No one likes to think about dangerous accidents or emergency situations, but the fact is, responsible people have to pay attention to being safe and being prepared, because accidents do happen.
So, whether you’re a parent, a caregiver for an older adult, or you just want to be safe and save yourself some money, you’ll want to learn how you can avoid urgent dental care issues through safety and prevention.
Since most urgent dental care issues stem from preventable damage to the teeth, such as through trauma, safety plays a large role in avoiding these costly and painful situations.
To the extent you’re able, avoid situations that could put your teeth at risk. That includes:
- Using your teeth as a bottle cap opener (or any other kind of tool they’re not meant to be).
- Chewing on very hard, cold, or sharp objects (ice cubes, cherry pits, and very hard candy often appear on the list of items prompting emergency room visits.)
- Playing contact sports without appropriate safety gear (including mouthguard AND helmet).
Take the appropriate safety measures to ensure your face and head are protected whenever you’re doing anything that could be dangerous. Whether that means wearing a face shield while working with power tools, or buckling your seatbelt in the car, you’re protecting more than just your teeth. And, you’re saving yourself a lot of pain and suffering, should anything unexpected happen.
Strengthen your teeth ahead of time
While good oral health isn’t going to protect your teeth from all serious accidental trauma, it can do a great deal to strengthen your teeth against normal wear and tear, and guard against other issues that can lead to unexpected dental emergencies.
By brushing and flossing your teeth daily, you remove sticky plaque and the millions of bacteria that take up residence in your mouth. Those bacteria are constantly feasting on the microscopic sugars and food particles that are naturally left coating your teeth after every bite of food or swallow of drink (other than water.) As those bacteria feed, they excrete acid, and it’s that acid — held in place by plaque — that eats into teeth to cause cavities. Likewise, the bacteria themselves can creep below the gumline and cause an infection that can lead to gum diseases like gingivitis.
Keeping your mouth clean through excellent self-care habits, like brushing and flossing regularly, reduces your chances of getting cavities or developing gum disease. Over the long term, that means your teeth are stronger and healthier, and therefore more capable of handling the occasional hard piece of candy or basketball to the face.
Another vital piece to the puzzle is regular, semi-annual visits to the dentist. Not only will your dentist be able to perform a professional cleaning (which is far more in-depth than your daily brushing), but the combination of X-rays and an educated visual examination. This will help identify any issues early so they can be treated and resolved long before they become urgent or emergency matters.
Admittedly, this last point is a tough one for some people to swallow because dental care can cost a lot and dental insurance isn’t always available or affordable. If that’s a situation you face routinely, consider joining the Dental Solutions discount program for up to 50% off your semi-annual cleaning and examination at any participating dentist.