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All Posts in Category: Oral Health

A Missing Tooth Should Be Treated Sooner than You Think

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It’s all too easy to lose a tooth. A car or sports accident can knock one out. No one is born with a perfect set of teeth, so brushing and flossing them is challenging. Periodontal or gum infection does not initially cause pain, so you might not realize how serious it is until the gums bleed.

If you’re fortunate enough to have just one or two teeth missing (or in need of extraction), you should not put off considering a replacement. The mouth responds to a gap in the teeth alignment by having those on either side lean towards the space, resulting in the loosening of their own roots and making them in danger of falling out, as well. A domino effect results, as other teeth become misaligned and loose. If the initial loss of teeth is not quickly addressed, you might find yourself among the quarter of Americans 74 or older who no longer have any left.

A Missing Tooth Should Be Treated Sooner than You Think

Fortunately, a potentially permanent solution, with proper care, is a dental implant for each lost tooth. Los Angeles dentist, Dr. Shervin Louie is one of the most highly-regarded implant specialists in Southern California. The first step is a thorough exam that includes a low-radiation digital x-ray to check the underlying jawbone to be sure it is strong enough to hold the implants in place (if it is inadequate, bone grafts can build it up).

Other risks need to be considered, such as whether there is sufficient gum around the empty socket and whether the patient has diabetes or osteoporosis, heart disease, or autoimmune disorders. If some teeth have been ground down during sleep (due to an unconscious tension called bruxism), you will be provided with a custom night guard to wear to prevent this and protect the implants. 

If conditions are positive for dental implants, the first step is to insert the implant, a titanium screw, into each empty socket. An impression is taken to send to a top dental lab, which will work with our practice to create the tooth-like dental crowns in the precise shade to match the neighboring teeth. After the bone integrates around the implants for a few months, they will be attached to the crowns, which will be adjusted for a comfortable fit.

In addition to restoring the ability to chew and speak properly, dental implants will help support full lips (which otherwise will appear too thin) and the cheeks (so they don’t look hollow).

If you have lost even one tooth, you should have a full consultation with Dr. Louie as soon as possible about the best options for keeping your appearance and oral health in their optimum condition.

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Advantages of Getting Invisalign

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Los angeles ca dentist

The advantages of using the Invisalign system are greater than simply achieving a beautiful smile. With Invisalign’s clear, comfortable, and removable devices, you can expect to see significant and lasting results as well as a variety of oral health benefits.

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a highly effective teeth alignment program that provides a welcomed alternative to traditional wire braces—in less time. Invisalign corrects any tooth abnormality, including over-bites, under-bites, cross-bites, overcrowded, gapped and protruding teeth. But that’s not all. Here are some of the added benefits of using Invisalign:

Overall health

In addition to fixing crooked, crowded and gapped teeth, Invisalign also corrects abnormal bite functions: for example, when the upper and lower jaws fail to align properly when your mouth is closed. If bite issues are left unmanaged, they can lead to further oral health problems, like cavities, tooth loss, gum infections, erosion of tooth enamel and difficulty speaking and/or eating.

Gum disease is a major factor in mouths where teeth are too widely spaced or crowded. Once your teeth are properly aligned, gums fit around them more snugly, providing a stronger defense against infections. The straighter your teeth, the healthier your mouth.


Invisalign aligners gradually and gently move teeth into their proper positions, without the unsightly metal brackets that come with traditional braces. Invisalign appliances are made from medical-grade polyurethane resin; their smooth, soft edges provide greater control throughout the teeth-straightening process, shifting your teeth slightly, vertically and horizontally. They are virtually indestructible, invisible and best of all, comfortable—and, also unlike metal braces, Invisalign aligners are removable, allowing you to brush and floss your teeth as normal while maintaining a greater level of oral hygiene.


Another benefit to choosing Invisalign is that you get to spend more time doing what you love, and less time in a dentist’s chair. Unlike conventional fixed braces, typical Invisalign treatment plans last about 12 months, with the aligners worn roughly 22 hours per day. That means fewer in-person check-ups!

Invisalign also grants you the freedom to continue enjoying the foods you love. Simply remove your aligner and tuck into corn on the cob, whole apples, and other previously tricky solids that wreaked havoc on wire braces and allowed for trapped debris, thus leading to tooth decay and gum disease.

Boost in confidence

Invisalign can drastically boost your self-confidence by allowing you to show off your beautiful smile—with the added knowledge that your oral health is in top condition.

Teens and young adults

Protruding, crooked or even missing teeth can have a detrimental effect on the self-esteem of teenagers and young adults, resulting in feelings of unattractiveness. Teens who experience low levels of self-confidence during their formative years are vulnerable to negative influences and are more likely to become depressed. Fortunately, teens are now opting for the Invisalign treatment over conventional braces due to the former’s discreet and unnoticeable fit.

If you still have questions about Invisalign, our experts at Shervin M. Louie, DDS are always available to help. Call today!

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Tooth-Friendly Snacks for the Super Bowl

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Super Bowl Tooth-Friendly Snacks

Excitement is just around the corner. Super Bowl Sunday is fast approaching! The big game attracts fans of the sport alongside those who are hardly aware that football exists. People gather for the entertaining spectacle of the game, but also for the food. While Super Bowl parties can have unhealthy food, you can still make your dentist proud with your choice in snacks, all without sacrificing taste or a good time. These tooth-friendly snack ideas will bring you in for the touchdown!

Vegetables are good for your teeth and dips are an excellent way to incorporate several of them into your diet. Who doesn’t love a good dip at a party, and this white bean dip will surely inspire the taste buds. The ingredients you need are: white kidney beans, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, and rosemary–blend them well. Beans are rich in antioxidants and fiber, which will keep you feeling full, eliminating the need for snacking that causes bacteria to build up in the mouth. Find some tasty vegetables for dipping and the field goal will be good!

Sugar-free Chicken Wings

There’s nothing like having some chicken wings to take to the big game. When people think of chicken wings, they may not connect them to the risk of cavities. In general, the meat is fine; it’s the sauce that the meat is marinated in. There are many sweet sauces that are loaded with brown sugar which may exacerbate tooth decay.

Your teeth will thank you if you select a vinegar or mustard-based sauce to coat your wings with. If you are looking to add an element of spice, opt for a yogurt-based sauce with a sprinkle of spice instead of a sauce crawling with sugar. These wings will surely be a hit at the party.

Deviled Eggs

Eggs are rich in phosphorous, making them an enamel-strengthening machine. Deviled eggs can go with anything, and they are a perfect tooth-friendly option for any spread. They can help you reduce their sugar intake while still serving great party food. Greek yogurt is good for you and tastes great, especially combined with mustard (a great alternative to mayonnaise). It also has calcium, which is essential for strong teeth.

Sugar is the enemy of healthy teeth. Look for raw vegetables, fresh fruit, nuts, yogurt, and other options before snacks high in sugar.


1. https://www.deltadentalins.com/oral_health/3-tooth-friendly-snacks.html
2. https://www.deltadental.com/us/en/protect-my-smile/overall-health/diet—nutrition-for-oral-health/avoiding-sugar-for-healthy-teeth.html

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Dental Myths: Fact or Fiction?

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Woman flossing teeth

There are lots of myths surrounding dental care and treatment. Inaccurate information may make you feel confused and anxious, wondering if some daily habit is destroying your teeth. In times like this, it’s good to seek out expert knowledge. Los Angeles cosmetic dentist Dr. Shervin Louie is here to put an end to these dental misconceptions and misinformation.

Myth #1: Sensitive Teeth are Signs of Dental Decay

FICTION. When you experience tooth sensitivity, it does not necessarily mean that you have a decaying tooth. Tooth sensitivity can have multiple causes, such as gum recession that exposes the tooth’s roots. You may just have naturally sensitive teeth. If you do, then it is advisable that you visit a professional dentist like Dr. Louie who will perform an examination and establish the exact cause of your tooth sensitivity. In the case of a gum recession, a filling can be done to cover the exposed root.

Myth #2: Bleeding Gums are Normal and should not be Brushed

FICTION. If you have not established a flossing habit, then your first time flossing may make your gums bleed. This is normal and your gums will build up a tolerance if you continue. But in any other case, bleeding gums are not normal. They may be a sign of gingivitis. The good news is that this condition can be treated.


There is also a misconception that bleeding gums should not be brushed and should be allowed time to heal before they can be cleaned again. But the bleeding is itself a result of not brushing. Gums that have not been brushed enough tend to develop bacteria around and beneath them that irritates the gum and makes it bleed. Regular brushing will help get rid of all the bacteria.

Myth #3: More Sugar Means More Cavities

FICTION. Whereas it is true that cavities are a result of bacteria breaking down sugary substances into harmful acids that corrode your teeth, it is not true that more sugary foods will necessarily result in tooth decay. The important factor is the amount of time that sugary substances stay on your teeth. The longer they stay, the more the chance of cavities and decay. For example, if you drink soda through a straw, the liquid bypasses your teeth and does not contribute to decay. But if you eat a bar of chocolate and allow the sticky reside to coat your teeth, cavity formation is greatly accelerated. It is always advisable to brush your teeth or rinse your mouth with water after every meal and especially after eating sugary foods.

Myth #4: Dental Problems Lead to Bad Breath

FACT. While many factors contribute to bad breath, from the last food you ate to even what time of day it is (“morning breath” is a real phenomenon), bad teeth do lead to bad breath. Many people with bad breath resort to using breath fresheners and mouthwashes, which is treating the symptoms rather than the cause of the problem. Daily brushing and flossing will significantly reduce bad breath. But if it persists, you should visit a professional like Dr. Louie to see if you have any serious dental issues.

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Bruxism: The Seemingly Harmless Habit That Could Literally Make Your Teeth Fall Out!

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Bruxism: The Seemingly Harmless Habit That Could Literally Make Your Teeth Fall Out!

Bruxism TreatmentDo you sometimes find yourself waking up some mornings with a headache you can’t seem to explain? Have you experienced slight muscle pains in your face? If you answered “Yes” to these questions, you may be suffering from bruxism. Bruxism is more commonly referred to as “teeth grinding” or “jaw clenching”. This nasty habit seems harmless, but should not be ignored. The truth is, bruxism wears your teeth down and sets you up for cavities and makes you vulnerable to tooth fractures. If not addressed, worst case scenario is that bruxism will contribute to tooth loss. Below are ways to better understand bruxism and how you can address the issue to save your smile.

What Causes Bruxism?

Here at Smile in LA, we’ve understand that many factors can combine to create a bruxism habit. It is believed that anxiety and stress are the leading causes of bruxism. A misaligned bite, having missing teeth, or sleep abnormalities can also contribute to bruxism. There have also been some medications known to trigger episodes. Even neurological or musculature illnesses have been linked to the development of bruxism. If you’re are currently experiencing facial pain or discomfort due to bruxism, give us a call at (323) 461-9353 and schedule an immediate appointment.

Isn’t it Common for People to Grind Their Teeth?

Teeth grinding may be a common issue amongst the population,  but that does not mean this action is necessarily “normal”. Due to the fact that the stresses of bruxism affect your entire jaw, this pressure has been known to create cracks and chips in teeth. Over time, this can lead to jawbone loss which will result in a shortening of lower face height. For this reason, signs of bruxism should not be ignored! Los Angeles Dentist Dr. Shervin Louie of Smile in LA is pretty sure that is not a look you’re are looking to capture!

How Do I Know I Have a Bruxism Problem?  

In a majority of cases, we are able to see evidence of bruxism in your X-rays, an also from examining for signs of bruxism on the surface of your teeth.  We will alert you about any bruxism issues we see long before you exhibit a single symptom, especially if you sleep alone (which makes bruxism harder to notice). However, you might notice that you may occasionally begin to clench and grind your teeth between visits and start to notice bruxism symptoms on your own. If this explains your current situation, and you find that you frequently awake with a sore jaw, a headache that goes away shortly after rising, or if a loved one tells you your teeth are making odd “clicking and clanking” noises all night, be sure to mention it the next time you’re visiting our Los Angeles dental practice.

What Treatments Are Available?

Due to the varied cases of bruxism, treatments options vary as well. For example, should we determine stress as the primary cause of your bruxism, we will recommend you abstain from excessive caffeine as well as alcohol, while including some form of daily relaxation. Even something as simple as taking time to soak in a warm bath before sleeping can work ease your body and mind working to stop your bruxism habit.

Now, if your bruxism is a bit more serious, and your bite is of concern or if Dr. Louie suspects your bruxism links to a TMJ disorder, he will use his expertise to assist you with the root cause. In either case, we still like to start out with recommending an occlusal mouth guard to protect your teeth and jawbone from further damage. Protective devices like a sleeping mouth guard are easy to wear, and best of all – will not disrupt your ability to get a peaceful night’s sleep. As a matter of fact, sleeping guards tend to improve your quality of your sleep resulting in you waking up more refreshed and feeling well rested. Patients using sleeping guards have reported to snore less or stopped snoring, as well as awake with less facial pain.

So, the next time you’re sitting in for your dental visit at Smile In LA, ask if some sort of sleeping guard may help with your bruxism. It is common for many people go years without ever being aware of the fact that they are clenching and grinding their teeth since it takes some time for symptoms to show and be recognized. Getting a mouthguard once you are aware you have this habit will help you find relief from related headaches and muscle pain. Call us at (323) 461-9353 or visit our website for more information on how we can help you.

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How Visiting the Dentist Can Help Improve Your Overall Health

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How Visiting the Dentist Can Help Improve Your Overall Health

3D CBCT ScanYou may think twice about avoiding the dentist once you realize how a simple dental visit can lead to an early diagnosis to other issues in your body. Advances in medical technology has really made some huge leaps in the last few years. These marvelous advances in the dental radiography world has made it possible for you to get a more detailed diagnosis from dental x-rays next time you visit the dentist!

Los Angeles dentist Dr. Shervin Louie has always taken pride in keeping his practice up-to-date with the latest dental technology. He is able to provide his patients with more than just dental care. With the help of his 3D Cone Beam Computed Tomography Scanner he is able to detect other health issues to improve the overall wellness of each and every one of his patients.

Below you can discover how Dr. Louie utilizes his 3D CBCT Scanner to get very detailed three dimensional x-rays of your head to better assist you with your overall health in 3 major ways:

TMJ Disorder

This 3D CBCT Scanner is able to get clear images of your temporomandibular joints. These joints are a vital location to your face and jaw. When your temporomandibular joint dysfunctions, it can cause a range of symptoms such as jaw pain, headaches, the sensation of overloaded neck muscles, limited ability to open your mouth, clicking while moving the jaw, or jaw clenching. Visiting Los Angeles dentistry Smile in LA will allow Dr. Louie to scan your jawline with the latest dental technology allowing you to get much more detailed treatment compared to other dentist who still use 2D scanning methods.

Sleep Apnea, Snoring, Restless Breathing

3D x-rays can also allow your favorite Los Angeles dentist to capture a vivid visual along your airway passages to help diagnose sleep apnea, snoring issues, and restless breathing. The scanner is able to let your Los Angeles dentist know the size of your airway passages, see the nasal complex, and your pharynx (which is the membrane-lined cavity behind your nose and mouth connecting to your esophagus). Visiting Los Angeles dentistry Smile in LA might just be the solution you needed to helping resolve restless nights due to sleep apnea or snoring.

Sinus Issues

Due to the fact that a 3D CBCT scanner can scan your entire head and get multifaceted images of your nasal passages, it can allow your dentist to discover if a sinus issue is due to a problematic tooth. This diagnosis is possible since your dentist can turn and motion your x-ray to see any angle of your entire head. This shows Dr. Shervin Louie problematic areas that can not be seen in the typical 2D x-rays.

To experience modern dentistry at its finest, visit everyone’s favorite Los Angeles dentist Dr. Shervin Louie over at Smile in LA. Call his friendly staff to schedule your next dental appointment today or visit www.smileinla.com for more information.

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The Ultimate Guide for Flossing Your Teeth

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The Ultimate Guide for Flossing Your Teeth

Woman flossing teeth smiling using dental flush. Happy girl with perfect teeth and toothy smile. Dental care portrait of beautiful multiracial Asian Caucasian female isolated on white background, 20s.

You probably already know about traditional string floss. But do you know if you are using it correctly? People have been flossing for years. But Los Angeles dentist Dr. Shervin Louie of Smile in LA says many patients are surprised to hear that they have been flossing the wrong way the entire time. There really is a wrong and right way to floss your teeth. Also, there are more tools for flossing available to you than you may think.

In addition to string floss, floss picks, water flosser, and interdental floss brushes are available to you in your local store! Each tool has it’s advantages and when used together can really optimize your oral health.

Below Dr. Louie provides you with ultimate guide to flossing. You can learn about proper flossing techniques as well as discover what tools are best to use in your oral care routine.

String Floss

String flossing is the most traditional tried-and-true technique to flossing that most individuals practice at home. If you notice light traces of blood on your floss or notice a bit of blood after flossing while brushing your teeth, you may be flossing to hard. Do your best to avoid forcing floss in between teeth. It can snap through all the way up to your gums and cause slight tissue damage. This tissue damage will cause gum sensitivity as well as cause light gum bleeding.

Use the visual below to see the proper technique that should be used while flossing with traditional string floss:


Floss Picks

Floss picks are essentially toothpicks with a strand of floss at the opposite end. They are used to floss in between teeth as well as pick food out that may get stuck behind wire braces. Since you can’t wrap your finger around the floss on a floss pick, you want to pay attention to how you floss. Do your best to avoid forcing the floss through your teeth. The best technique to use to gentle glide the floss upward back and forth until the floss is able to fit between your teeth comfortably. Guide the floss to rub up along the curvature of teeth along the top all the way until you pull it out repeating the process with each tooth.

Water Flosser

There is a long list of benefits that a water flosser can provide you. Water flossers are able to clean deeper into gum pockets than traditional floss reducing your chances of developing periodontal (gum) disease or gingivitis. This makes it especially beneficial for those who suffer from diabetes who are at greater risk for gum disease and gingival inflammation. Those who floss too hard and as a result suffer from light gum bleeding can also greatly benefit from using a water flosser. A water flosser can also greatly assist those with orthodontic appliances! Especially those with braces who struggle flossing around their wire framing. The way a water flosser works is that it utilizes water pressure to essentially blast away plaque and stuck on food.

Floss Your Teeth

Interdental Brushes

Many people have implemented flossing into their oral health routine, but not enough people have integrated interproximal plaque removal as a part of their oral hygiene habits. Interdental brushes remove plaque that builds in between larger gaps of teeth. Gaps that are too wide for thin traditional floss to clean. Interdental brushes really do combine the best of both worlds – flossing and brushing! To use an interdental brush, you want to first figure out what size brush you need. Do your best to avoid forcing larger interdental brushes into tight places. Never force the interdental brush into your gums. It will cause damage and possible bleeding of gums. The bigger the gap you are trying to clean, then the wider or thicker the interdental brush needed will be. Once you have figured out what size you need, you then simply place the interdental brush in between the gap and slide it back and forth to in a sense brush the sides of the tooth clean removing plaque as you move along. Los Angeles dentist Dr. Louie also advises to invest in an interdental brush that can bend at a 90 degree angle to reach those tough bicuspids and molars.

Utilizing these techniques while flossing every morning and night can greatly benefit your oral hygiene. Be sure to maintain a healthy smile by scheduling your next routine dental visit with Los Angeles dentist Dr. Shervin Louie of Smile in LA. Don’t forget to share this blog post with friends and family to ensure everyone’s oral health is in good standing.

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Bad Breath Los Angeles – Why Halitosis Happens

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Bad Breath or Halitosis in Los Angeles

bad-breath11Bad breath, or halitosis, is bad news in any social situation — whether you’re having an intimate conversation with a date or simply saying hello as you shake someone’s hand. Halitosis, from the Latin halitus (exhalation) and the Greek osis (a condition or disease causing process), can also be a warning that something’s amiss healthwise — usually in your mouth (85% to 90% of the time) but sometimes elsewhere in your body.

Most Common Causes of a Malodorous Mouth

Most unpleasant odors emanating from the mouth result from the processing of food remnants by certain strains of bacteria that typically populate the oral environment. As they feed on food particles, these microbes produce nasty-smelling byproducts — mostly volatile sulfur compounds, which have a distinctive “rotten egg” odor. That’s why diligent dental care is front and center when it comes to banishing bad breath. Brushing, flossing and routine professional cleanings will help ensure that traces of last night’s dinner or your midday candy bar don’t stick around for bacteria to dine on.

Especially important, but often overlooked, during routine home oral care is the back of the tongue. This is actually the most common location for mouth-related bad breath to develop. Unlike the front of your tongue, which is bathed in saliva, the back of the tongue is relatively dry and poorly cleansed — an ideal setting in which microbe-laden plaque can form and flourish.

Even if you’re industrious when it comes to brushing and flossing, food debris can get trapped and plaque can build up in hard-to-reach places such as between teeth (interdental), under the gums (subgingival) and around faulty dental work (e.g., ill-fitting crowns or veneers) contributing to overall oral odor. Other culprits include unclean dentures and oral disease such as tooth decay, gum disease, and abscesses.

Halitosis may accompany dry mouth, or xerostomia (xero – dry, stomia – mouth), a condition in which the normal flow of saliva, which cleanses the oral environment and keeps odor-producing bacteria in check, is interrupted. Most of us wake up with a temporary case of halitosis or “morning breath” because our salivary glands are less active while we sleep, but it usually disappears after a good brushing. If dry mouth is persistent, other possible triggers include: breathing through your mouth, a medication side effect, fasting or dehydration, or even stress.

Clearly, maintaining or restoring a healthy oral environment is your greatest defense against halitosis. Take care of your teeth and there’s no reason your breath should be any less attractive than your smile!

If you would like more information about halitosis and ways to prevent or treat it, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Bad Breath.”

If you have questions about mouthguards, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Bad Breath.”

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Emergency Dentist Hollywood – Mike Tyson’s Teeth

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Emergency Dentist Hollywood

tysonMike Tyson’s gap-toothed smile is part of athlete-turned-celebrity’s signature look. During his two-decade career as a professional boxer, the former heavyweight champion has been known for both giving — and occasionally receiving — knockout punches. But the story of how he lost one set of front teeth is a bit more unusual.

In a recent interview with the Las Vegas Review Journal, Tyson’s wife Kiki stated that one of the champ’s major dental dilemmas didn’t come from blows inside the ring. In fact, she said, Tyson lost the teeth after being head-butted by his pet tiger, Kenya.

It’s too bad Tyson wasn’t wearing a mouthguard before he decided to play with kitty.

Fight fans know that boxers always put in a mouthguard before they enter the ring. But the pugilistic pursuit is just one among the two-dozen-odd sports for which the American Dental Association recommends the use of custom mouthguards. Others include baseball, skateboarding, surfing and bicycling. (Maybe horsing around with tigers should be added to the list!)

Why is it so important for participants in athletic activities to use this piece of protective gear? According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, sports-related dental injuries account for over 600,000 emergency-room visits each year. Many of these injuries require further dental treatment; some may lead to tooth loss and require costly replacement. Not wearing a mouthguard makes an athlete 60 times more likely to sustain harm to the teeth, according to the American Dental Association. So there’s really no contest.

You can find basic, off-the-shelf mouthguards in limited sizes at many sporting goods stores. But for a reasonable cost, we can provide you with a properly fitted dental appliance that’s custom-made just for you. Starting with a precise model of your teeth, individual mouthguards are crafted from impact-resistant materials which are designed to be strong, comfortable, resilient — and effective.

Research shows that custom-made mouthguards offer superior quality and protection. So if you or your loved ones like to get out on the playing field, don’t neglect this important piece of sporting equipment. And watch out for the cat.

If you have questions about mouthguards, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Athletic Mouthguards”.

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