Dental emergencies aren’t something we think about until AFTER it happens. A tooth chips, you have a popcorn kernel stuck, a filling loss or just tooth pain from not taking care of that cavity, you said you would take care but never did. It’s time to be proactive, not reactive when it comes to your oral health. While you go about your daily tasks, don’t forget to be cautious of your teeth and what they can handle. They might be strong, but they are susceptible to damage. Here are a couple tips and tricks to avoid those painful dental emergencies.
CAUTION… those are your teeth!
During the holidays, there are usually holiday parties, drinks and lots of sweets. While you’re enjoying a glass of wine or a sweet holiday candy be wary of the toll that it takes on your teeth. The glass or bottle hitting your teeth every time you have a drink can actually chip a tooth, especially if you have veneers on your front teeth.
Those sweets aren’t helping either. While we love those sugar-filled ribbon candies or that sweet and salty peanut brittle, we often forget to think about the dental disaster that can come with those. Between the sugar and the sticky candies, it can easily pull out a filling or even chip your tooth. Shoot for the softer sweets, chocolates, marshmallows, and fudges.
Your mouth is full of bacteria that are needed for healthy teeth and gums. Certain bacteria in the mouth feed off of sugars, which creates acid that destroys tooth enamel. Cavities are bacterial infections created by those acids. Without treatment, those cavities can progress past the enamel and penetrate into the deeper layers of your tooth, causing pain and possible tooth loss.
Instead of consuming a lot of sugar and alcohol, consider chewing sugarless gum or find another alternative that’s not as harmful to your teeth. At most holiday parties, there are usually vegetable or a fruit trays. Try substituting vegetables and fruits instead of the sugary snacks. These vegetables and fruits, especially if they are high in fiber, help create saliva, which helps keep your teeth strong. Cheese, yogurt and other dairy products contain calcium to help strengthen your teeth and are much better choices than hard candy and sugary sweets.
Don’t have an emergency dentist to help with your needs? Contact us today to set up an appointment to discover what we can offer you to help you keep your pearly whites looking spectacular!
Teeth To-Do Checklist:
- Brush your teeth: Do this daily, if possible brush twice a day. Add it to your daily routine in the morning and at night!
- Floss: It may seem like a hassle but your teeth will thank you for it later. Flossing after you eat is a MAJOR plus to help your gums and teeth out!
- Regular checkups: Almost all dentists advise their patients to have TWO checkups a year. Usually a 6 month in between period. So next time you check your schedule, pencil in a checkup.
Teeth are your friends, not your scissors.
Okay, we have all used our teeth at one point to rip something open. We become impatient and don’t take the extra two minutes to find a pair of scissors, however, those two minutes could make up for the time you will have to spend in the dentist office with a painful toothache from trying to open that hard plastic with your teeth. Can’t find a pair of scissors? No worries, there are other ways to be resourceful, try using your car keys, a knife, a can opener or letter opener. Using these hacks to get you through your day will help save you a trip to the dentist and keep your smile looking great!
Check your schedule
We all say we are too busy to make time for the dentist, but when it comes to dental care you should make time. Your teeth are just as important as the rest of your health. Oral health can affect the rest of your health if you don’t take care of it. So, the next time you go to check your schedule make sure to pencil in TWO dental checkups a year. Make this a resolution and give your dentist a call to book your TWO dental checkups for the upcoming year. Once you have those set just continue to make it that same time every year. Before you know it, this will be part of your schedule. Can’t be too busy for something that’s already part of your schedule, can you? Trust us, your teeth will be grateful for it and so will you!
Wear a mouthguard
Dental injuries can easily be prevented by wearing a properly fitted mouthguard. Some studies suggest that a properly fitted mouthguard may actually reduce the severity of a concussion as well as dental injuries.
Most experts recommend that mouthguards be worn by athletes in competitive sports where contact occurs. The American Dental Association recommends wearing custom mouthguards for the following sports: acrobats, basketball, boxing, field hockey, football, gymnastics, handball, ice hockey, lacrosse, martial arts, racquetball, roller hockey, rugby, shot putting, skateboarding, skiing, skydiving, soccer, squash, surfing, volleyball, water polo, weightlifting and wrestling. They also recommend that the mouthguard is worn during all practices.
So how do you know if you are selecting the correct mouthguard? To start, there are three types of mouthguards to choose from:
- A ready-made mouthguard (preformed)
- A mouth-formed mouthguard (usually heated up and formed to fit your mouth)
- A custom-made mouthguard made by a dentist (created by a professional to protect your mouth)
These mouthguards vary in price and comfort, but all provide protection. According to the American Dental Association, the most effective mouthguards are comfortable, resistant to tearing and can bounce back into shape after being obstructed. A mouthguard should fit properly, be durable and be easily cleaned. Mouthguards should not limit speech or breathing.
It is important to remember damaged teeth do not grow back. Protect your teeth by wearing a mouthguard when engaging in contact sports.
Give Up Smoking
Smoking cigarettes have been proven to be detrimental to your health, but it’s also really bad for your teeth. Statistics show that smokers are up to six times more likely to develop gum disease than non-smokers because of the horrendous effects smoking has on their body’s immune system.
Gum disease is initiated by the buildup of bacteria in plaque, which is the sticky white substance that accumulates on the teeth when they are not properly cleaned. The bacteria cause the gums to become inflamed and they begin to push away from the teeth. At the same time, the bone that holds the teeth in place is slowly destroyed so that over a period of time, teeth may become loose and fall out, or even worse, need to be removed.
Gum disease is usually painless and usually only discovered with a visit to the dentist. The progression of gum disease can often be prevented by a good, daily oral routine, mixed with preventive care by a dentist and oral hygienist.
So, kick the habit as soon as you can to improve your overall health, prevent gum disease and save your beautiful smile.
Have a dental emergency?
Contact us today to set up an appointment! Our emergency dental services include an abscessed tooth, root canals, bridges, fillings, swollen jaw, crowns, broken teeth and more. We accept most insurance, cash, debit and credit cards and we also have financing options available too!
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.