These Tips can Help You Avoid Common Dental Emergencies

Many dental emergencies can’t be anticipated, such as being in a sports or car accident that knocks out or breaks a tooth.

But sports injuries can be prevented by always wearing a customized mouthguard created by Dr. Cluff (OTC ones are not sufficient protection), even if it is “just playing non-contact games with friends.” If you do have a tooth knocked out, rinse the area with saltwater and try to put it back into the socket or keep it in milk until your dentist or an urgent care doctor can be seen. You can manage the pain with aspirin or ibuprofen until then.

What to do with Chipped or Fractured Teeth

If a tooth is seriously chipped or fractured it should be initially treated the same way as above and use Dentemp from a drug store to temporarily protect the area. Put a cold compress on that area of your face for 15 minutes and alternate taking it off and putting it on for a couple of hours to prevent swelling, as well as avoid chewing on that area for a few days.

Dental Emergencies can be Avoided

In fact, though, most dental emergencies can be avoided simply by taking care of your oral health to prevent crises from happening. That means:

°Brushing for a full two minutes with a soft brush or an electric one thoroughly after breakfast (since oral bacteria accumulate overnight) and dinner (when you should floss carefully). This will prevent plaque, the sticky bacterial film that forms around food particles that are not cleaned off, from developing and eventually pulling the gums away from their support for teeth, causing them to fall out.

°Brushing and flossing right will also prevent cavities, so if you are uncertain about the proper way to do this, ask your dentist or dental hygienist to show you. If a filling falls out, the nerves of the tooth will be exposed and this can be painful. You can use the traditional solution of coating the area with clove oil to numb it until you can come into our office for a new filling.

°Your hygienist can do a much better job in cleaning your teeth and gums, not only because she has special tools and training, but she can reach into the back areas and your upper arch better than you can trying to see them in the mirror. She can also clean under the gum line as needed and inject an antibiotic where there is inflammation.  It is recommended that you have a professional cleaning at least twice a year. This will help prevent periodontal (gum) disease and avoid emergencies like the need to have an infected (abscessed) tooth extracted.

Be sure to have a physical exam by Dr. Cluff at least once a year, including a digital x-ray (which involves minimal radiation), if she needs to check for hidden cavities or determine the health of your jawbone. She will also look for signs that you are grinding your teeth and need them repaired and protected from further damage. If you have not had a full exam in a while, call today to set an appointment.