If you’ve ever had a dental emergency, such as severe tooth pain or a tooth that’s been knocked out by a ball, you know how important it is to see the dentist right away. Going without treatment can lead to infections and other serious health consequences. And while insurance may pay part of the cost of a dental emergency, there’s usually a significant copay.
The caring health professionals at Healthy Smile Dental in Woodridge, Illinois, have compiled this list to help keep you from having a dental emergency. Follow these strategies to stay healthy, and know that we’re here to help you when you need us.
Use good oral hygiene practices
The best way to prevent dental emergencies is to take care of your teeth. As part of your oral hygiene regimen, you should:
- Brush twice a day for at least two minutes
- Brush your tongue
- Floss twice a day
- Use a fluoride toothpaste
- Use an antiseptic mouthwash
You may not be used to brushing your tongue, but it can help remove bacteria that causes bad breath. And if you’re gums are receding, it’s especially important to brush your tongue to eliminate as much bacteria as possible.
The quality of your toothbrush matters, too. Standard toothbrushes should be changed at least every three months, and electric toothbrushes should be changed on the schedule recommended by the manufacturer.
Visit the dentist regularly
You should visit the dentist every six months. Make your next dental appointment at the conclusion of each visit. That way, you won’t forget to call later to make an appointment.
If your dentist at Healthy Smiles Dental finds a cracked tooth, decay, or other issues, you can schedule a follow-up appointment before you end up with a dental emergency.
Regular dental visits are important not only for your oral health, but also for your overall health. Your dentist will not only check your teeth and gums, they will inspect your cheeks, tongue, throat, and lymph nodes as well. If your dentist finds anything suspicious, it can be investigated and treated right away.
Avoid chewing ice and extremely hard substances
It’s OK to suck on ice cubes, but don’t bite down on them. Ice can cause your teeth to crack. A cracked tooth can cause severe pain and lead to a dental emergency. Hard candy and popcorn kernels can also crack your teeth.
You also shouldn’t chew on pencils, pens, and other hard substances that aren’t food. Biting down on these items can cause your teeth to crack.
Don’t use your teeth as a tool
Do you have a habit of cutting string or tearing wrappers with your teeth? Use scissors instead. Using your teeth as a tool can damage them.
Wear protective mouth gear
If you play sports, such as baseball, softball, or tennis, or if you’re into mountain biking or rock climbing, wear a mouthguard during these activities. It only takes one direct hit to send you to the dentist with a painful emergency. Your doctor at Healthy Smile Dental can provide a custom-made mouthguard that fits your mouth. You can also purchase mouthguards in drug stores, but those may not give you the fit you want.
If you don’t get enough of vitamins in your diet, your teeth or gums may be at risk. An easy way to ensure you’re getting your daily requirement is to take a multivitamin. Of course, eating a healthy diet is a key to good health overall as well.
To get expert dental care for you and your family, book an appointment online or over the phone with Healthy Smile Dental today.