Most people wear a helmet when riding a bike, or use their seatbelt when riding in a car. These behaviors are simple precautions that we take every day to prevent or decrease the severity of potential emergencies. Just like wearing a helmet or a seatbelt, there are also certain steps you can take when it comes to preventing a dental emergency. In fact, there are a few do’s and don’ts to keep in mind. Being aware of these precautions can significantly reduce the chances of you having a serious dental emergency. Here are a few precautions you can take to avoid dental emergencies:
…consume too much sugar
As delicious as sweet treats are, regularly consuming large amounts of sugary foods and beverages is bad for both your overall and oral health. In addition to increasing the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes, consuming too much sugar significantly increases your risk of tooth decay. When tooth decay reaches the innermost layer of your tooth, this causes a painful pulp infection that needs to be treated with a root canal.
…bite into or chew on extremely hard foods
There are certain foods that you should avoid biting into since they can be hard enough to chip or crack a tooth. A few examples include ice, nuts, and hard candies. However, there are other foods that can be damaging to your teeth.
…use your teeth for abnormal functions
Parafunction is a term that means using the teeth for abnormal functions. Basically, anything that is not chewing, biting, or talking is considered to be parafunction. Some common examples include using your teeth to open packages, chewing on pens, biting your nail, and grinding your teeth.
…wear a mouthguard
If you know that you are an avid bruxer, meaning that you grind or clench your teeth, or if your dentist has diagnosed you with bruxism, then it is likely that you will be given a mouthguard. When worn at night, mouth guards protect your teeth and gums from the damaging effects of bruxism, specifically chips, cracks, or premature enamel wear. Mouthguards also reduce the amount of strain on the jaw joint to prevent temporomandibular joint disorder. Finally, certain types of mouthguards, known as sports mouthguards, may also be recommended if you play a sport that may cause you to be hit accidentally in the face.
…practice regular dental care
Another really easy way to prevent dental emergencies from happening is to brush twice a day and floss daily. Brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste controls bacterial populations and the fluoride will strengthen your tooth enamel. Flossing daily removes debris from in between your teeth in order to prevent it from causing discomfort.
…schedule regular dental exams
Your dentist can closely monitor your oral health when you schedule regular dental exams. This allows them to detect potential problems before they develop into full-blown dental emergencies. Not only that, but the teeth cleanings associated with these appointments also helps to control bacteria populations in order to keep your teeth healthy and strong.
Dr. Sadati possesses extensive experience in all aspects of advanced restorative dentistry, with an emphasis in cosmetic and implant dentistry. He has attained Accredited Fellow status in the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), the most rigorous, demanding credentialing process in the world. He is the only AACD Accredited Fellow in South Florida.