5 Tips to Prevent Dental Emergencies

Aug 08, 2022

5 Tips to Prevent Dental Emergencies

Dental emergencies range from things like broken or knocked out teeth to abscesses or extreme temperature sensitivities. Any of these can cause severe pain outside typical dentists’ office hours. Here’s what you can do to prevent these events.

There’s a long list of conditions that might result in a dental emergency — a situation where you need immediate care to save teeth or relieve severe pain. Accidents are a common cause, but emergencies can stem from such seemingly innocuous circumstances as eating things requiring excess force or even neglecting regular dental care. 

The team at Los Altos Family Smiles specializes in emergency dentistry, and we’ll always try to accommodate you when an urgent problem arises. As with many health issues, preventing an emergency is better than experiencing one. Though it’s not possible to avoid every dental problem, we’ve assembled five tips to reduce the risk of emergencies. 

1. Regular dental visits

Those twice-yearly dental visits are more than just cleaning and polishing. You receive a comprehensive full-mouth examination that identifies potential problem spots. You may have tiny cracks or chips of which you’re not aware. These can’t hide from diagnostic imaging, giving your dentist the opportunity to suggest a solution now, before a dental emergency happens. And without that dental cleaning, plaque soon gains an upper hand. It can contribute to gum disease and tooth infections if left unchecked. 

2. Personal dental hygiene

Brushing and flossing work in tandem with dental cleanings to avoid cavities, tooth damage, and infection. Food debris serves as an ideal host environment for harmful bacteria in your mouth. Together, they form plaque, which sticks to teeth and hardens into calculus. This can penetrate under the gums, creating pockets for bacteria that can’t be reached by brush or floss. Daily oral care reduces the speed at which these bacterial threats emerge. 

3. Protective equipment

While accidents can always happen, certain situations increase the risk of damage to your teeth and gums. When they’re predictable, such as with sports participation, using the right protective equipment keeps your mouth safe, even when the worst happens. Helmets and face shields work for football and ice hockey, and virtually every sport benefits from the use of a custom-fitted mouthguard. We can help you select the right oral appliance for your needs. 

4. Risky foods

Hard candy, popcorn, and ice can all cause tooth breakage under the right circumstances. Any food that puts excess strain on your teeth is a potential risk when you bite into it. Fast eating may be part of the problem. Popcorn itself isn’t a problem until you bite down on an unpopped kernel. Hard candies are meant to dissolve, and ice just isn’t safe to chew. By extension, don’t use your teeth as tools to bite through tape, string, or materials. 

5. Healthy diet

You can chew on things that are good for your teeth. A balanced diet full of nutrients like vitamins A, B complex, and C promote gum health and protect against gum disease. Calcium and vitamin D help to strengthen and stabilize your teeth. Combined with reduced amounts of sugar and strongly acidic foods, your diet helps your overall wellness, including oral health. 

When a dental emergency does occur, contact Los Altos Family Smiles immediately at 650-948-5355. For less urgent concerns, book an appointment by phone or online. We’re always ready to help you make the most of your smile.