The best way to prevent your teeth from becoming decayed or damaged by a dental emergency is to make sure there’s no emergency to begin with. While it’s impossible to fully eliminate the risk of damaging your teeth, there are some precautionary measures you can take to keep your smile much safer. Dr. Johnson can offer you plenty of advice for protecting your pearly whites. If worst still comes to worst despite your best efforts, though, don’t hesitate to contact us for prompt and caring emergency treatment.
Cavities don’t always hurt in the early stages, but they can quickly spiral into a monster of a toothache if the decay reaches the sensitive pulp in the center of the tooth. Naturally, cutting down on sugar can drastically reduce this risk. It’s perfectly fine to indulge from time to time, but be sure to consume these things in moderation. Sipping sugary beverages through a straw can minimize direct contact with the teeth. Try to brush your teeth after eating or drinking these items, but if you can’t, at least swish some water around in your mouth.
Don’t bite down on anything that’s very hard, like peppermints or nut shells, as this could result in broken teeth. Similarly, you should also avoid using your teeth to open packages, hold bags of groceries, and chewing on inedible objects such as pen caps.
Contact sports like martial arts or football carry a high risk of mouth injuries that could result in a tooth getting loosened or even knocked out entirely. To protect your smile from injury, wear a mouthguard whenever you engage in this sort of activity.
Your teeth might also be at risk for damage while you’re asleep. Many people suffer from bruxism (unconscious teeth grinding or jaw clenching that often happens while sleeping). This can wear down or weaken your enamel. Wearing a nightguard to bed can provide cushioning between your top and bottom teeth, avoiding this problem.
If you go even 12 hours without brushing and flossing, plaque in your mouth hardens into tartar. Because you can’t get rid of tartar by yourself (only a dental professional can remove it), the bacteria in it have ample time to damage your teeth and gums by causing painful infections. To prevent this, brush twice a day for two minutes a time, taking care to clean every surface of each tooth. Flossing daily can remove plaque from hard-to-reach areas.
Also, be sure to attend a dental checkup and cleaning at least twice a year. Not only do cleanings remove built-up plaque and tartar, but regular exams allow Dr. Johnson to spot and treat problem areas before they have the chance to spiral into full-blown emergencies.