Mortenson Family Dental Events

photo of boy in sports jersey with mouguard

Why We Love Mouthguards (And You Should Too!)

As parents, we’re always concerned with keeping our children safe. When it comes to sports, one of the best ways to protect your child’s teeth–and their brain–is a mouthguard.  Whether you’re preparing your kids for soccer, football, basketball, hockey or any other sport, don’t forget one of the best ways you can protect their dental health and reduce concussion risk.

What makes a mouthguard so important?

1. Sports-related dental injuries affect a lot of people.

Naturally, no one wants their child to be injured in any way while playing sports, but, unfortunately, dental injuries happen more frequently than you might think. From the American Dental Assistants Association’s Sports-Related Dental Injuries and Sports Dentistry educational materials (emphasis ours):

“Approximately 20 million children participate in various sports programs in the United States and another 80 million are involved in unsupervised recreational sports. In addition, 15 million Americans suffer dental injuries and 5 million teeth are lost annually in sports-related injuries. During a single athletic season, athletes have a 1 in 10 chance of suffering a facial or dental injury. In fact, the lifetime risk of such an injury is estimated to be about 45% according to the National Youth Sports Foundation.”

2. Mouthguards are effective in preventing dental injuries.

There are a few types of dental injuries. Teeth can become chipped, broken, loose, or lost altogether. Dealing with a dental trauma can be hard for anyone, especially kids. Your teeth affect how you smile, how you eat, and how you speak. Treatment for dental injuries can also be costly. A mouthguard helps by protecting your teeth and decreases risk of all of these types of injuries. In fact, studies have found that mouthguards are not just one way to prevent sports-related dental injuries, they are the most effective way.

3. Mouthguards are available for a range of prices.

There are three kinds of mouthguards:

  • Ready-Made: These mouthguards can be found in many grocery and drug stores and are ready to wear out of the box. They are the least expensive option, and while they do work for some, they don’t often fit very well, and as a result can be uncomfortable and make speaking difficult.
  • Boil-and-Bite: Also available in drugstores and grocery stores, as well as sporting goods stores, boil-and-bite mouthguards are a way to get a better fit while still being relatively inexpensive. Before initial use, you soften the guard material by boiling, and then “bite” into it, allowing the material to mold around your teeth and gums.
  • Custom-Made: A custom-made mouthguard is made just for you by your family dentist. For many people, this option offers the best and most comfortable fit. When your dentist makes your mouthguard, s/he can also tailor it to the needs of the individual athlete and their sport. These are also the most expensive mouthguards, but are a worthwhile investment for active kids (and adults).

If your child needs a mouthguard for the fall sports season, just get in touch with us! We’re here to help.

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group photo of 2015 Eagle U participants

Mortenson Family Dental Supports Community Youth

Eagle University is a week-long event at the University of Louisville where students stay on campus throughout the week and learn from world-renowned speakers about life experiences and how to set themselves apart from their peers. At the end of the week the students get to meet with and interview successful community members for an opportunity to learn from their genius. One pathway to success Eagle University teaches is it copy genius, by developing relationships with mentors, rather than to create mediocrity by trial and error.

Mortenson Family Dental participates by donating to Eagle U so that our team members’ children and our patients can experience the program at a significantly reduced rate. We are committed to helping not only our team members achieve success, but their families and our patients as well. By sending our young people to Eagle U, we are helping them create pathways to success.

“It is critical to success to think and to plan ahead. It is also critical to our company culture that we provide opportunities such as Eagle U to our team members’ children and our patients. Eagle U has been an extraordinary experience for the students that have been able to attend over the last three years. We are proud to partner with Eagle U and to support it so that others in the community can benefit from it too.” Jacque Ramsey- Marketing Director

Mortenson Family Dental requested three years ago for the program to come to the University of Louisville in an effort to provide this wonderful experience to local students. We are proud to support such a life-changing program. Check out what Dawne Gee and the Wave 3 News Team had to say about Eagle U!

boy and girl running with backpacks and text: Beat the back to school rush!

Is your child ready for school?

  • Pencils – Check!
  • Paper – Check!
  • Crayons – Check!
  • Dentist Appointment – !!!

There’s so much to do when it’s back to school time, it’s easy to forget about a visit to the dentist. But Kentucky now requires proof of a dental screening or exam before a child can be registered for school. Live in Indiana? Keep reading – even if a dental visit is not required for school, oral health is important to every child’s success in school.

Studies have shown a link between a child’s oral health care and performance in school.

What’s the connection? Oral health can impact a child’s ability to perform well in school in a number of ways, including absence from school, dealing with pain, inability to chew properly, being unable to focus, and feeling self-conscious.

  • In one study, children with poor oral health were nearly 3 times more likely than their peers to miss school as a result of dental pain. Interestingly enough, the same study found that absences due to pain were associated with poorer school performances, where absences for routine care were not.
  • For children and teens in families with lower incomes, the kids who had a toothache within the last 6 months were almost 4 times as likely as their peers to have an average GPA below a 2.8. (National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center)
  • Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease for children ages 6 to 19. (CDC website)

The Good News: Preventative dental care can make all the difference!

Make sure your child is prepared to succeed in school and in life by helping them to stay healthy. For their oral health, this means brushing twice a day and flossing daily, eating a balanced diet, and seeing the dentist regularly. We’d love to see you before school starts!

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Photo of baby smiling with text: Don't believe this baby myth

THE Most Harmful Myth About Your Baby’s Teeth

If someone says to you, “Baby teeth fall out, so you don’t have to worry about them, right?” You tell them, “Wrong!”

Okay, maybe you don’t want to just shout “Wrong!” at them, but you can tell them that in truth, baby teeth are important to a child’s overall health and wellness. Inadequate care of baby teeth, a.k.a. primary teeth, can leave behind bad effects on a child’s overall health and wellness, even when the teeth are long gone.

4 Ways Baby Teeth Are Important To Overall Health And Wellness

  1. Baby teeth help young children chew food properly.
  2. Baby teeth are a part of speech development.
  3. Baby teeth hold space for permanent teeth to grow in.
  4. Baby teeth can decay, and untreated decay “can result in a broad range of functional impairments that have far-reaching implications for growth, development, school performance, and peer relationships.

Fortunately, caring for baby teeth is as easy as caring for your own.

How To Care For Your Baby’s Teeth And Gums

Prior to teething, use a soft, warm, wet cloth to gently massage your baby’s gums. Once teeth begin to appear, you can brush with a soft toothbrush, but don’t use toothpaste until around age two. Kids can begin learning to brush their teeth around age two or three, but they will need help or supervision typically until age 6 or 7. Finally, you should schedule regular checkups with your child’s dentist, beginning at 12 months of age, or within 6 months from when baby’s first tooth appears.

For more helpful information on children’s oral health, check out our Parent’s Guide to Dental Hygiene infographic! Need to schedule an appointment? Help is just a click away.

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tooth next to medical kit - illustration

Don’t Let Your Teeth Land You In The ER

Now more than ever, it’s not just a good idea to visit your dentist regularly, it’s a necessity.

An increasing number of people are visiting the emergency room for dental issues, often for problems that have become severe because they put off basic dental care.  Not only is this harmful to your health, it’s harmful to your wallet. From a recent Courier-Journal article on rising ER visits for dental problems:

“By law, ERs have to see patients even if they can’t pay. But although they often provide little more than painkillers and antibiotics to dental patients, the visits cost more than three times as much as a routine dental visit, averaging $749 if the patient isn’t hospitalized — and costing the U.S. health care system $1.6 billion a year.”

Making Dental Care Affordable and Convenient

About 40% of U.S. adults (18+) have not visited the dentist in the past year. And though dental cavities are the number one most common chronic disease for children and teens (ages 6 – 19), around 18% of kids’ cavities are going untreated. Why is this happening?

Two common barriers that we often hear are that dental care is expensive, and that visits are inconvenient. We can help with that!

With 36 dental offices throughout Kentucky and Southern Indiana, we likely have an office near where you live or work. And while there are many factors that contribute to the cost of care, there are three ways we’re trying to keep visits affordable for patients.

  1. We accept most major insurance plans. We are also happy to check with your insurance provider to provide payment estimates for treatments! Call us to see if we accept your insurance.
  2. We accept Care Credit. CareCredit is a credit card designated for health, dental and wellness expenses.
  3. We offer a comprehensive dental plan. Under the plan, there are no yearly maximums, no deductibles, and no waiting periods.

Save yourself and your family from extra trips to the ER.

Many dental issues that start out small can become complex and more expensive to deal with if you avoid regular dental care. Your oral health is closely tied to your overall health, and helping you achieve your optimal health and well-being is our primary goal.

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