Dental emergencies are often very painful and expensive to treat. A suddenly cracked tooth (or the occurrence of nerve damage) can cause a lot of discomfort before you can see an emergency dentist.
In addition, a tooth being knocked out of your mouth can cause bleeding and infection in neighbouring teeth. While emergencies are not always preventable, there are simple steps you can take to keep your teeth safe on a daily basis.
It starts with watching what you eat
Dietary choices play an important role in the overall health of your teeth. While some foods help keep your teeth and gums healthy, others can wear down the enamel, loosen your teeth and cause infections.
Here are some bad eating practices you should avoid whenever possible.
Chewing ice cubes or other cold foods
Eating cold foods once in a while can be refreshing, especially on a hot, sunny day. However, avoid the habit of chewing on ice cubes, ice cream or hard candy. Chewing on cold foods can affect your nerve endings and gradually cause tooth decay.
In addition, chewing hard candy can wear down the enamel and cause your teeth to gradually become loose in their sockets. This increases the risk of a dental emergency, as loose teeth can easily become infected.
Instead, focus on eating foods rich in proteins, vitamins and minerals (such as calcium). These foods strengthen your teeth and reduce the likelihood of dental emergencies.
Opening hard items with your teeth
Another common habit to avoid is opening cans, soda bottles, and other items using your teeth. The pressure exerted on your teeth can eventually cause nerve damage and throbbing toothaches.
Don't skip your dental appointments!
It's recommended that you visit your dentist at least twice a year. Regular checkups allow your dentist to identify cavities, tooth decay and gum infections at an early stage.
Take precautions when playing contact sports
Staying active is healthy for your entire body. However, if you play contact sports such as football and basketball, it's best to keep a mouthguard on.
A mouthguard absorbs the impact that your teeth may suffer when someone's elbow or boot comes in contact with your mouth. Also, make sure the mouthguard fits your teeth comfortably to avoid sores.
Brushing twice a day keeps the doctor away
Basic dental hygiene is more important than most people think. Make sure you brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss as required by your dentist and avoid eating sugar-rich foods right before you sleep.
You should also have your dentist's emergency contact on speed dial in case an unpreventable emergency occurs.