Dental emergencies can happen at any time. They can even occur when you least expect them. Dental emergencies often cause a lot of pain, and they can be unpredictable. Here are some tips to prevent them:
Preventing tooth damage starts with brushing your teeth at least twice a day with toothpaste containing fluoride. This prevents tooth decay and cavities by strengthening your tooth enamel, the outer layer of the teeth. Cavities form when plaque builds up and is not properly removed by daily cleanings and flossing. Plaque that is not removed can irritate the gums and cause an infection called gingivitis. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that can lead to more serious conditions if left untreated, including periodontitis, tooth loss, and even systemic disease.
While flossing isn’t a substitute for brushing, it is an important part of your oral care routine. When you don’t floss, food particles and plaque become stuck between your teeth. Over time, this debris will cause tooth decay and cavities. Cavities do not heal on their own; they require professional treatment from your dentist. In addition to causing decay, these trapped food particles can lead to bad breath.
It’s recommended to floss once per day for healthy teeth. If you struggle with gum disease, you should floss twice a day. To clean between the teeth and along the gum line, use a strand of unwaxed string floss. Wrap the floss around your index fingers and gently rub each side of each tooth in a circular motion. Repeat this process for each gap in your mouth. If you’re still experiencing bleeding when you floss, talk to your dentist to determine the cause of the problem. They may recommend a different type of floss or recommend that you visit them more frequently for professional cleanings and exams to prevent additional damage from occurring.
If preventive dentistry is a top priority for you, then make sure you schedule twice-yearly exams and cleanings with your dentist. At these visits, your dental team will examine and clean your teeth for any signs of decay or gum disease. Your dentist will also be able to spot and treat any potential issues early on, so you don’t end up with cavities, and oral infections that could have been avoided had you come in sooner.
Also, if you play sports, you may want to consider a custom mouthguard to protect your teeth from chips and cracks. Custom-made mouthguards fit better and will protect your teeth better than over-the-counter mouthguards. Additionally, you may want to avoid chewing on ice and hard candies, as both can cause your teeth to break. If you have a habit of crunching down on hard objects, try switching to softer versions like celery, apples, carrots, or even walnuts instead.
It’s important to avoid foods and drinks that are especially high in sugar because they feed the harmful bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease. These include sticky candies, cookies, cakes, bread, crackers, muffins, pretzels, dried fruits, chips, soda, and sports drinks. If you consume these types of foods and drinks, it’s best to eat them with a meal or shortly after your meal to avoid prolonged exposure to acid and sugars. You should also brush your teeth as soon as possible after eating or drinking these things.
To learn more about good oral care, contact Focus Dental Group at (801) 255-7101 or visit our dental office located at 6770 S 900 E Suite 301, Midvale, UT 84047.