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Braces and Sports

If you or someone you love is new to sports or to braces this winter, there are a few things you should keep in mind before getting active. Just like your naked teeth, your braces-wearing mouth needs protection while playing many common sports. From football to hockey, basketball, wrestling and roller derby, it is essential that you properly protect your teeth and your braces if you participate in sports. But before you reach for that trusty old boil-and-bite mouth guard, make sure you read this guide to choosing the right guard for braces.

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Sealing the Deal: Do Kids Really Need Dental Sealants?

If you’ve ever been told by your dentist that your child’s teeth will benefit from sealants, you may be wondering what they are, and if they’re worth the expense. If you’re curious about sealants, here’s a guide to everything you’ve ever wondered about this beneficial treatment option.

What Are Sealants?

Dental sealants are thin plastic coatings that are painted on to freshly cleaned teeth to form an invisible barrier that protects teeth from decay. They are primarily applied to molars, and the procedure is totally painless.

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National Children’s Dental Health Month: Teens and Teeth

If you’re like most parents, you probably struggle to get your teen to talk to you about pretty much anything, let alone oral health. But oral hygiene habits begin at home, and even though your teen thinks he or she is an adult, it’s still up to you to make sure your teen is doing his or her best to maintain oral health. In honor of National Children’s Dental Health Month in February, here are some tips about helping your older children take proper care of their oral hygiene - even when you don’t care for their tone.

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FDA Approves Sleep Apnea Implant

If you’re one of the estimated 22 million Americans with sleep apnea, you are probably already aware of the lack of comfortable options to treat the condition. From awkward and uncomfortable sleep masks to breathing tubes and oral appliances, many patients choose to simply not wear their apnea device, even though wearing it could save their life.

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes repeated pauses in breathing during sleep. According to research from the University of Wisconsin, untreated, severe sleep apnea can increase a sufferer’s risk of death by three times the rate of those who don't have the disorder. Worse yet, having sleep apnea can worsen other medical conditions. Data have shown that of the roughly 610,000 people who die of heart disease each year, an estimated 38,000 also had sleep apnea. Having sleep apnea can even increase your risk of hypertension, stroke and heart attack.

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Surprising Reasons Fillings Could Fail

For many people, there are few things more frustrating than hearing they need an old filling replaced. After all, you already went through the pain to have it put in the first time - who wants to go through that again for the same tooth? Unfortunately, despite what we may have been led to believe, fillings aren’t meant to last forever. But for some people, filling failure happens more often and in some cases sooner than anticipated. So, what causes this premature failure, and what can be done to prevent it? 

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Healthy Lessons for Girl Scout Badges

Whether you’ve been a Girl Scout yourself or are lucky enough to be raising one, you’re probably already aware that there are ways to earn badges for almost everything under the sun. But while interests change with each passing generation, there are some badges that remain evergreen in both interest and importance. Girl Scouting can teach your daughter many valuable lessons about how to care for herself and her community. 

If you are looking for ways to teach your daughter more about excellent oral health and hygiene, check out these popular Girl Scout badges and some ideas about how to earn them!

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Why Bedside Manner Matters

Imagine this: You’ve been experiencing a great deal of pain in one of your back molars for several days. You thought you could wait out the pain in hopes that it would go away, but instead it only seems to get worse. You’re already somewhat afraid of going to the dentist, but you can’t take it anymore, so you check Google for a top-rated dentist in your area and call the practice. 

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When Is the Right Time for Kids to Get Braces?

If you’re the parent of a child with a less-than-perfect smile, you may be considering straightening your child’s teeth with braces. But with so much misinformation out there about these orthodontic devices, it can be hard to tell if and when your child actually needs braces - and what kind of braces are best.

Whether you’ve discussed braces with Dr. Simpson or with an orthodontist, or you’ve never considered braces before, here are some indicators that your child may be ready to start straightening his or her smile.

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Did Teeth Really Grow in a Man’s Throat?

Teeth can grow in some pretty strange places. They have been found everywhere from tumors to eyes to even in brains. But an unusual case in China now has people asking, Can teeth really grow in the throat?

The case involved a man referred to only as Mr. Zhang, who began to have difficulty breathing. Zhang went to Dr. Zhu Xiangping at Jiangsu Subei People’s Hospital in Jiangsu Province, China, where it was revealed that Zhang had what appeared to be dozens of teeth growing in his throat.

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Could Aspirin Cure Cavities?

If you’re one of the 91 percent of Americans with dental caries or cavities, you know what a pain they can be. But good news may soon be on the way from a team of researchers at Queens University in Belfast, Ireland. The study, which was discussed at the British Society for Oral and Dental Research annual meeting in September, claims that dentists may someday be able to use aspirin to heal dental cavities.

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Why Do We Need Saliva?

To some, it may be kind of gross. To others, maybe just a little weird. But we all produce saliva, whether we like it or not. As strange as it may seem, saliva production is a vitally important function of our exocrine gland system.

Saliva is a fluid produced in the salivary glands of the mouth, cheeks, gums, tongue and lips. It is made of water, mucous, minerals, proteins and the enzyme amylase. 

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TMJ and Halloween Candy

With overflowing buckets of Halloween candy hanging around the house for weeks, and the winter holidays on the way, there’s plenty of potential for aggravating your TMJ disorder by eating the wrong treats. It can be difficult to know what’s safe to eat and what has the potential to worsen your TMJ symptoms.  If you’re swimming in snacks but don’t know which ones are safe, check out this guide to TMJ-friendly (and not-so-friendly!) treats.

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Not-So-Scary Halloween Treats to Try This Year

Halloween season should be a time of frights and delights - but not at the expense of your teeth! If you are tired of handing out cavity-causing candy (and keeping it in your house, where it’s hard to resist), consider handing out these candy-free alternatives this Halloween.

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Periodontal Disease Linked to an Increased Risk of Cancer in Women

A recent study by BMC Oral Health found that older women with periodontal disease were at a higher risk of developing certain cancers than women with healthy gums, even if the women with periodontal disease had never smoked.

The study followed nearly 66,000 women between the ages of 54 and 86, some of whom reported having gum disease. The researchers followed up with the women via survey over an eight-year period following the initial response. Those who initially reported having gum disease had 14 percent more cases of certain cancers than those who did not have gum disease.

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Study Shows More Detailed Link Between Diabetes and Tooth Loss

If you’re one of the estimated 29 million Americans who suffer from the insulin-regulating disease diabetes, you are probably already aware of the many high risks the disease carries, including the elevated risk of tooth loss due to periodontitis. But while the connection has long been known and well documented, until recently, doctors have not been able to explain why such a connection exists.

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Ultrasonic Versus Spin Brushes: Which Is Better?

Whether you’re tired of getting mediocre results from a manual toothbrush or your trusty old electric toothbrush is starting to show its age, if you’re considering getting a new electric toothbrush it can be very overwhelming - especially if you don’t know the main differences between brush types. If you’re ready to buy a new brush but aren’t sure what kind is best, keep reading!

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Is It Time to Reconsider Dental Implants?

If you’re missing one or multiple teeth, chances are you've considered replacing them. Replacing lost teeth not only looks and feels better, but it is also better for your teeth and jaw. That’s because when you leave open spaces in your mouth, you can experience bone loss and the shifting of the rest of your teeth. Shifting teeth isn’t just an aesthetic problem, it can also cause uneven wear, excess tooth decay, and even headaches and jaw pain.

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Smile-Friendly Snacks for Back-to-School Season

With millions of children across America heading back to school this time of year, it’s time to start thinking about what to feed your kids when you send them out the door. Whether you pay for hot lunch or prefer to brown-bag it, there are a wide array of options to choose from that taste great and won’t harm your child’s teeth. If you’re looking for some snack inspiration that won’t end up in the trash can, check out this list of tooth-healthy snacks!

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Decade-Old Braces Wire Removed From Woman’s Stomach

People swallow some weird things. From teeth to magnets, coins, toothbrushes and, believe it or not, a fidget spinner (swallowed by a ten-year-old girl in Texas), doctors and dentists have seen it all. But a case of swallowed braces wire in Nedlands, Western Australia, is puzzling even the most seasoned medical professionals, thanks to a unique set of circumstances.

When a 30-year-old woman arrived at Sir Charles Gardiner Hospital in Nedlands, Western Australia, complaining of abdominal pain recently, doctors at first suspected gallstones. The pain soon subsided, and the patient was released, only to return two days later with the same pain. Doctors then ordered a CT scan and were shocked to find that it wasn’t gallstones causing the pain, but a long, narrow object (initially believed to be a fish bone) puncturing the woman’s intestines. The object had pierced the intestine in several places, becoming twisted in the organ. This created a serious bowel blockage known as a volvulus, which required emergency surgery to correct.

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A Good Smile is Still a Major Player in Modern Dating

Dating site Match.com has released its seventh annual "Singles in America" dating survey, and it’s got a lot to say about what single Americans are looking for in a partner.

The survey, which quizzed singles on everything from their social media habits to who should pick up the check, also inquired about what qualities are important in selecting a partner.

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Michele Simpson DDS

Wilmington Dental Office

3317 Masonboro Loop Rd • Suite 140 • Wilmington, NC 28409

(910) 550-3959