Top Tips for Fitting and Maintaining Your Sports Mouth guard

In the world of youth sports, the excitement of competition and camaraderie often overshadows concerns about dental injuries. However, safeguarding your child’s teeth should be a top priority. Nacogdoches Pediatric Dentistry, led by Dr. Jennifer Criss, wants to educate parents and young athletes in Nacogdoches, TX, about the vital role that sports guards play in protecting smiles and preventing painful dental emergencies. In this article, we’ll delve into the significance of sports guards, discuss the various options available, and provide essential insights to ensure your child’s dental safety.

The Importance of Sports Guards

Imagine the thrill of a soccer game or a basketball match, the adrenaline pumping through your veins, and the joy of scoring a goal. While these experiences are essential for a child’s physical and emotional development, they also pose a risk to their dental health. Dental injuries are all too common in sports like football, basketball, hockey, and even recreational activities like biking and skateboarding.

At Nacogdoches Pediatric Dentistry, we understand that prevention is key. A well-fitted sports guard is a simple yet powerful tool that can protect your child’s teeth from the perils of athletic endeavors. Our goal is to ensure that children in Nacogdoches, TX, can enjoy sports while safeguarding their oral health.

Types of Sports Guards

  • Stock Mouthguards:
    • These pre-made guards are readily available in sporting goods stores but offer limited protection and comfort.
  • Boil-and-Bite Mouthguards:
    • These are customizable to some extent. They are softened in boiling water, allowing them to mold to the shape of the wearer’s teeth to some degree.
  • Custom-Fitted Mouthguards:
    • The most effective option, custom-fitted guards are designed by professionals like Dr. Jennifer Criss at Nacogdoches Pediatric Dentistry. They provide superior protection and comfort, ensuring a secure fit that minimizes the risk of injury.

Why Choose Custom-Fitted Sports Guards from Nacogdoches Pediatric Dentistry?

Custom-fitted sports guards offer several advantages over their off-the-shelf counterparts:

  • Optimal Protection: Our guards are precisely tailored to your child’s teeth, providing the highest level of protection against impact and injury.
  • Comfort and Compliance: A comfortable fit ensures that your child is more likely to wear the guard consistently, reducing the risk of injury during sports activities.
  • Enhanced Durability: Custom-fitted guards are built to last, offering long-term protection and cost-effectiveness.
  • Professional Guidance: Dr. Jennifer Criss and her team at Nacogdoches Pediatric Dentistry will ensure that your child’s sports guard is expertly crafted to suit their unique needs, ensuring both safety and comfort.


In the pursuit of athletic achievements and fun-filled moments on the field, don’t forget to prioritize your child’s dental health. Nacogdoches Pediatric Dentistry, led by Dr. Jennifer Criss, is dedicated to helping the young athletes of Nacogdoches, TX, enjoy sports safely by providing custom-fitted sports guards. By investing in their dental safety, you not only protect their precious smiles but also ensure a lifetime of healthy oral habits. Contact us at (936) 559-7200 to schedule an appointment and take the first step towards safeguarding your child’s bright future.

How Exactly Does Fluoride Help Teeth?

Dental Cleaning

Fluoride is a natural mineral that is found in the earth and in nature. Water supplies and some foods also contain fluoride. Many community’s drinking water contains fluoride, and this helps to strengthen teeth and prevent decay. Studies have shown that people that use fluoride have less tooth decay.

How Does Fluoride Work?

Bacteria cause demineralization and this is when bacteria feeds on sugar and produces acidic saliva. This acid weakens tooth enamel. Fluoride helps to control and protect damage from demineralization. This helps keep our teeth looking and feeling healthy. Fluoride also helps to replenish the calcium that help make our teeth hard. This prevents tooth decay and tooth sensitivity.

If Fluoride Safe?

If used properly fluoride is safe and does not cause any harm. If you are using fluoride toothpaste it is important to ensure children do not swallow the toothpaste. Swallowing toothpaste may cause an issue because most toothpaste brands contain fluoride. Overall fluoride is a great way to protect your teeth from decay, and does not pose any risk to your health.

What Type of Fluoride Treatments Are Available?

There are a few different types of fluoride treatments available to patients. Topical fluoride products are applied directly to the teeth. This can be done in our office and takes only a few minutes to complete. Typically fluoride treatments are inexpensive and most insurance plans cover this treatment. The topical treatment contains a higher level of fluoride and can only be applied by a professional. Fluoride is also in our toothpaste and mouth washes. Using a toothpaste and mouthwash with fluoride can help give you the protection you need from decay that can lead to cavities.

Looking To Find Out More About Fluoride Treatment?

If you are looking to find out more information about fluoride treatments and how they can benefit you, please contact our office. Our team is here to help, and your oral health is our priority. Preventative care is a way to keep your teeth and mouth looking and feeling healthy.

We offer flexible hours, and do our best to see patients as soon as possible. To schedule your next exam contact our office, and our staff will be happy to assist you.

Are There any Differences Between Mouth Washes?

Oral Health

Mouthwash is used to help rinse away bacteria or food particles after you brush and floss each day. Using mouthwash is an additional way to help protect your teeth and gums. Knowing the differences between mouthwashes can help you choose the right one to incorporate into your oral hygiene routine.

What Are The Different Types of Mouthwashes Available?

Mouthwash With Fluoride

Fluoride mouthwash contain sodium fluoride, and this helps to protect your teeth from decay and cavities. Fluoride is also found in toothpaste and is added to our tap water. Only using the required amount each day is important because too much fluoride can be harmful to your health. Reading the labels can help to ensure you are only using the appropriate amount that is recommended daily.

Antiseptic Mouthwash

Antiseptic mouthwash is the most common mouthwash used by most patients. This type of mouthwash contains alcohol and can help to stop bacteria in its tracks. Using an antiseptic mouthwash can help fight bad breath, and prevent infections. Patients must be careful using this type of mouthwash. Overuse can lead to stains or discoloration on your teeth. Following the recommended daily guidelines is important to keep your teeth and mouth healthy.

Cosmetic Mouthwash

This type of mouthwash is used to only freshen your breath. Cosmetic mouthwash does not do anything to help with your oral health. Using this type of mouthwash can help rinse food particles away, and is a temporary solution for bad breath.

Natural Mouthwash

Natural mouthwash is a common type of mouthwash that helps keep bacteria away and freshens your breath, but contains only natural ingredients. Natural mouthwash brands do not contain alcohol, and the ingredients are safer compared to other types of mouthwashes available.

During your routine cleaning it is important to discuss what products you are using at home including your mouthwash. Our team is available to access your dental health, and recommend the best mouthwash for you to use at home.

Interested in Finding Out More?

During your routine cleaning it is important to discuss what products you are using at home including your mouthwash. Our team is available to access your dental health, and recommend the best mouthwash for you to use at home.

If you are interested in finding out more about what mouthwash may be best for you, or to schedule your next exam, contact our office and our friendly staff will be happy to assist you.

How Can I Reduce My Costs for Dental Care?

Family Dentistry

Dental care can be costly, and simple procedures can even run up your bill. Caring for your teeth is necessary to keep your oral and general health in check. Many people have no dental benefits at all, or if they retire their benefits are lost.

Skipping dental care is not an option, and can lead to other more serious health issues such as diabetes, or heart conditions. There are ways you can reduce your dental care costs, and help pay for those costly procedures that are necessary to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Ask Your Dentist if They Offer an In-House Membership Plan

Many dental practices today offer their own dental membership for patients. These plans act like an insurance plan, and give patients discounts on procedures that are done in their office. If a patient does not have insurance it is wise to inquire about an in-house plan to help keep costs down.

Sign Up for a Dental Plan Through Your Employer

Many companies offer both medical and dental insurance plans. Most plans pay for at least half of the cost, and preventative services are typically covered 100 percent. Routine procedures are usually covered around 80 percent, and larger more involved procedures such as crowns are usually covered at 50 percent. Using in-network providers can help you save money, and allow you to get the dental work you need.

Dental Savings Plan

Dental savings plans are available to participants who pay a fee to join. The fee is typically annual, and allows you to choose from a network of dentists that offer discounts for members. Dental savings plans allow patients to get the work done that they need at a discounted price without insurance.

Affordable Care Act

Patients can apply for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. Logging on to their website can let you know if you qualify to purchase dental coverage.

Dental HMO Plan

A dental HMO plan may be available in your state. Typically cleanings and exams twice a year are covered, and procedures are at a discount. Many dentists participate and accept HMO plans, and this is a good way to help save on dental care.

Veterans Benefits

If you are a veteran you qualify to receive insurance at a reduced rate. Disabled veterans are also eligible for free dental care through the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Do Your Research

If you are required to have a costly procedure, research the average price of that procedure. Ask your dentist for a discount, and most likely they will work with you, and help find a price and payment plan that fits your needs.

Create an Emergency Dental Fund

Setting aside money each month for dental care can help cover procedures or emergencies that are unpredictable.  Knowing you have a savings account will put you at ease if an emergency arises and you need dental care.

Looking for an Affordable Dentist Near You?

Taking care of your oral health is a great way to prevent costly dental procedures. Brushing and flossing each day, and staying away from foods and drinks that contain sugar can help keep your teeth and gums healthy. Visiting our office regularly for exams and cleanings is extremely important to maintain your oral health. Regular visits allow our team to get in front of issues before they become urgent, and we can help you keep your teeth and mouth looking and feeling great.

We care about our patients, and our team is here to help take care of your oral health. Ask our team if you have questions on coverage or payment plans, and we will work with you to ensure you can receive the very best care.

To find out more about dental programs we offer, or to schedule your next dental exam, contact our office and our friendly staff will be happy to assist you.

How Do I Know if I Have a Cavity?

Taking care of your oral and overall health must be a priority. Knowing when you need to call your dentist is important. Practicing good oral hygiene habits help to prevent tooth decay, cavities, and many other issues. Cavities are one of the most common issues patients face, and about 30 percent of Americans have untreated dental cavities. Leaving a cavity untreated can destroy your teeth leading to tooth loss, infection, and other more serious conditions.

It is helpful for patients to understand what a cavity is, and also know what symptoms to look out for if you think you may have a cavity.

What is a Cavity?

A cavity is when bacteria or food build up and form plaque on your teeth. The bacteria eat away at the enamel on your teeth and cause decay. Good oral hygiene habits are so important, and brushing and flossing can help you get rid of the plaque build up to prevent cavities from developing. Once the cavity is formed there is a small hole in your tooth, and if left untreated the cavity can destroy your tooth or develop an infection.

What Are the Signs of a Cavity?

There are signs you can look out for that may indicate you have a cavity. If you experience any of these signs we encourage you to contact our office, and our staff will get you in as soon as possible. Our team always works to keep our patient’s teeth and mouth healthy and pain free.

  • Sensitivity to hot and cold that lingers and does not go away
  • Sensitivity to sweet foods or drinks
  • A toothache that is on or around one or more teeth
  • Pain when you bite down or pain during eating
  • Discoloration, white spots, or staining on a tooth
  • A small hole or mark on your tooth

Need to Contact Our Office?

Knowing these signs can help you decide if you need to contact a dentist. We always tell patients to never hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns. We are here to help, and a cavity should never be left untreated. 

If you think you may have a cavity and need to schedule an appointment, contact our office and our friendly staff will be happy to assist you!

Effective Tips To Select The Professional Dentist

Effective Tips To Select The Professional Dentist

Are you looking for a compassionate and experienced dentist? With a wide variety of choices, it’s challenging to find out the right one. If you’re looking for a dentist, do not wait for the time you have a dental emergency to pick one. A professional dentist honestly cares about their patient’s well-being. A person’s oral health plays a key role in the overall health of the body. So that’s mean you need to be careful and ensure the dentist you choose is experienced, professional, as well as someone you can trust. The dentist can who make or break the oral health, so select wisely!

Professional Dentist

Location is Important While Choosing the Best Dentist

Location does not mean that how close the dental clinic to your house. It could be a dental clinic that works out near your office or your kid’s school. You will also have to think about the dentist clinic’s hours. For instance, the dentist office is next to one’s office, but they are not open during the lunch break, after or prior to work, then that does not help. Select a practitioner who has late sitting once a week and different or add timing on the weekends.

Professional Experience

The next step, you have to figure out a local dentist who has much experience in the field of dentistry. Look for a dental clinic that is well qualified, trained, experienced and friendly. The experience of a dentist could be rated by evaluating how many years it has been practicing, what former patients say about its work.

Educational Background

Prior to choosing your dentist, make sure the dentist has all the certificates and also are a member of various dental associations. You have to find the dentist you are choosing has done any specialized training. You require to consider id the dentist does any continued or ongoing training and education.  


Prior to reaching any decision, check the dentist’s website and other social media platform for testimonials. It will assist you in figuring out what form of treatment you can expect from the prospect dentist. You can also ask your friends and family for dentist referrals in order to find a good match. Now following these above effective tips, you can select the best dentist in your area, begin your search today! Think about recommendations, experience, facilities, and essentially how much comfortable you feel in the clinic. You just need to make sure the dentist your choosing is providing you with a great personalized dental care.