How to prevent an oral health emergency
Accidents happen, but you can do a lot to prevent serious dental emergencies such as knocked-out teeth, fractured jaw bones or facial lacerations. Follow these simple precautions to protect yourself against oral health emergencies.
Wear a mouthguard for sports
Mouthguards are a relatively inexpensive way to protect your teeth, tongue, mouth and cheek from damage when participating in recreational sports or other activities where an accident could cause trauma to your face.
When choosing a mouthguard, there are three options:
- An over the counter mouthguard from your local pharmacy or sporting goods store is better than nothing. One-size-fits-all mouthguards tend to be bulky and prone to slide out of place.
- Boil and bite mouthguards fit your teeth better but still won’t be the exact right size for your bite.
- Mouthguards custom-made by a dental professional are ideal for active people. They are the most comfortable, longest lasting and provide the best protection.
Upgrade to a helmet with a facemask
Wearing a helmet is vital for protecting your head in a variety of sporting activities but not all helmets are created equal. More and more sports helmets are now available with facemasks or other extensions to protect your mouth and jaw.
Wear your seatbelt
Automobile accidents are a major cause of facial trauma and oral health emergencies, especially for those wearing seatbelts incorrectly or not at all. Always buckle up no matter how short the trip.
Proper oral health care
Day to day oral health routines are your first line of defense against oral health emergencies. Brushing, flossing, rinsing and eating a balanced diet protect your teeth and keep the soft tissues in your mouth strong and healthy.
Don’t skip treatment
A great many dental emergencies are caused by failing to follow your dentist’s treatment recommendations. Left untreated, non-emergency issues such as cavities, small cracks and minor gum disease can turn into serious problems, such as abscesses, infections, broken teeth and more. Fix dental issues before they turn into more serious oral health problems.