As an adult, you only get one set of teeth for the rest of your life. In the days before modern dental care services, tooth loss often made it challenging to properly chew food. It also often led to health and nutritional issues.
Today, we know that proper oral care can hold the key to your overall well-being. Taking your dental health seriously can help prevent more significant complications such as heart disease and diabetes.
Good dental health is something most people take for granted. Many will not do anything about a small problem until it becomes a persistent and typically more severe issue.
That said, we should do what we can to avoid having a dental emergency, which can be the outcome of not taking good care of your oral health.
What situations constitute a dental emergency that require immediate medical attention and are potentially life-threatening?
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), some tell-tale signs include uncontrolled bleeding, severe pain, or significant infection.
Now that you better understand why you should avoid or at least minimize your risk of having a dental emergency, here are some ways of achieving that goal.
The best, but certainly not sure-fire, way to avoid a dental emergency is to practice good dental hygiene.
You should brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Some individuals also clean their teeth or rinse their mouths after a meal.
When brushing, be sure to spend an adequate amount of time on the task instead of rushing through.
You want the surface of each tooth to be thoroughly cleaned. Two minutes or so of brushing should do the trick.
Beyond being a good practice for your general health, sticking to a healthy diet will significantly help your dental health as well.
Cut down your consumption of sugary foods and drinks as they can increase the acidity in your mouth.
An increase in sugars is used by the natural bacteria in your mouth as fuel, with a weak acid as its by-product.
This can damage your tooth enamel, stripping it of essential minerals and weakening it overall. Severe instances of these acid attacks will cause cavities.
A good rule of thumb to follow when it comes to toothbrush replacement is two to three months. However, you are free to use your judgment.
If you feel like your toothbrush is looking worn, you should get a new one. If you use an electric brush, the toothbrush heads typically have an indicator, which helps remind you of when to change it.
Using a worn-out toothbrush is less effective in cleaning your teeth. There is no point to skimp on paying a few dollars for a new toothbrush when it can help to prevent a bigger disaster down the road.
Other than keeping your dentist from nagging you, flossing is good interdental care. Cleaning between your teeth means that you are ensuring taking care of more of the entire tooth.
Doing so will also help to lessen your risk of getting tooth decay and gum disease. Besides floss, you can also use an interdental brush, soft pick, or Waterpik.
You probably see more of other people’s teeth than your own, but you should also put some effort into tracking the condition of your mouth.
Observing your teeth, gums, and mouth tissues can help to identify the underlying problem. If you experience any pain, it is a huge sign that something is wrong. Never ignore it and hope that it goes away.
A severe tooth infection can destroy your tooth nerves, which will present as the pain going away.
However, this does not mean that the infection is gone. You will still need professional treatment to deal with it.
Most people actively prevent harm from coming to their teeth by practicing simple acts such as wearing a seatbelt when in a vehicle.
You can also limit the risk to your teeth by wearing a mouthguard during sports activities. Many dental injuries are caused when playing sports.
These can quickly be decreased by using a mouthguard, which is comfortable and does not obstruct breathing.
It helps to be well acquainted with your dentist. Avoiding dental emergencies does not mean cutting down on visits to your dentist. Instead, it is ideal to have a standing appointment once or twice every year. Be sure that your dentist is a qualified health professional and the clinic has your information ready on file.