Waterford, MI Dentist
Lloyd H. Alpert, D.D.S.
4025 Highland Road
Waterford, MI 48328
(248) 682-6010

Posts for: February, 2014

Warm weather is arriving, and with it comes an

increase in outdoor sports and activities. Being active

is a good thing to do for a healthy body – make sure

your mouth is ready for the action!

Wear a Mouthguard

The most-injured area of the body during contact

sports is the mouth. Dental injuries can be permanent,

painful and costly. The good news is that injuries can

be prevented or minimized by wearing a mouthguard

which covers the upper teeth and helps prevent injuries

to the teeth, lips, cheeks, tongue and jaw. Of course, the

helmet or headgear required for the sport or activity

should also be worn as it protects against injuries to

the head and neck.

There are three kinds of mouthguards available. Make sure

you talk to your dentist about the right one for you:

Stock or ready-made mouthguards. These are the least expensive mouthguards, found at most sports stores. They

are pre-formed and ready to wear, often don’t fit very well,

and may make it difficult to breathe and speak. They may

also be bulky, loose or uncomfortable.

Boil-and-bite. Found at most sporting goods stores,

these may offer a better fit than stock, and are molded

to fit your mouth by boiling the mouthguard in water

and then biting into the warm plastic.

Custom-fitted. These mouthguards are individually

designed and constructed for you by your dentist.

They’re a bit more expensive, but are more comfortable

and do not interfere with speech or breathing.

Rinse your mouthguard under cold water after each

use and occasionally clean it with soap and cool water.

Like other sports gear, mouthguards can tear or wear

out, so it should be replaced after each sports season.

Handling Dental Injuries

Of course, dental emergencies can still happen. Here

are some simple tips for you to follow if you are faced

with one of the more common dental emergencies.

Keep this list and the emergency kit items below in

your sports bag!

If a Tooth is Knocked Out:

Immediately call your dentist for an emergency


Hold the tooth by the crown, not the root, and gently

rinse with water if it is dirty. Do not scrub or remove

any attached tissue fragments.

If possible, gently insert and hold the tooth in it socket or in your mouth between the check and gum to

keep it moist. Otherwise, put the tooth in a cup of milk

and get the dentist immediately. Remember to take the

tooth with you!

Broken Tooth:

Rinse your mouth with warm water.

Use an ice pack or cold compress to keep any swelling


Use ibuprofen, not aspirin, for pain. Aspirin is an

anti-coagulant, which may cause excessive bleeding in a

dental emergency.

Immediately go to your dentist.

Broken Jaw:

Apply cold compresses to control swelling.

Go to your dentist or a hospital emergency room


Gums or Tissues are Injured:

Injuries to the inside of the mouth such as tears, puncture wounds or cuts to the cheek, lips or tongue should be cleaned right away with warm water. Go to the

emergency room if severe.

Bitten Lip or Tongue:

Clean the area gently with a cloth and apply a cold

compress to reduce swelling. If the bleeding doesn’t

stop, go to a hospital emergency room immediately.

Bleeding from a cut tongue can be reduced by pulling

the tongue forward and using gauze to place pressure

on the wound.

Emergency Tool Kit:

Dentist’s phone numbers (office and an emergency

home or cell number)

Saline solution

A clean handkerchief 


Infants have a natural instinct to suck as a way of nourishing and soothing themselves. Often, this leads to the child sucking on their fingers, a blanket, a stuffed animal or their thumb. Usually, this habit is given up by age 4. If it continues, it can be extremely detrimental to the development of their teeth and jaws causing crooked teeth, an incorrect bite, speech problems and/or open-mouth breathing. This habit may result in psychological trauma if it continues into school age when the other children tease them.

What should a parent do? If possible, try to switch them to a properly designed pacifier that fits the shape of the mouth. Pacifiers are less likely to create the same developmental problems [by distributing forces over greater area], are usually discarded by the child at an earlier age and are easier to hide than a thumb. If the thumb sucking is during the day, discuss the problem with them to discourage the habit. Placing a band-aid on their thumb as a reminder may help. Be positive and praise them when they remember. And reward them for their success.

It is more difficult to control thumb sucking when the child is asleep, because the child is unaware of this involuntary action. So, try this habit-breaking technique that is usually successful within two weeks. Before your child goes to bed, wrap a 2-inch wide ace bandage lightly around their fully extended arm [straight]. Start about 3 inches from their armpit and continue down past the elbow. This will not prevent your child from putting their thumb into their mouth. However, as soon as they fall asleep, the tension created by bending the elbow will pull the thumb from their mouth.

If your child is still sucking on their thumb or anything else by the time their permanent teeth erupt [around age 6], please call it to the attention of our office.


February 12, 2014
Category: Dental News
Tags: dental check ups  


Regular Dental Check-ups

One of the most common reasons that people avoid the dentist is that they think that everything is ok. Their logic is simple; no pain means no problems. Unfortunately, most dental conditions including cavities, gum disease and oral cancer give little or no warning, because they may remain painless for months or even many years. By the time a person is in pain, the dental problem is usually so advanced that the treatment required may be much more involved, costly and may require more down time after the procedure.

Everyday, your dentist sees patients with untreated cavities that eventually cause infection to the nerves and blood supply within the tooth. A tooth that may have only needed a simple and inexpensive filling a few months ago will now require a root canal or surgical removal of the tooth.

The same is true for patients with gum disease. Gum disease can progress quietly for many years before it becomes advanced and teeth become loose or cause pain. While early gum disease can usually be treated with a deep cleaning under the gum, advanced gum disease may require gum surgery and antibiotics.

Oral cancer is also something that your dentist looks for on every dental examination. Tragically, those who avoid dental care are often the victims of aggressive forms of oral cancer that are difficult to treat. Those who wait for an unusual growth in the mouth to become painful may be taking a gamble. Oral cancer has a 50%, five-year fatality rate.

The moral of the story is very simple; visit your dentist at least twice a year for dental cleanings and check-up examinations. You will save time and money by treating all dental problems as soon as they occur and greatly improve your oral health. In fact, some research suggests that those in good dental health will actually live longer than people who do not take care of their teeth. It is also important for people without teeth to see their dentist at least once a year. The dentist will need to check the fit of removable dentures and also look for any signs of oral cancer.  


February 05, 2014
Category: Fun Dental Facts
Tags: Smiles  


  • Smiling boosts your immune system
  • Smiles relieve stress by releasing endorphins
  • It is easier to smile then frown
  • It takes 5 to 53 muscles to smile
  • Babies are born with the ability to smile
  • There are 19 different types of smiles 



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