Nothing is worse for your teeth than allowing your dental care to lag. When you don’t care for your teeth properly, it can lead to emergency dental situations where you require immediate care due to a long list of possible woes. With proper care, you can avoid the pain and swelling of a dental emergency. However, there are also some lifestyle choices that can increase your risk for dental emergencies.
Here are the best tips to keep your teeth and gums healthy, so you can avoid the need for emergency dental care.
Stick to a Strong Dental Hygiene Regime
We realize that hearing this over and over again is boring, but it is honestly the easiest way to avoid dental issues, including emergencies. While we can’t protect you from an accident that can damage your teeth, we can provide the best protection we know against cavities and decay that can lead to painful dental emergencies: brush twice a day and floss. Your teeth will look better, and breath will smell fresher as well!
Book Regular Dental Checkups
For most people, two checkups a year is the standard recommendation for excellent oral health. However, in some cases, you might need to see us in more frequent intervals if you are prone to tooth decay, or suffer from gum disease. The key is to follow our recommendations to keep your teeth and gums healthy, but there’s more to it than that. Remember that not only do we provide a thorough professional cleaning, but also look for signs of issues that can lead to dental emergencies. This can be weak spots in your teeth, decay, chips or cracks, and more. These problems are hard to spot on your own, and with ongoing preventative care you can ensure anything that requires treatment can be addressed in a timely manner, so you avoid things getting worse.
Protect Your Teeth From Grinding
At your dental checkups we look for unusual signs of wear and tear on your teeth that can be caused by clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth. This can be due to stress, but can also result as a natural tendency to do these things in your sleep due to bruxism. Either way, if we spot this issue, we can recommend a night guard to protect your teeth from damage due to the constant pressure. This, in turn, can reduce risk for emergency dental situations due to cracks, chips, damaged tooth restorations, and more.
Try to Avoid Stress
This of course is easier said than done. As mentioned above, some people tend to clench their jaws or grind their teeth due to stress. You might also have stress-related habits like nail biting or even chewing on a pen. All of these things can lead to damage and a dental emergency. If possible, find ways to avoid and/or reduce stress whether it is meditation, yoga, or spending less time working and more time relaxing. For severe stress and anxiety, you might also consider speaking to your doctor or pursuing therapy to help you learn improved coping skills.
Stop Using Your Teeth as a Tool
We’ve all done it: using our teeth to open a bag of chips, cut a thread, or help open a ridiculously over-packaged item. Doing any of these things is a good way to get yourself into an emergency dental situation. While it might seem harmless, if you are in the habit of using your teeth as a tool, you are increasing risk for damaging your teeth. Instead of sticking those things in your mouth, reach for the scissors and keep your teeth limited to the use they were intended: eating food!
Avoid Risky Foods
There are a lot of foods that can put your teeth at risk for damage including nuts, bones, and even chomping on ice. While you don’t need to get overly paranoid, paying closer attention to your food can help you avoid biting down on something hard like a nutshell or bone. A good rule of thumb is to chew more slowly, so you don’t bite down too hard should you have something unexpected in your food.
Use Protection When Active
If you are active or participate in sports or athletic competitions, you should wear a mouthguard to help protect your teeth. Even the most agile, fit athlete can experience a dental emergency when hit in the face or head with some force. Being hit with a ball, an elbow, or landing on the ground from a fall can easily cause serious damage to your teeth. We can fit you for a customized mouthguard, so you reduce risk for a dental emergency. This is important for kids who participate in team sports as well.
Take Your Vitamins
We get that sticking to a healthy diet can be hard. However, if you can’t get the nutrients you need for strong, healthy teeth, then you should be taking your vitamins daily. Look for vitamins A, B, and C for gum health, and vitamin D and calcium to keep your teeth strong.
Ask About Dental Sealants
While sealants tend to be recommended as part of a kid’s preventative care, in some cases, they can help prevent damage from tooth decay for adults. Sealants provide a protective covering for the crags and nooks on your teeth’s chewing surfaces. This makes it more difficult for food particles to get trapped in the naturally occurring grooves of the teeth so you can reduce risk for decay.
Avoid Unhealthy Snacks
There are probably just as many adults out there who love their sugary treats as there are kids. Even what you might think of as healthier snacks (like dried fruit) are bad for your teeth thanks to their sticky consistency. Avoid eating hard, sweet, and sticky foods to help protect your teeth from tooth decay. In the case of hard candy, you can also avoid damage such as cracks and chips as mentioned above.
To learn more about receiving high quality Emergency and preventative dental care, call Guelph Family Dentistry at (888) 588-1691 or contact us here.