Dental emergencies can be scary and painful. Most often, these emergencies are a result of an unexpected accident, but other times they can be avoided by taking certain preventive measures. Join your dentist in Sparks as we share some easy ways you can reduce your risk of a dental emergency.
- Don’t Chew on Anything That’s Not Food. Our teeth are meant to help us chew and digest our food. But that doesn’t mean we should chew on non-food items. Nibbling on pen caps, pencils, fingernails, or other foreign objects can increase your risk of chipping or cracking a tooth, breaking a tooth, or injuring the soft tissues in your mouth. If it’s not food, keep it out of your mouth.
- Be Careful With the Food You Chew. So, even though we talked about how your teeth are specifically designed to help us chew our food, some foods can also increase the risk of tooth damage. Be careful when snacking on popcorn, hard fruits or vegetables, and even nuts. These foods are tough to chew, and if you catch a popcorn kernel or bite into a tough nut when you’re not expecting it, you can easily crack or chip a tooth or dental restoration. Lastly, avoid crunching on ice cubes. These frozen blocks are notorious for creating chips, cracks, and fractures in teeth.
- Choose Water. Water is the best beverage to both hydrate our bodies and to keep our oral health in tip-top shape. Other beverages such as soft drinks, fruit juices, and sports drinks may seem refreshing, but they are packed with sugar and acid. These two ingredients are a particularly bad combination for your teeth as they can both contribute to decay and weakened enamel.
- Avoid Tobacco. All forms of tobacco, including cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco damage teeth and can not only increase the likelihood of experiencing a dental emergency, but they can also cause long-term, serious complications to both your oral health and overall health. Tobacco users tend to be at greater risk of oral cancer, gum disease, and even tooth loss.
- Limit Your Snack Times. Snacking can be good for you, but constantly snacking can be dangerous to your oral health. When we snack multiple times throughout the day, we’re continuously introducing food particles into our mouths. Why is this concerning to your dentist in Sparks? Well, more food particles in your mouth mean more bacteria. And a constant stream of foodstuffs regularly fuels the bacteria and keeps them active. As a result, the bacteria are constantly releasing an acidic byproduct, increasing your risk of decay and cavities.
Following the tips above won’t guarantee the prevention of a dental emergency, but they can help lower the risk and keep your mouth healthy. Of course, making sure to follow a strict oral hygiene routine at home is also important to protect your smile. Brushing twice a day, floss once a day, and see your dentist in Sparks regularly.*
If you think you may have a dental emergency, call your dentist to determine the best course of action for your specific needs.
*At the time of publishing, the ADA has recommended the postponement of all preventive dental appointments. Please check your local recommendations.
Your dentist in Sparks will tell you that there are many reasons why a filling becomes loose or comes completely out. Let’s take a look at some common causes, and some tips you can use to help you feel more comfortable until you can see the dentist and get your filling fixed.
Why Do Fillings Fall Out?
Sometimes we put a lot of pressure on our teeth when we chew. This can cause a restoration to weaken and fall out. Also, as time wears on, your saliva can eat away at or loosen the bonding your Sparks dentist used to secure your filling. Sometimes the tooth that houses your restorative filling becomes subject to decay and deterioration. Other times fillings simply fall out because we bite down on something hard like a candy or popcorn kernel. Whatever the reason for your failing filling, be sure to have it fixed as soon as possible. Your tooth will be exposed to bacteria and unwanted food particles, causing sensitivity and even decay down the road.
What Should I Do Now?
First things first, give our Sparks dental office a call. If you’re unable to do that or get to the office right away, we have some tips to help you with your failed filling.
Tip #1 – If your filling didn’t fall out entirely or is loose, see if you can get it out — gently. If it stays in, there’s a chance you could swallow it or even choke.
Tip #2 – Your unfilled tooth is a welcoming environment for harmful bacteria to make a home and destroy your tooth. Be sure to brush gently and carefully. Rinse with water to make sure you’re removing any debris. Saltwater is great! Mix one cup of warm water, and one teaspoon of salt then rinse.
Tip #3 – Watch what you eat so that you don’t further damage your tooth. Avoid things that are sticky or hard. You don’t want anything getting stuck in your tooth or run the risk of breaking it when you bite. Keep foods simple and soft until you get a new filling.
Tip #4 – If you’re experiencing any sensitivity or pain, it’s usually OK to take over-the-counter pain medication to dull your discomfort. Try not to use any temporary dental cement to put your filling back in place. They tend to be messy, and you run the risk of further damaging your tooth.
What Will the Dentist Do?
One of the first things we’ll do when you come for a visit is to assess your damaged tooth thoroughly. We might even take some digital photos, too. We’ll use our training and cutting-edge technology to figure out what’s the best fit for your smile. If your tooth has not deteriorated or if it’s not severely decayed, we’ll be able to fix it with a new filling. Whatever treatment you need, take comfort in knowing you’re always in good hands at our dental office in Sparks.
We hope you learned a little something here today and that you’re able to get to the dentist soon. Failing or lost fillings are no fun! There’s no reason to panic though there’s a simple solution for every smile. We’re happy to be your dental partner and get your smile healthy and happy again!
Nobody ever wants to experience an emergency, including a dental emergency. Dental emergencies, including injuries to the mouth, teeth, or gums, can be painful and scary. Knowing what to do for a dental emergency depends on the nature of the injury. Our dental office in Sparks is here to give you some tips on what to do for several of the most common types of dental emergencies.
The Most Common Dental Emergencies
The best thing you can do in the event of a dental emergency is to schedule an appointment with your dentist in Sparks as soon as possible. But there are some ways you can relieve discomfort and increase the chances of an easier treatment in the meantime.
- Knocked Out Tooth – Getting a tooth knocked out can certainly be scary. Acting quickly and calmly can actually help save your tooth, but there are some things you should know. After you find the tooth, only touch the crown and avoid contact with the roots. If you can, put the tooth back into the socket gently. If you can’t, place the tooth in a cup of milk or store it under the tongue with some spit and get to a dentist.
- Lost Filling – There are a number of things that can cause a filling to fall out, leaving a hole in your tooth. This can be painful as your tooth roots may now be exposed. The best thing to do is to fill the hole to protect those roots. Many pharmacies and grocery stores have dental cement you can buy and use to fill the hole. While this may help reduce pain, it is a temporary solution, and you should still see your dentist as soon as you can.
- Chipped or Broken Tooth – An injury or even something hard and crunchy can chip or break a tooth. Don’t panic. First, find any pieces of the tooth and rinse them off with water. If you’re bleeding, apply a piece of gauze and press. A cold compress can help with the pain and any swelling that may occur. There are many ways a tooth can be fixed, so again, schedule an appointment with your dentist.
Avoid a Problem
Even though nobody can really anticipate a dental emergency, you can help reduce your risk of one by making sure you see your dentist in Sparks every six months for regular checkups. These visits can help identify any potential problems before they become a painful surprise. You can also watch what you eat and make sure you wear a mouthguard when playing sports to further protect your smile.
The team at our Sparks dental office is here to help our patients and community stay healthy. Schedule an appointment with us today!