Difference Between Night Guards and Mouth Guards

We’ve heard a few names for the plastic thing people wear to protect their teeth during physical activities or sleep. If you or your children are involved in contact sports, or if you ever feel jaw pain especially after sleep, we’ll clear up the differences between night guards and mouth guards for you. And we’ll help you decide which one you need.

What is a Night Guard?

An occlusal splint is commonly called a dental guard, night guard or bite guard. It is used to protect your teeth while you sleep. Most dentists recommend night guards to patients who grind their teeth, which is often as a result of stress or anxiety. When someone habitually grinds his or her teeth, it is called bruxism, a very common condition that affects 10% of people and as many as 15% of children. Grinding your teeth can ruin enamel, increase tooth sensitivity and chip your teeth. Too much grinding and clenching of the jaw can result in a condition of the jaw called TMJ, which can sometimes require surgery.

Close-up shot of doctors hands in gloves holding silicone mouth guard. Teeth care

Do you or your children ever wake up with jaw pain or think you might be grinding your teeth? Schedule a consultation with your dentist to discuss getting a custom-fit night guard. In just one visit, we can evaluate your grinding habits and take an impression of your smile. Some of our offices can even make your night guard in their own lab! In about 1-2 weeks, you’ll have your night guard and be sleeping easier.

What is a Mouth Guard?

A mouth guard is a protective device for the mouth that covers the teeth and gums to prevent and reduce injury to the teeth, lips and gums. The American Dental Association recommends wearing a mouth guard for many sports played in the fall and winter:

  • Football
  • Basketball
  • Field Hockey
  • Gymnastics
  • Ice Hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Rugby
  • Volleyball
  • Boxing
  • Wrestling
  • Ultimate Frisbee

Custom mouth guards are recommended over store-bought, and do more than just protect your teeth. According to one study, “high school football players wearing store-bought mouth guards were more than twice as likely to suffer mild traumatic brain injuries than those wearing properly fitted, custom mouth guards.” Ask your dentist to make a dental impression for you, which will be sent off to a lab that produces mouth guards or made in one of our office’s labs.

Photo sports mouth guard and medical capacitor on a white background

National Brush Day and Stonehaven Dental logos over photos of children celebrating Halloween and brushing their teeth

National Brush Day 2016

November 1 is more than just the day after Halloween. It’s also National Brush Day, when we remind ourselves to brush twice daily and help educate our children on the importance of dental hygiene. In addition to other healthy habits, brushing 2 times for 2 minutes every day helps reduce the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

Brush 2min2x

Teaching good dental hygiene to our children is especially important, so that they can make brushing twice part of their daily routine. According to Psychology Today, habits that develop early in life can be very difficult to change — so helping your children understand the importance of dental hygiene will transition into keeping healthy habits as an adult.

The Children’s Oral Health campaign encourages parents to reduce their children’s risk of oral disease by making sure they’re brushing for two minutes, twice a day. Their website, 2min2x.org, has plenty of educational and fun resources to help parents out, including these easy Tooth To-Dos:

  • Use a pea-sized dab of fluoride toothpaste for kids ages 3-6, and use slightly more when they’re older.
  • Teach them to spit out the toothpaste when they’re done so they don’t swallow it.
  • Help your kids place the toothbrush at an angle against their gums.
  • Make sure they move the brush back and forth, gently, in short strokes.
  • Help them brush the front, back, and top of teeth.
  • Teach them to brush their tongue to remove germs and freshen breath.

For more tips, be sure to read Colgate’s Teeth Brushing For Kids: Three Strategies For Proper Technique.

Show Your Support

If you’d like to show your support for #NationalBrushDay, there are plenty of ways to get involved on social media.

3 Classic Dental-Themed Halloween Costumes

Headed to a Halloween party and can’t think of any costume ideas? We’ve got you covered! These 3 classic dental-themed Halloween costumes are quick, inexpensive do-it-yourself ideas that will work for kids, parents and even couples. Be sure to follow the links for directions and tips on how to make your costume more creative and memorable.

For Kids: Tooth Costume

a young boy stands smiling in his tooth costume made from pillows

Why not, right? And this is a great way to recycle any pillows you own that have lost their fluff. Just grab those two old pillows you’re replacing, a pair of scissors, a needle and thread. Follow the simple directions in this YouTube video and in 15 minutes, your kid will be wearing one toothfully cute costume.

If you want to ramp  it up, you could add a pair of all-black sweatpants or tights and a black sweatshirt, then you’d look like a tooth floating through the night. Maybe wear some glasses, wear a beard or walk with a cane and tell people you’re a wisdom tooth! Or you can wear some ears and put on some make up to look like a bear, and call yourself a molar bear! It’s always fun to get a little punny with your costumes.

For Couples: Toothbrush and Toothpaste Costume

Young white couple poses dressed in costume as a toothbrush and tube of crest toothpaste

Probably the most classic dental-themed costume is the tube of toothpaste. This one’s super easy to make out of recycled household items too! Just grab an old sheet, a lampshade, scissors, thread and a needle. You might need to go out and purchase these though: hot glue gun, headband and felt paper. We bet you can guess how these all fit together, but here are some better directions if you need them.

As for being a toothbrush, there are plenty of ways to make a brush. Basically all you need is a headband and a way to attach something flat with “bristles” attached. We recommend cardboard for the head and drinking straws for the bristles, but you can also use some light wood, zip ties or any other materials found in your garage or basement. Then just make sure your shirt and pants match and now you’ve got yourself a toothbrush costume!

For Everybody: Tooth Fairy

Girl standing on a porch dressed as the tooth fairy

Of course the Tooth Fairy is often depicted as a woman, but guys can have fun with this costume too! Every good Tooth Fairy costume features four main components: wings, wand, crown and a tutu. Even though a lot of people buy wings, this YouTuber has a cool tutorial on making your own pair with coat hangers and pantyhose. And it’s pretty easy to convert plastic headbands into a crown with some construction paper, glitter or other art supplies you have at home.

As for making a wand, we’ve seen a lot of people get creative — this pin shows one made entirely out of toothbrushes! But if you take a look around your house or apartment, we bet you can create your own. We’re thinking covers of notebooks glued to look like a tooth in the photo to the left. Maybe some wrapping paper cut thin for streamers. We looked around the house and found a chopstick, flashlight, umbrella and a wooden spoon we could use to make a wand.

 

Halloween Candy Buy-Back

Don’t forget that the day after Halloween — Tuesday, November 1st — we’ll be collecting your leftover candy from 3:00-5:00PM at all Stonehaven Dental locations to donate to Operation Gratitude. Bring in your unwanted sweets and we’ll pay you $5 per pound (up to 5 pounds) and you’ll get a free toothbrush travel bag, too! Read more.

Halloween Candy Buy Back - Candy for our Troops - Tuesday Novemebr 1st - 3:00-5:00PM

Halloween Candy Buy-Back 2016

We’ve all been there. Two perfectly good pillowcases full of candy corn, Tootsie Rolls and Mounds Bars. Another bowl sitting on the kitchen island full of snack-size M&Ms, Gobstoppers and Crunch Bars. Why do you do this to yourself year after year? Don’t you wish there was something better to do with your leftover Halloween candy? There is. Stop offering your guests those orange and black Mary Jane Peanut Butter Kisses and donate them instead! The best part — we will pay you.

You heard us. Stonehaven Dental’s annual Halloween Candy Buy-Back will give you $1 for every pound of candy you bring in (up to 5 pounds) and we’ll even throw in a free toothbrush travel bag just for fun. Just bring your candy into any Stonehaven Dental location on Tuesday, November 1st, between 3:00-5:00PM. The candy will go to Operation Gratitude, an organization whose mission is to “lift the spirits and meet the evolving needs of the Military and First Responder communities, and provide volunteer opportunities for civilians anywhere in America to express their appreciation to all who serve our nation.”


If you’d like to help promote our Halloween Candy Buy-Back, please share the photo below on Instagram or Facebook and invite your friends to come donate!

CandyBuyBack_Insta (1)

 

 

 

#ndhm2016 brush floss rinse chew

National Dental Hygiene Month 2016

October is National Dental Hygiene Month. For the seventh straight year, the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) and Wrigley Oral Healthcare Program (WOHP) are dedicating this month to starting the conversation about The Daily 4.

The Daily 4

The Daily 4 represent the foundation for a healthy smile. Brushing, flossing, rinsing and chewing every day – also using proper technique – won’t guartantee perfect dental hygiene for the rest of your life, but they will improve the color of your teeth, the way your breath smells, the health of your gums and have a significant impact on your overall health. Are you doing the Daily 4 right? Keep reading for tips on technique and frequency, or head over to adha.org for some more in-depth information on #NDHM2016.

Brush: This one is easy. Brush for two minutes at least twice each day. Most people like to brush when they wake up and before they go to bed. But brushing after every meal doesn’t hurt! Are you using the correct technique when you brush? Click here to find out.

Floss: You might’ve seen some recent reports about the effectiveness of flossing. The ADHA and Mortenson Family Dental are united in our opinion — Flossing is still an important part of your dental hygiene routine. If you’d like to read more about it, check out this article we wrote.  And for tips on proper flossing technique, click here.

Rinse: Did you know teeth alone account for less than half of the mouth? Don’t forget about the rest! Rinsing with an antimicrobial mouth rinse helps eliminate biofilm and bacteria that brushing and flossing cannot. Talk with your dentist to figure out which mouth rinse is right for you. For a simple guide on rinsing, click here.

Chew: Believe it or not, chewing sugar-free gum is not just good at curing bad breath. Chewing sugar-free gum also stimulates salivary glands in your mouth, which helps clean out food and neutralize acids found on your teeth. So go ahead, chew some gum after your meal. Just make sure it’s sugar-free!

Show your support for #NDHM2016

Below is a poster you can print out and a banner that fits perfectly as your Facebook cover photo. If you’re serious about dental hygiene, show your support this month and help start the conversation!

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NDHM_2016WebBanner_690x200

Dentist Reminder For Tomorrow With Crossed Out Today Pinned On Cork Board

Ease Dental Phobia with Oral Sedation

Do you hate going to the dentist so much that you avoid going at all? You’re not the only one. It is estimated that 9% to 15% of Americans avoid seeing the dentist because of anxiety or fear. A lot of them are worried about pain or feeling embarrassed. Others have dental phobia. No matter what is causing you stress, oral sedation dentistry can help.

 

What is Oral Sedation Dentistry?

 

Sedation dentistry is when patients take medication to relax during dental procedures. There are different levels of sedation from minimal sedation, where you are still awake but relaxed, to general anesthesia, when you are unconscious. There are several different types of sedation dentistry. At Stonehaven Dental, we offer IV sedation and oral sedation.

Oral sedation involves taking a small pill an hour before your appointment. This pill, typically Halcion, is just as safe as taking a Valium. After you take the pill, someone else drives you to your appointment where we deliver exceptional care in a comfortable, anxiety-free atmosphere. Patients are awake during the procedure but many have very little memory of the visit. Some patients may fall asleep during the procedure, but can be woken with a gentle shake.

Reasons patients choose oral sedation:

 

Is Oral Sedation Dentistry Safe?

 

Oral sedation dentistry allows you the experience dental procedures feeling relaxed and comfortable. Time will pass by fast and many patients report an amnesic effect, meaning they don’t remember the visit at all! While you’re relaxed, your dentist can perform the procedure confidently because they know you’re safe and carefree.

Oral sedation dentistry is even safe enough for children. Parents will need to take a little extra care to ensure their child is relaxed, but we trust you’re already a pro at looking after your loved ones. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry has posted some really helpful guidelines on preparing for your child’s sedation dentistry visit.

 

Is Oral Sedation Dentistry Right for Me?

 

Oral sedation dentistry is a safe, minimal sedation method that can allow even the most anxious patients to have their dental needs taken care of. Most treatment plans are simple and take one or two appointments. But even the most extensive treatment can be provided using oral sedation dentistry. Don’t let fear or anxiety keep you and your family from having beautiful, healthy smiles.

 

Resources for People with Dental Anxiety and Dental Phobia

 

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