No one likes the thought of a dental emergency. Thankfully, there are a few steps we can take to avoid them. Today, our Abbotsford dentists offer some advice on a few ways you can protect your teeth from a potential emergency situation.
What is a dental emergency?
A dental emergency is any dental problem that requires immediate attention from a dentist. This can include:
- Severe or persistent toothache that can’t be addressed with over-the-counter pain medications
- Severe swelling on your face or in your mouth
- Knocked out, chipped or broken teeth
- Lost crowns or fillings
- Cuts to the lip or tongue
Any of these can cause pain, discomfort or damage to your teeth and you should see a dental professional as soon as possible to have the situation addressed.
How can I avoid dental emergencies?
Now that we know what a dental emergency is, how can we avoid having one? While dental emergencies can happen for a wide variety of reasons and in spite of our best efforts, we can always take precautions to reduce our risk of injuring our gums, teeth, or jaw.
Use your teeth for chewing food only.
Many of us use our teeth to open packages, bottles, or do things other than chewing food. But this is an easy way to chip or injure them, as you expose your teeth to harm along with your inner cheeks, lips, and gums.
Take the extra time to find the appropriate tools such as scissors, and save your teeth for chewing food.
Wear a sports mouthguard.
Do you participate in sports or any high-impact, physically strenuous activities? Though these are great for getting your blood pumping and staying physically active, they can also present a hazard as you’re at risk for impacts to the head, face or neck.
High impact activities can easily result in significant injuries that lead to dental emergencies. To avoid these scenarios, always wear a custom-made mouthguard to protect your teeth and mouth against any injury.
Cut back on sugary foods.
We all love snacks and a late afternoon sugar hit can be very tempting. However, sugar results in plaque and bacteria buildup that leads to tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease—all of which can lead to dental emergencies. Hard candy, popcorn kernels, and other hard foods can also present a hazard.
Always take care when eating hard foods and be sure to brush your teeth and floss carefully as soon as possible if you do indulge in a sweet treat.
Maintain an excellent oral hygiene routine at home.
Part of avoiding dental emergencies involves good day-to-day oral hygiene as sometimes dental emergencies happen as a result of tooth decay or painful cavities.
Maintaining a rigorous oral hygiene routine can reduce the chances of these types of dental emergencies. Remember to brush twice daily for two minutes each time and floss at least once per day.
Visit your dentist regularly.
Along with maintaining an oral hygiene routine, regular visits to the dentist for hygiene cleanings and exams are a must. They not only clean your teeth with professional-grade tools but can also detect any emerging dental issues early on and treat them before they become an emergency.