experience and has every patient’s best interest as his top priority. If at any point, you have questions or want further explanation, feel free to ask. Orthodontic treatment is a partnership between the orthodontist and patient. Both parties have a role to play in order to achieve the best possible results.

Considering Direct-To-Consumer Orthodontics??

June 15th, 2018

There are several direct-to-consumer orthodontic companies on the market right now and they love to make their treatment sound convenient, cheap and effective.  What people may not realize is that they are often times treated as consumers and not patients.  For example, in some instances direct-to-consumer companies do not involve an in-person evaluation and/or in-person supervision.  Being seen in an office by an actual licensed orthodontist is imperative because there is more to creating a beautiful and healthy smile than just shifting some teeth.  Orthodontic treatment, if not done correctly could lead to irreversible tooth and gum loss, bite changes and other expensive damage.  Ask yourself this question:  What other transforming medical procedure would you undergo without being evaluated and supervised before, during and after IN PERSON by a doctor?  You want to be treated as a patient not a consumer.

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) believes you should do your due diligence when selecting an orthodontist and/or method of orthodontics.  Below are several questions for you to ask while you are researching direct-to-consumer orthodontic treatment.

  1. As part of your orthodontic treatment fee, do you receive any in-person visits to a licensed orthodontist’s office during your treatment?
    • If YES:
      • How many?
      • What occurs during these visits?
      • What credentials does the doctor have?
      • What do other patients have to say about the treatment they received?
    • If NO:
      • Are you comfortable receiving orthodontic treatment without any in-person visits from a licensed orthodontist?

 

  1. As part of your treatment, are comprehensive diagnostic records like x-rays taken before your treatment?

 

  1. If an emergency arises, does the company have an orthodontist in your area that you can see in-person?

 

  1. How do you know if your gums and teeth are healthy enough to start orthodontic treatment? Who makes that decision?

 

  1. Is only one treatment type offered (such as invisible aligners or a certain appliance)?
    • YES- how will you determine that it is the best treatment option for you?
    • NO- who will help you determine what the best course of treatment is?

 

  1. Who can you speak with at the online orthodontic company about your treatment, financial aspects, dental health and the potential risks involved with your treatment?

 

  1. Who is responsible for monitoring and evaluating your course of treatment? Is it you?

 

  1. Does the treatment model comply with the dental laws in your state?

 

We hope that you have found this information helpful.  Please keep in mind that orthodontic treatment is not a product you are purchasing but a medical service that is best handled by a medical professional.  If you seek treatment from an orthodontist who is a member of the American Association of Orthodontists, you can rest assured that they have spent many years in a post-doctoral residency program.  To find an AAO orthodontist near you, click here: https://www.aaoinfo.org/