Category Archives: Blog

How Does Rugby’s Smart Mouthguard Work?

Whilst not every contact sport requires a mouthguard, it is highly advised that many people who are doing a full contact sport get a mouthguard that is custom-fit for their mouth, not only to protect their teeth from being cracked or dislodged but also help to avoid other types of head injuries.

To that end, World Rugby, the international governing body for Rugby Union and Rugby Sevens, announced that they had made an initial €2m investment in smart mouthguards as part of their Head Injury Assessment protocol for diagnosing and caring for concussions.

The mouthguard, on top of the other ways in which a rugby mouthguard protects the head, also has a set of sensors and accelerometers that can detect in real-time if a player has been hit by a significant force that could potentially cause a concussion.

Mouthguards in themselves can reduce the risk of a concussion by up to a fifth, and by diagnosing a potential incident as early as possible without it being missed by referees, by camera crews or without showing immediate symptoms.

The smart mouthguard would, therefore, be a requirement for all players who are participating in elite-level competition, which started with the WXV women’s rugby union competition in October 2023 and will be part of the overall HIA protocol starting in 2024.

Elite players will be required to wear them not only during matches but also in training, which has the added effect of helping to boost training analytics and data.

The new mouthguard, as well as mandating its use at the elite levels of the sport, is part of a series of changes and adjustments at World Rugby based on the recommendations of their Concussion Working Group and leading experts such as Dr Chris Nowinski.

These include a recommendation that players wear mouthguards at all levels of the sport, an extension of concussion protocols in community-level rugby to ensure players rest their heads for at least 21 days, and a focus on reducing forces to the head that may not cause concussion symptoms.

Why Your Snoring Can Be A Major Relationship Issue

If you snore, it may be a sign of a problem such as sleep apnoea, but for many people, this is not the case. However, that will come as cold comfort for whoever shares the bed with you each night.

Snoring may not be something you do deliberately, but it can be a relationship issue, according to Independent columnist Lucy Anna Gray. She wrote that the biggest problem of cohabiting with her boyfriend was not one she had anticipated. Rather than sharing bills, laundry arrangements, or paying bills, it was snoring.

“Partners of serial snorers will know the immense frustration of just nodding off, only to be instantly woken by a guttural snort,” she noted, adding that her boyfriend is a particularly loud snorer and even using earplugs and a pillow over her ears “doesn’t cut it”.

While she was not talking in terms of ending the relationship, Ms Gray was echoing the experience of millions of people whose partners can keep them awake by snoring. This is where a custom-made anti-snoring device could be a major relationship enhancer.

As with so many things, there are people out there who offer homespun ‘life hack’ solutions; the Daily Express recently reported on the tennis ball idea. This involves strapping it to the back of the snorer, as this means it will be too uncomfortable for them to lie on their back, a position many are prone to snoring in.

This idea was mentioned in Ms Gray’s article too, but while it may be effective, it is not very comfortable for the snorer; they could end up swapping roles with their partner as the one who keeps on being woken up in the night.

That is why having an anti-snoring device fitted could offer the best of all worlds; relief from snoring for both partners, so you can both get a great night’s sleep and avoid unnecessary relationship tension.

The Controversy Of American Sports’ Mouthguard Rules

The importance of a tailored custom fit mouthguard when participating in any contact sport is something that goes without saying as it not only protects teeth from being broken but also protects the jaw and can reduce the risk of concussive injuries.

However, there is a somewhat alarming trend found in American contact sports in particular of choosing not to wear a mouthguard, and the reasons for this showcase an alarming trade-off between safety and competitive advantage.

The National Football League, one of the most popular contact sports leagues in the world, does not in fact have a rule regarding the use of mouthguards in its most recent set of rules, nor does the National Basketball Association or Major League Baseball.

This is quite concerning given the levels of contact to the head, and the potential mouthguards have for preventing concussions, one of the most concerning long-term consequences of playing full-contact sports.

Many players will choose to wear one anyway, for either safety reasons or to avoid losing a tooth. However, there are others who either will abandon wearing a mouthpiece quickly if it is dislodged or will simply avoid wearing one entirely.

The NFL, like many team sports, requires a lot of communication, and some players choose to prioritise communication with teammates over safety. 

Others do not like putting in a mouthguard after it has been dislodged, and due to the pace of the game often do not have time to get it cleaned or replaced before play resumes.

Unlike in boxing or mixed martial arts, where a stricken mouthpiece would land on the canvas and a fight could not resume without the mouthpiece being replaced, mouthguards not secured to a helmet run the risk of falling onto the field.

This, alongside the fact that the NFL does not have a rule mandating their use, has led some players to treat them as optional, a trend that has increased in recent years.

This could change if the league mandates that all players wear one on the field, but until that rule is put in place, players are risking their safety unnecessarily.

Maintaining Your Hygiene: Cleaning and Storing Your Retainer

So, you’ve got yourself a trusty retainer, the unsung hero behind your beautiful smile. But here’s the deal; for it to keep doing its job effectively, you need to return the favour by keeping it clean and safe. In this post, we’ll dive into the nitty-gritty of how to clean and store it for optimal hygiene.

The Basics Of Cleaning Your Retainer

Let’s kick things off with the cleaning routine. Neglecting this step can lead to a host of problems, from bad odours to a build-up of harmful bacteria. Here’s how to keep it in tip-top shape:

Rinse It Off: After removing it from your mouth, give it a good rinse with lukewarm water. This helps remove any loose particles and saliva.

Brush It Gently: Just like you brush your teeth, your retainer needs a gentle brush too. Use a soft bristle toothbrush and mild, non-abrasive soap or specialised cleaner. Avoid toothpaste, as it can be too abrasive and damage the plastic.

Soak It: Consider soaking it in a mixture of water and a cleaning tablet for extra freshness. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the right soaking duration.

Don’t Forget the Case: Your case can also harbour bacteria. Clean it regularly with soap and water, and let it air dry.

Avoid Hot Water: Hot water can distort the shape of them, so stick to lukewarm or cool water.

Storage is Key

Now that your retainer is squeaky clean, let’s talk about storage. Proper storage not only keeps it safe but also maintains its hygiene. Here’s what you need to know:

Keep It Moist: When not in your mouth, store it in a container filled with clean water. Dry air can cause your retainer to warp, so keeping it moist is essential.

Use a Protective Case: Invest in a dedicated case to protect it from dirt and damage. Avoid using napkins or tissues, as they can easily be mistaken for rubbish.

Stay Away from Heat: Heat can be your retainer’s worst enemy. Avoid leaving it in direct sunlight, near radiators or in hot water.

Travel Smart: If you’re on the move, carry it in its case to avoid misplacing it or exposing it to harmful bacteria.

Regular Checks: Inspect it daily for any signs of wear and tear. If you notice cracks or damage, it’s time to replace it.

By following these simple steps for cleaning and storing your retainer, you’re not only ensuring optimal hygiene but also prolonging the life of it. Remember, it plays a crucial role in maintaining that stunning smile, so give it the TLC it deserves. Keep it clean, keep it safe and keep smiling bright!

Do You Necessarily Have Sleep Apnoea If You Are A Snorer?

Most people snore from time to time, but some have such big problems when it comes to snoring that it could be a sign they have sleep apnoea. 

This is a serious sleeping disorder that causes the body to stop and start breathing repeatedly when they are asleep. 

Some people with sleep apnoea can wake up multiple times an hour, as a result of a loss of muscle tone in the back of the throat and upper airways. They might even stop breathing for around 30 seconds and usually start again when they are startled with a snort. 

According to sleep expert Dr Daisy Mae from Get Laid Beds, it affects one in eight people in the UK, and while it sounds scary, it can be treated. 

“Simple measures such as stopping smoking, losing weight and treating acid reflux can help,” she stated. 

This is why snoring is heavily associated with sleep apnoea as many people with the condition do not know they have it and may simply think they are heavy breathers once their head hits the bed. 

However, not all snorers have sleep apnoea, and they might simply snore for other reasons. These include the anatomy of their mouth, if they have been drinking, nasal problems, their sleep position, and if they are overweight. 

The good news is there is plenty they can do to reduce their snoring. These include using an anti-snoring device that stops the tongue partly blocking the throat or preventing the mouth opening. 

They could also cut down on alcohol, sleep on their side instead of their back, tape their mouth so they breathe through their nose, or even have nasal septum surgery in extreme cases.

Understanding Replacement Retainers For A Brighter Smile

So, you’ve got that dazzling smile you always dreamed of, thanks to your trusty plastic retainer. It’s been your steadfast companion since you wrapped up your orthodontic journey. But here’s the deal – your retainer isn’t meant to last forever and it plays a more significant role in maintaining your pearly whites than you might think.

Hold On To Your Straight Teeth 

Picture this: You wore braces or some other orthodontic contraption for months, maybe even years, to get your teeth into that picture-perfect alignment. But here’s the issue – teeth like to move. If you’re not careful and consistent with wearing your retainer, they might start to shimmy their way back to their original, less than appealing positions.

Signs It’s Time To Ditch Your Old Retainer 

So we’ve established that keeping your plastic retainer is vital for preserving your orthodontic masterpiece. But how do you know when it’s time to part ways with your old set? 

Visible wear and tear: If your retainer looks like it has been to war, with visible cracks, chips or deformities, it is time to retire it. Furthermore, discolouration can give an indication as to the amount of time you’ve had it regardless of how spotless you attempted to keep it.

Funky Odour: If your retainer has taken on an unpleasant aroma no matter how much you scrub it, it’s best to say your goodbyes. This not only puts people off your breath if you have them in, it also makes you feel uncomfortable having the taste of a six month old retainer in your mouth and trust us, it’s not tasty. 

Fit Problems: If your retainer doesn’t fit as snugly as it used to, it’s not doing its job properly. Loose retainers won’t keep your teeth in place and they are not loose because your teeth are conforming to the shape, it’s because the plastic has adjusted to your teeth and over time, shifts occur to slowly expand the plastic. 

Understanding Dental Retainer Replacement 

Now that we’ve covered why replacing your retainer is essential, let’s talk about how to go about it. You can reach out to a dental professional, ideally, the same one who helped you get your retainer in the first place. They’ll assess your situation, take impressions if necessary and hook you up with a shiny new retainer.

Your plastic retainer is more than just a piece of plastic – it’s the guardian of your gorgeous smile. To keep your teeth in their rightful place, pay attention to the signs and when it’s time, don’t hesitate to replace that trusty old retainer. Your future self will thank you and your smile will stay brilliantly beautiful for years to come.

Why Are Protective Mouthguards So Varied?

Mouthguards are amongst the most versatile dental products ever made, not only because they are so often custom-made to fit a particular set of teeth, but also because they are tailored to meet specific needs.

Mouthguards can be used for orthodontic work, as retainers, can help to reduce the effects of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) and be used to apply whitening gel for some cosmetic treatments, as well as many other dental purposes.

However, one of the most common purposes for mouthguards is in the world of contact sports, for relatively self-evident reasons.

In sports where there is the chance of having your teeth knocked out, the best way to stop unnecessary and practically inevitable dental damage is by wearing mouthguards that stop impacting and movement of the teeth.

This is not only important for obvious safety reasons but can stop a chipped or broken tooth from cutting a person’s mouth and stopping them from playing any further part in a sporting event.

However, different sports often have unique mouthguards designed with their needs in mind. Football, for instance, uses different mouthguards to boxing, which in turn uses different mouthguards to basketball.

The reason for this is one of practicality. Thicker mouthguards provide more protection but also are more difficult to speak through. This does not matter for individual sports such as combat sports, wrestling or gymnastics, but makes communication between team members much harder.

This is particularly important in a sport such as gridiron football, where tactics often need to be relayed whilst on the pitch, seconds before contact. This is why they have a thinner acrylic mouthguard that is connected to a player’s helmet, so they can put it in and take it out whenever they need to.

The different types of contact with the mouth can also be a factor. A contact sport has more opportunities for a hard hit strong enough to damage teeth than basketball, where such contact would be grounds for a penalty.

It highlights the ingenuity of mouthguard designers and the advanced technology they have to protect teeth as much as possible.

Why Is It Important To Keep Teeth Whitening Trays Clean

Brits have a reputation for having yellowing teeth, possibly thanks to all the tea we love to drink. But that has changed over the last decade or so as teeth whitening treatments have become increasingly popular. 

One of the most effective ways to achieve that pearly smile is by getting a teeth whitening tray from your dentist, which contains special bleach that lightens your teeth without causing them harm. 

However, to ensure you keep your teeth in as good condition as possible when whitening them it is essential you clean the tray well. 

Teeth whitening trays work as the customised gum shield has reservoirs containing whitening gel that fit around each tooth. 

This is then fitted to the patient’s mouth, so the formula can work its magic over time without the gel coming off, and the bleach not having long enough to lighten the teeth. 

It is essential to clean the whitening trays after every use, as this removes any debris that might have been extracted from your teeth the last time you wore it. 

If you put it back on without clearing this away, you risk adding bacteria to your teeth, which could cause decay. 

You should also clean the tray thoroughly to remove any leftover gel, so it is fresh to use next time. 

The best way to keep it clean is by using an electric toothbrush and warm water. Don’t be tempted to use toothpaste to polish the tray, as this can be too abrasive. 

Instead, put a bit of non-perfumed soap in the container, cleaning both inside and outside. 

Once it is washed, wipe dry with a clean flannel, towel or tissue and put the trays back in their storage case to keep them protected.

Top Tips To Help You Remember To Wear Your Retainer

If you have had braces or dental work done in order to help straighten your teeth, you will know the frustration that comes with remembering to wear your teeth retainer.

These tricky tools are essential for keeping your pearly whites straight and to prevent them from falling back into their old, crooked habits however it can be difficult to remember to wear your retainer at the right times, especially if you are new to them.

Luckily there are several tips you can follow to make remembering that little bit easier and to keep your teeth, and your dentist, happy!

In the modern world, most people have access to smartphones. They can make life so much easier and they can also help you to remember to put your retainers on. One feature smartphones have are reminders.

These can be set for certain times of the day and will notify you of whatever you need. Many people use them for medications and other daily tasks, so you can easily set one to remind you to put your retainer in.

Another great way to remember to wear your retainer is to leave yourself visual reminders. Putting a note on the fridge, your bathroom mirror or on your bedroom door can be a great way to remind yourself of tasks you need to complete.

This will help you to remember to put your retainer in whenever you go to these places in your home and over time you will build a routine and may no longer need these little reminders anymore!

Another way to ensure you always have your retainer when necessary is to always keep a spare case in your bag or nearby. This can help you in situations when you have already left the house and forgot to wear them, as you will have them with you to put in as soon as you remember!

Why Anti-snoring Devices Make Much Happier Campers

With the school holidays now upon us, many families will be heading off on holiday during the coming weeks. Some might want to avoid soggy Britain and fly somewhere hotter (though perhaps not as hot as Rhodes just now), but others will happily opt for a staycation.

Camping is one popular option, some do it because it’s cheaper, but it can also be a lot of fun, enables you to be more mobile and if you have a family it is a great way to get closer to nature.

However, campsites are bound to be busy in August, so if you snore loudly, chances are you won’t be the most popular person on the site.

This is why now could be a very good time to get a custom-made anti-snoring device. 

While there are several other things you can do to snore less, from losing weight to sleeping on your side, there are many devices that can make a huge difference.

Among these are devices to stop your tongue from partly blocking your throat, or to stop your mouth from falling open, both of which can be made by dental specialists. Non-dental interventions include nasal strips. The right one for you depends on the root cause of your snoring.

Whichever one it takes, those going camping with you will thank you for it. Others may be unaware you ever needed help to stop snoring, but will be very happy for a quiet night.

It is not just on family holidays where anti-snoring devices may come in useful for campers. Glastonbury might have come and gone, but the back end of summer still has a number of major music festivals, like Reading and Leeds, as well as the likes of Boardmasters, Outcider and The Green Gathering.

Those gatherings may be a bit more hedonistic and less family-orientated, but even so, a good night’s sleep will still be a welcome thing for many at the end of a long day.