Keep Your Smile Safe: How to Prevent and Care for Dental Emergencies

Keep Your Smile Safe: How to Prevent and Care for Dental Emergencies Emergency Dentistry in Gig Harbor. PFD. dental implants, general, cosmetic, restorative, family dentistry and more in WA 98335 Ph:253-525-4050 Patients Dr. Thomas Duffy DDS. Peninsula Family Dentistry. Dental Implants, Dental Emergencies, General, Cosmetic, Restorative, Preventative, Pediatric, Family Dentistry. Dentist in Gig Harbor WA 98335

Experiencing a dental emergency can be a painful, stressful, and sometimes costly experience. The good news is that there are simple steps you can take to prevent dental emergencies, and if they do occur, you can take immediate action to minimize the damage and relieve the pain. Our excellent dentist, Thomas Duffy, DDS, can help relieve your pain with emergency dentistry in Gig Harbor, Washington

Today’s article focuses on sharing some practical tips on preventing and caring for non-life-threatening dental emergencies. With Dr. Duffy and his team’s help, you can get the immediate dental emergency treatment necessary to help your smile heal for all Gig Harbor patients and those traveling from the South Kitsap and Port Orchard areas. 

Emergency Dentistry: What is it?

Emergency dentistry refers to dental care services for situations requiring immediate attention. These may include toothaches, broken or chipped teeth, abscesses, or injuries to the mouth. Emergency dentistry primarily aims to alleviate pain, prevent infections, and preserve the patient’s dental health. It is crucial to seek immediate dental care to avoid further complications and damage.

Practice Good Oral Hygiene

Prevention is always a good thing. When it comes to cavities and dental health issues like gum disease, maintaining good oral hygiene habits is an effective way to help prevent or slow down many dental problems.

  • Brushing Your Teeth: Ensure you brush your teeth twice daily for two minutes each using using a soft-bristled brush, enough time to make good contact with every cheek-side, tongue-side, and chewing-side part of each tooth.
  • Flossing: You should floss or Waterpik daily, getting between each of your teeth to help remove food particles and plaque and, in general, disrupting biofilm formation.
  • Mouthwash: Antiseptic mouthwash can be an excellent way to kill the germs in your mouth further and freshen your breath. But keep in mind not all bacteria are bad, and mouthwash has little effect on established biofilms and plaque. The similar but less ‘nuclear’ option of oil pulling appears to benefit some people and, in general, is considered to have little to no side effects, but research is still quite limited.

Following these essential steps to care for your oral health will help remove plaque and food particles and disrupt the bacterial biofilms that can cause tooth decay, gum disease, and other dental problems.

Wear a Mouthguard

Athletic activities and contact sports can increase the risk of dental injuries, such as chipped, cracked, or knocked-out teeth, as well as soft tissue injuries. Wearing a mouthguard can help protect your or your child’s teeth and gums from trauma. Mouthguards are available in different types, including custom-fitted, boil-and-bite, and stock mouthguards. Choose one that fits snugly and comfortably and provides adequate protection–or you can ask Dr. Duffy about custom mouthguards available through Peninsula Family Dentistry. 

Be Careful of Hard and Sticky Foods

Certain foods can pose a risk to your teeth and dental restorations. Hard and sticky foods, such as popcorn kernels, ice cubes, hard candy, and chewing gum, can cause teeth to chip, crack, break, or dental fillings or crowns to become loose. Be mindful of what you eat, and cut or avoid foods that are too hard or sticky. We also strongly encourage our patients to avoid using their teeth as tools (usually, it’s the patient telling us the moral of the story!). 

Have a Dental First-Aid Kit

Accidents can happen at any time, anywhere. It’s important to have a dental first-aid kit handy and know how to use it. A basic dental first-aid kit should include a small container with a lid, gauze, cotton balls, dental floss, commercial temporary dental cement, and ibuprofen. You can also include other items, such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, and a small water bottle. Keep the kit in your car, office, or backpack. And if you’re a team parent or coach, you’ll help your group’s athletes be prepared as well.

Seek Professional Care Promptly

If you experience a dental emergency, such as:

  • Severe toothache or other worsening pain
  • Broken tooth
  • Knocked-out tooth
  • Abscess or swollen area

Experiencing these dental emergencies is essential to seek professional care immediately. Delaying treatment can worsen the condition and put your dental health at risk. Call our office, Peninsula Family Dentistry, directly so we can help you and your smile from any further damage. If we are not open, you can message us on our online  “chat” or leave a voice message about the nature of your emergency, and we will get you in as soon as quickly as possible.

Emergency Dentistry in Gig Harbor, WA

Dental emergencies can be prevented, diminished, or managed with good oral hygiene, protective gear, careful food choices, a dental first-aid kit, and prompt professional care. Ensure you properly care for your teeth and gums and visit Dr. Duffy twice a year. With these tips, you can keep your smile safe and healthy from unexpected incidents.

If you are experiencing a dental emergency, call our office immediately. And, if the nature of your emergency involves heavy bleeding or is life-threatening in any way, it is best that you call 9-1-1 or head to the closest hospital emergency room.

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