We are all terrified of having a dental emergency - the pain, the inconvenience, the uncertainty. The good news is that we can take precautionary measures to avoid them. Today, our Winnipeg dentists offer some pointers on how to go about it.
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 that need to be treated quickly by a dentist.
How can I avoid dental emergencies?
How can we avoid having a dental emergency now that we know what it is? While dental emergencies can occur for a variety of reasons and despite our best efforts, there are always precautions we can take to reduce our risk of injuring our gums, teeth, or jaw.
Use your teeth for chewing food only.
Many of us use our teeth for things other than chewing food, such as opening packages, biting fingernails, and so on. However, this is an easy way to chip or injure them because you expose your teeth, as well as your inner cheeks, lips, and gums, to harm.
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 engage in any high-impact, physically strenuous activities? Though these are great for getting your blood pumping and staying physically active, they can also be dangerous due to the risk of head, face, or neck impacts.
These blows 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 enjoy snacks, and a late afternoon sugar rush can be very appealing. Sugar, on the other hand, causes plaque and bacteria buildup, which leads to tooth decay, cavities, tooth wear, and gum disease, which can lead to dental emergencies. Hard candy, popcorn kernels, and other foods can also be dangerous.
Next time you’re at the grocery store, stock up on crunchy vegetables such as carrots to snack on and healthier soft foods such as yogurt. After a few weeks of avoiding the hard, chewy sugary foods, you’ll hardly notice their absence from your diet - and your teeth will thank you.
Maintain an excellent oral hygiene routine at home.
Part of avoiding dental emergencies involves preparation and day-to-day maintenance. Dental emergencies sometimes happen as a result of tooth decay or painful cavities.
Maintaining a rigorous oral hygiene routine can reduce the chances of these. Remember to brush twice daily for two minutes each time and floss at least once per day.
Visit your dentist regularly.
Regular visits to the dentist for hygiene cleanings and exams, in addition to maintaining an oral hygiene routine, are required. They not only clean your teeth with professional-grade tools, but they can also detect any dental issues early on, allowing you to avoid dental emergencies.