My Blog

Posts for: February, 2014

By John Leitner DDS
February 24, 2014
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Dentist   Grand Haven  
dentist Grand Haven MIPatients, young and old, enjoy a little myth busting now and then. And today is that day. Dr. John Leitner, Grand Haven dentist, discloses on a dental myth that you and your family can smile about!

Myth: Eating too much sugar causes cavities

From kids to adults, the age-old warning is that too much sugar will rot your teeth. In a way, this is true, but it’s not about the amount of sugar you eat—it’s how long the sugar remains on your teeth. Bacteria love to feed on sugar and produce acid, which breaks down the tooth’s enamel. Look at these two scenarios:
Scenario 1:
You have a box of chocolate and eat the entire box in five minutes. Afterwards, you take a glass of water and rinse out the excess sugar. After waiting 30 minutes, you brush your teeth with a soft-bristle brush and toothpaste.
Scenario 2:
You sip a sugar-free soda over the span of an hour. You rinse your mouth out with water and brush your teeth right away.
Which scenario is the worst for your teeth?
You may be thinking—the first one because it has sugar and you had to wait longer to brush your teeth. Actually, scenario 2 would harm your teeth more—for two reasons. First, the sugary chocolate only rested on your teeth for five minutes. In scenario 2, the drink may be sugar-free, but the soda is also carbonated, which means its high in acid. And acid is the main culprit for enamel erosion. You were sipping the soda for over an hour, constantly bathing your teeth in the carbonation.
Second, scenario 1 is better because you wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth. In scenario 2, you brush them right away, and that could damage your enamel because you end up pushing the acid deeper into the tooth. If you wait at least 30 minutes, your saliva works to wash away acids and remineralize the enamel.
We hope you enjoyed this blog post. If you have a dental concern or want to schedule an appointment with your Grand Haven dentist, call (616) 842-2850. Do you have any more dental myths you want to learn about? Let us know, and your Grand Haven family dentist can provide the answers!

By John Leitner DDS
February 21, 2014
Category: Oral Health

It might seem that adults who play aggressive, high-contact professional sports (ice hockey, for example) have the highest chance of sustaining dental injuries. But for many — like NHL hall-of-famer Mike Bossy — their first injured teeth came long before they hit the big time.

“The earliest [dental injury] I remember is when I was around 12,” the former New York Islanders forward recently told an interviewer with the Huffington Post. That came from a stick to Bossy's mouth, and resulted in a chipped front tooth. “Unfortunately, money was not abundant back in those days, and I believe I finally had it repaired when I was 16.” he said.

You may also think there's a greater chance of sustaining dental trauma from “collision sports” like football and hockey — but statistics tell a different story. In fact, according to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), you (or your children) are more likely to have teeth damaged while playing soccer than football — and basketball players have a risk that's 15 times higher than football players.

So — whether the game is hockey, basketball or something else — should you let the chance of dental injury stop you or your children from playing the sports they love? We think not... but you should be aware of the things you can do to prevent injury, and the treatment options that are available if it happens.

Probably the single most effective means of preventing sports-related dental injuries is to get a good, custom-made mouth guard — and wear it. The AGD says mouthguards prevent some 200,000 such injuries every year. And the American Dental Association says that athletes who don't wear mouthguards are 60 times more likely to sustain harm to the teeth than those who do.

Many studies have shown that having a custom-fitted mouthguard prepared in a dental office offers far greater protection then an off-the-shelf “small-medium-large” type, or even the so-called “boil and bite” variety. Using an exact model of your teeth, we can fabricate a mouthguard just for you, made of the highest-quality material. We will ensure that it fits correctly and feels comfortable in your mouth — because if you don't wear it, it can't help!

But even if you do have an injury, don't panic: Modern dentistry offers plenty of ways to repair it! The most common sports-related dental injuries typically involve chipped or cracked teeth. In many cases, these can be repaired by bonding with tooth-colored composite resins. For mild to moderate injury, this method of restoration can produce a restoration that's practically invisible. It's also a relatively uncomplicated and inexpensive procedure, which makes it ideal for growing kids, who may elect to have a more permanent restoration done later.

If you have questions about mouthguards or sports-related dental injuries, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Athletic Mouthguards,” and “An Introduction to Sports Injuries & Dentistry.”