5 Ways To Prevent Dental Emergencies
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In our last post, we shared some of the common kinds of dental emergencies. Of course, as a holistic dental practice, we believe prevention is always the best medicine. Here are some tips from our Team at Prescott Dentistry on how to prevent dental emergencies while you’re stuck at home and unable to come in for routine cleanings:
1. Practice consistent oral care.
The easiest and most effective way to avoid unnecessary dental emergencies is to practice good and consistent oral hygiene. Regular brushing and flossing will keep your mouth clean and prevent cavities that can lead to serious complications if left untreated. While this is always true, it is especially important right now. For a guide to proper flossing technique, see this post. Now is the perfect time to make sure you’re getting it right!
2. Avoid sugary and acidic foods and drinks.
When we’re stressed we often reach for more sugary and acidic drinks like soda. We all know that sugar is bad for our teeth, but what you may not know is that acidity softens the tooth enamel, which makes teeth sensitive and more susceptible to decay. Beverages that are high in both acid and sugar have the potential to be exceptionally damaging.
We know that it’s not always realistic to completely avoid the foods and drinks that you love, especially during times of stress. So if you do need to occasionally enjoy drinks that are particularly acidic or sugary, using a straw will reduce the amount of contact they have with your teeth. And while it might seem counterintuitive, you should avoid brushing your teeth immediately after you drink any of these harmful beverages—brushing enamel that’s been softened by your beverage could actually cause more harm than good. Wait 30 minutes after drinking before brushing your teeth. Drinking water is also important!
3. Chew mindfully.
Sticky substances cling to tooth enamel and encourage tooth decay, and thick candies like caramel and taffy can even pull out fillings. Eat these sweets sparingly—if you must indulge— and be sure to eat them with other foods to help keep the treats from sticking to your teeth.
Crunching on ice or hard candy can lead to cracked or chipped teeth, which are painful and expensive to fix. If you’re enjoying a hard candy let it dissolve naturally, rather than chewing it. The best option is to avoid these items altogether as ice can also cause discomfort for sensitive teeth, and hard candies contribute to tooth decay.
4. Protect your pearly whites.
You probably aren’t participating in too many contact sports these days, while we are all practicing social distancing. But it’s still important to protect your teeth while playing with the kids in the backyard because accidents can happen just like that. If you have a mouthguard, it would be a good idea to use it during any rough play. This is especially important for kids, who may be more likely to damage newly developed adult teeth.
If you grind your teeth at night, be sure to wear a mouthguard. Bruxism, or teeth grinding, can lead to chipping or cracking of the teeth.
5. Don’t use your teeth as a tool!
It can be tempting to open things like bottles and snack packages with your teeth, especially for children. But this will cause the enamel to weaken over time and could cause cracking or damage to the teeth. Remind your kids to ask for help with opening packages.
Stay Healthy and Safe!
We hope these tips on how to prevent dental emergencies will help protect your mouth while you are practicing social distancing during this COVID-19 outbreak. Our team at Prescott Dentistry looks forward to seeing all of our clients for routine preventative dental care soon. In the meantime, stay healthy and safe and please do give us a call if you need emergency dental care!