A variety of dental accidents happen every day. Despite being unpredictable, if action is taken right away, you may be able to prevent the incident from becoming a dental emergency.
Dental emergency prevention begins with your at-home dental care routine. Taking proper care of your teeth and gums by brushing at least twice a day, flossing at least once and cleaning your tongue, will rid your mouth of plaque and bacteria that form throughout the day.
A detailed examination of your teeth and gums can be performed during an appointment with a dentist. During dental cleanings, dentists use special instruments to remove any build-up of bacteria and to address any oral health problems they observe. Remaining knowledgeable about the state of your oral health is a vital part of dental emergency prevention.
Dental Emergency Mistakes
Because a dental emergency can happen without warning, many individuals may require emergency dental care outside of traditional office hours. This results in visits to hospital emergency rooms, where very limited care is provided. An emergency room is not equipped with the necessary instruments needed to provide thorough dental care. Without addressing the cause of the dental issue, patients are prescribed pain medication and sent home, where they continue to suffer. This temporary remedy can prove to be a costly mistake.
However, there are some dental offices that offer weekend hours, when most practices are closed. If you encounter a dental emergency during the weekend, it is likely that you can find a local office that operates during this time. An office that accepts many forms of insurance and even offers dental financing options may be a less expensive alternative to the emergency room.
Solutions for a Dental Emergency
Several factors, such as lack of proper oral hygiene, limited knowledge or financial problems can prevent an individual from seeking the dental care they need. In these cases, patients may be beyond the prevention stage and require immediate action for a dental emergency.
Many dental offices offer restorative dentistry for patients with extensive damage to their teeth, due to a variety of causes. Procedures such as fillings, natural-looking dentures, and dental crowns are all options that address the underlying issue and either repair or replace the tooth so that patients’ smiles are restored to a healthy state.
During a dental emergency, it is important that you take steps to prevent any further damage to your tooth and gums. If you lose a tooth, for example, avoid damaging tissue by holding the tooth by its crown. You can also soak it in salt water, a saline solution or even milk in order to preserve it so it can be put back in place by a dentist.
Suggestions for Dental Emergency Prevention
Avoid actions that have the potential to harm your teeth or gums:
Do not use your teeth for anything other than their intended purpose, which often leads to tooth damage that can develop into a serious issue and require emergency dental care. Examples of this are opening packages and bottles with your teeth.
Exercise safety measures with your family in order to prevent a dental emergency:
Wear protective gear while taking part in activities (like sports) to ensure that you and your family avoid accidents that could lead to a dental emergency, such as a chipped or loose tooth.
Limit your intake of sugar and acids:
Because sugar can cling to your teeth and feed bacteria in your mouth, it is suggested that foods high in sugar be avoided. If you do consume sugary foods, be sure to brush your teeth after eating. Some drinks, like sodas, contain citric acid, which soften tooth enamel temporarily and cause it to deteriorate over time. Opt for water and other non-acidic drinks instead!
Although some dental emergencies are outside of our control, we can do our part in dental emergency prevention by maintaining a strong, healthy set of teeth through small steps such as brushing, flossing and monitoring the foods we eat. Be sure to visit a dentist for regular dental care at least twice a year. This is an effective way to keep track of your dental health and become aware of any issues that arise. By addressing the dental problem at the first sign of its existence, a dental professional can diagnose and treat the issue before it develops into a dental emergency.