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How to Prevent Dental Emergencies

Tips to Help You Avert Dental Disaster

In some cases, dental emergencies are inevitable — but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try your best to reduce your odds of facing one. To help you protect your smile from an oral health crisis, we’ve put together this simple and practical guide. The advice on this page will promote your long-term oral health and decrease the chances that your teeth will suffer a sudden trauma.

close-up of healthy smile

Be Careful What You Eat

making healthy food choices

Dental decay is one of the leading causes of dental emergencies. If a cavity remains untreated for too long, it can penetrate into a tooth’s inner layers and cause pain. To prevent that from happening to you, you should eat a tooth-friendly diet that has a low risk of causing cavities. For example, you should limit the amount of sugar and acid that you consume. It’s also important that you take in enough nutrients, such as calcium and vitamin D in a very healthy diet.

Maintain Excellent Oral Hygiene

oral hygiene tools

Your diet can go a long way toward preventing decay, but oral hygiene is also vital. Brushing twice a day, and flossing once a day, gets rid of plaque buildup on the teeth. It’s important that you use proper brushing and flossing technique (your dental hygienist can coach you if you are unsure of what to do). Biannual dental cleanings are also key because only professional instruments can remove tartar from teeth (tartar is the hardened form of plaque).

Use Your Teeth Only for Their Intended Purpose

woman eating carrot

It might be tempting to use your teeth to open packages, take the tags off of new clothes, or trim your fingernails — but habits like that pose the threat of breaking your teeth. You might find it beneficial to carry a small multi-tool with you so you don’t have to resort to using your teeth. Also bear in mind that teeth should not be used to chew on extremely hard foods, like ice, nuts and popcorn kernels.

Get Some Added Protection

female athlete with mouthguard

If you like to play sports, even non-contact sports, it would be wise to invest in a custom mouthguard. Not only will the mouthguard reduce the risk of injury to your teeth and gums, but it can also reduce your risk of concussion. You may also benefit from added protection if you grind your teeth at night. A nightguard can place a barrier between your teeth and prevent damage from nighttime clenching and grinding.

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