Throughout your everyday life, you may find yourself in circumstances where your dental health is a concern. In fact, 62% of adults aged 18-64 visited the dentist in 2014, and not only for routine visits. Other reasons could be from a sports accident, hard food, or even the result of bad habits. What can you do in these circumstances? Call your dentist, of course! However, there are other actions to take that can help in aiding, or even preventing the need for emergency dental services.
How can you improve your dental health? Here are 10 things you should know:
Knocked Out Tooth
It may surprise you, but a knocked out tooth is not a goner. It’s important to handle with care. If you’re able, set the tooth back in the gum socket and bite on a piece of wet gauze to help keep it in place. Be sure not to swallow it!
Not able to get the tooth back in place? Rinse off any dirt and keep it in a glass of cold milk, or even your saliva. This will keep it safe during the journey to your dentist.
Mouthguards Are Important
The best thing is to prevent the injury before it happens. Participating in some kind of sport? No matter how “low-impact” or innocent it seems, be sure to wear a mouthguard. This piece of rubber or plastic could be just the barrier you need to protect your teeth, gums and mouth from damage or trauma. The truth is, the use of a mouthguard could prevent more than 200,000 oral injuries each year. It’s an investment that pays for itself many times over.
Pay Attention to Food
This doesn’t just mean to cut back on the sugary treats (although, you probably should). Your teeth aren’t as durable as you may think. The slightest pressure at the right angle can crack and damage a tooth, even if it’s something as seemingly harmless as food. Take care not to bite through hard candies, ice or anything else that seems a little difficult to bite through. These types of food could cause harm.
Don’t Ignore the Pain
Many people crack or chip a tooth at some point in their life, and sometimes you may not even notice it happening. However, there are certain signals to look out for if you notice or feel like an incident may have occurred.
There are a few types of dental pain that may happen either when drinking something hot/cold, or during/after chewing food. Or you may feel pain all the time. If this is the case, you not only have chipped a tooth, but have also caused nerve or blood vessel damage. For either of these, it is important to go see your dentist. However, the latter is of the most importance and needs immediate attention, so consider visiting an emergency dentist!
Did you know tooth breaks are actually the second most common type of dental issue? Although this may seem to be the same as a crack or chip, they are actually two different things. And a broken tooth should be handled with more care and attention. It’s important to see your dental health care professional as soon as possible, so they can assess the damage and fix any possible nerve damage. To help keep the tooth safe, remember to rinse your mouth, stop any bleeding and apply a cold pack to reduce any swelling.
Invest in a Good Toothbrush
If your toothbrush that has strong bristles, you need be careful as it’s easy to brush too hard, leading to enamel loss and receding gums. You don’t need to invest in a fancy electric toothbrush to have great oral hygiene. Look for a toothbrush that has softer bristles than the traditional ones. Colgate makes a brush, the Colgate® 360® Enamel Health®, that is perfect for brushing and has softer bristles to protect your teeth and gums.
Remember to Floss
According to Colgate, 27% of US adults lie about how often they floss their teeth. This step may be easily skipped, but it’s the only way to get food out from in between your teeth. If you leave it in there too long, the food will turn into plaque and it will be difficult to remove. You should floss right before bed to remove any build up from the day. If you create a habit of flossing, your overall oral health will greatly improve.
If you ever experience bad breath (like most have), it’s most likely due to excess bacteria buildup in your mouth. A great way to combat this is to use an antibacterial mouthwash to remove the build up and protect your teeth. Antibacterial mouthwashes will further cleanse your mouth and clean in between the crevices of your teeth that may have been missed by your toothbrush and floss.
Drink Tap Water
Drinking the suggested amount of water each day has many benefits to your body, not to mention your mouth. It’s suggested that you attempt to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. When you hydrate regularly, you combat overeating, keep your body hydrated and because most tap water contains fluoride, you are protecting your teeth as well. In fact, The American Dental Association says that fluoride added to public tap water helps prevent tooth decay and the CDC proclaimed adding fluoride to public water is “one of the great public health achievements of the 20th century.” Grab a water bottle that tracks your water intake like this one.
Eat a Balanced Diet and Limit Sugar Intake
Eating a balanced diet and limiting your sugar intake will improve your overall body health, but also improve your oral health as well. Consuming fresh fruits, whole grains, green vegetables, lean meats, cheese and dry beans are all the best choices for a healthy body and mouth.
When you consume too much sugar, processed foods, etc., these are all poor choices for your body and will impact how your body protects itself. You won’t be actively working to protect your mouth and this can lead to poor gum and teeth health. Limiting your intake of these substances will greatly improve your oral health and will make visiting the dentist for a cleaning less abrasive.
If seeing your dentist is not an immediate option, make sure you take pain relievers and keep the tooth piece.
Are you in the need of emergency dental services? Contact Emergency Dental so we can help you be your old self again!
Dr. Roberto Monteagudo is an expert in advanced dentistry, full mouth reconstruction, neuromuscular dentistry and sedation dentistry. He attended the Las Vegas Institute of Advanced Dental Studies from 1999 to 2006 and graduated from Marquette University, School of Dentistry in 1990. Dr. Monteagudo speaks frequently throughout the Wisconsin area on advancements in dentistry and patient education. Dr. Roberto Monteagudo lives in Milwaukee with his lovely wife, Gina, and their seven children whom they make a top priority. He also enjoys outdoor activities and is deeply committed to giving back to his community through charitable events. His warmth and caring combined with his commitment to patient comfort through sedation dentistry, leading edge, gentle, and non-invasive technologies is the reason that his patients travel long distances to see him.