You probably ever expect a dental emergency to happen to you, but someone visits a hospital ER every 15 seconds for oral health concerns. 1 in 6 Americans experience a dental emergency annually. You might be surprised to learn they aren’t always caused by accidents or injuries. Instead, they often result from preventable issues, like tooth decay. You can safeguard your smile using 5 tips to prevent dental emergencies.
1. Commit to Your Home Oral Hygiene
Did you know 91% of adults have cavities and 50% of Americans have gum disease? Both are leading causes of tooth loss if left untreated. Your oral hygiene is your first line of defense to preserve your smile and lessen your risk of toothaches or infections. Brush at least twice daily and floss nightly to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
2. Don’t Delay Dental Care
Besides brushing and flossing, visit your dentist every 6 months for a cleaning and checkup. They’ll monitor your oral health to look for any concerns for quick diagnosis and treatment. This ensures minor issues don’t turn into big problems down the road. It’s best not to delay any treatments recommended by your dentist to avoid a dental emergency.
3. Break Bad Oral Habits
If you have a habit of chewing on your fingernails or ripping open a bag of chips with your teeth, you’re placing your smile at risk of a dental emergency. Your teeth are strong, but they aren’t indestructible. Using your teeth as tools or chewing on inedible objects can cause chips, breaks, and other damage.
4. Wear an Athletic Mouthguard
Athletes are 60 times more likely to have a dental emergency if they aren’t wearing a mouthguard. One-third of oral injuries are sports-related. An athletic mouthguard is a simple solution to protect your smile. The Academy of General Dentistry reports that they prevent more than 200,000 dental injuries annually.
5. Live a Healthy Lifestyle
Lifestyle habits can affect your dental health, like your diet. Eat nutritious meals and limit your sugar consumption. If you smoke or use tobacco, break the habits to lessen your risk of cavities, gum disease, and oral cancer. Your dentist will also recommend moderating how often you drink alcohol.
Don’t Wait to Contact Your Dentist
Even with a proactive approach, dental emergencies can still occur. If the unexpected should happen, don’t wait to see a dentist. Time is of the utmost importance. If you wait too long, you might lose your tooth. Contact your dentist right away and explain the situation. They’ll get you into the office quickly to address any pain and restore your smile, so you can get back to enjoying your day.
About Dr. Richard Derksen
Dr. Derksen achieved his dental degree from Boston University and continued his education for 3 years to become board certified in prosthodontics. He has also completed advanced education at the Seattle Study Club and SPEAR Education. If you need a reputable dentist in a hurry, contact our office today for an appointment.