Emergencies are unexpected by definition. No one walks down the street on a typical workday thinking that they will get injured in a freak accident. While dental emergencies cannot be anticipated under normal circumstances, there are a few habits that can dramatically reduce your chances of having an oral health crisis. Here are a few tips that will maximize your chances of not having a dental emergency any time soon.
Practice Excellent Dental Hygiene
You need to take care of your teeth if you want them to stay healthy and strong. A proper daily oral hygiene regimen will clean your teeth, kill the bacteria that can hurt them, and leave your breath fresh and minty. An excellent oral hygiene routine includes:
- Brushing your teeth twice a day, once in the morning and once before bed. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, brush the exterior surfaces of your teeth using short, gentle, circular strokes. Be sure to brush your gums, tongue, and the inside of your cheeks as well. Each brushing session should last for about two minutes. This will eliminate most of the plaque and food debris from your teeth.
- Flossing every day. Flossing is just as important as brushing because it can eliminate plaque and food debris in the spaces between teeth where a toothbrush cannot reach. Cut off a length of floss, slide it between a pair of teeth, and pull it against either side using upward, downward, and side-to-side motions. You should do this at least once a day, preferably before bed.
- Rinsing with antibacterial mouthwash every day. This will kill more than 99% of the germs that cause tooth decay and gum disease and leave your mouth feeling fresh and minty.
Wear a Mouthguard When Appropriate
It’s important to get exercise, but contact sports and riding a bike carry risks of dental injury. The best way to prevent your teeth from getting hurt while you’re working up a sweat is to wear a mouthguard. Your dentist can provide you with a custom-made mouthguard that will provide your mouth with the best protection around. You should also wear a mouthguard to bed if you grind your teeth at night.
Watch What You Eat
Many popular foods and beverages in America can be harmful to your teeth. Sugary and acidic items like soda, sports drinks, hot sauce, candy, and fruit juice can provide harmful bacteria with the sustenance they need to multiply and wreak havoc on your teeth. Starchy foods like breads, potatoes, chips, French fries, and the like may not be particularly sweet, but they can break down into the same sugars that can harm your teeth. Consume these items in moderation and be sure to drink plenty of water when you do to help wash away sugary residues and food debris.
To complete the shield of protection around your teeth, keep up with your biannual dental appointments. Your dentist can provide you with professional advice on better oral hygiene while catching and addressing problems in their early stages before they can cause major damage. If you take good care of your teeth, you can expect them to be happy and healthy for a lifetime.
About the Author
Dr. Sam Antoon earned his DMD at the Southern Illinois University’s School of Dental Medicine before attending a one-year Graduate Practice Residency. He is a proud member of the American Dental Association, the Texas Dental Association, and the Fourth District Dental Society. His office in Plano, TX offers family, restorative, cosmetic, and emergency dentistry. For more information on protecting your teeth from illness and injury, contact his office online or dial (972) 640-6229.