In some cases, dental emergencies are inevitable — but that
doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try your best to reduce your odds
of facing one. To help you protect your smile from an oral health crisis,
we’ve put together this simple and practical guide. The advice on
this page will promote your long-term oral health and decrease
the chances that your teeth will suffer a sudden trauma.
Be Careful What You Eat
Dental decay is one of the leading causes of dental emergencies. If a cavity
remains untreated for too long, it can penetrate into a tooth’s inner
layers and cause pain. To prevent that from happening to you, you should eat
a tooth-friendly diet that has a low risk of causing cavities. For example,
you should limit the amount of sugar and acid that you consume. It’s
also important that you take in enough nutrients, such as calcium and
vitamin D in a very healthy diet.
Maintain Excellent Oral Hygiene
Your diet can go a long way toward preventing decay, but oral hygiene is
also vital. Brushing twice a day, and flossing once a day, gets rid of
plaque buildup on the teeth. It’s important that you use proper
brushing and flossing technique (your dental hygienist can coach you if you
are unsure of what to do). Biannual dental cleanings are also key because
only professional tools can remove tartar from teeth (tartar is the hardened
form of plaque).
Use Your Teeth Only for Their Intended Purpose
It might be tempting to use your teeth to open packages, take the tags off
of new clothes, or trim your fingernails — but habits like that pose
the threat of breaking your teeth. You might find it beneficial to carry a
small multi-tool with you so you don’t have to resort to using your
teeth. Also bear in mind that teeth should not be used to chew on extremely
hard foods, like ice, nuts and popcorn kernels.
Get Some Added Protection
If you like to play sports, even non-contact sports, it would be wise to
invest in a custom mouthguard. Not only will the mouthguard reduce the risk
of injury to your teeth and gums, but it can also reduce your risk of
concussion. You may also benefit from added protection if you grind your
teeth at night. A nightguard can place a barrier between your teeth and
prevent damage from nighttime clenching and grinding.