The old saying that prevention is better than cure certainly applies to dental problems. Anyone who has experienced the excruciating pain associated with dental problems will identify with that concept. And anyone who hasn’t yet, will want to avoid visiting a nearest emergency dentist in Vancouver.
Most dental emergencies can be prevented by adopting a good oral hygiene regimen, or avoiding certain habits that contribute to the development of dental problems which end up creating these emergency situations if left untreated.
Regular dental check-ups
Regular visits to your dentist are probably the first line of defence as your dentist will pick up signs of trouble early and either treat them, or recommend ways of avoiding these problems worsening. You will also receive advice on how you could improve your oral hygiene program or make changes to your lifestyle and eating habits that would lessen the risks of dental emergencies.
Among these recommendations will be:
- Avoid sugary and acidic foods and drinks as far as possible as these contribute to tooth erosion and decay and therefore to general oral health problems. Enamel erosion caused by acid left on your teeth, leaves the surface rough, facilitating the build-up of plaque. Sugary beverages like sodas lead to tooth decay.
- Good oral hygiene: Bad techniques, like using a hard toothbrush or too much force, can also cause damage to the enamel on your teeth and possibly injure your gums. Neglecting to floss between your teeth means debris left between the teeth will accumulate. Be sure to brush at least twice a day and floss once a day.
Bad habits to avoid
Most habits are hard to give up. However, the consequences of not breaking those that can lead to dental emergencies, should be incentive enough to make you prepared to do your best. The pain when things go wrong in your mouth, and the aesthetic embarrassment of losing teeth and your perfect smile, are strong motivators. As are the possible effects of an emergency on your bank balance.
- Nail and cheek biting: Biting your nails can leave you not only with ugly nails, but can break your teeth or cause them to be out of alignment. It can also splinter tooth enamel. If you bite the inside of your cheeks, this may cause sores in the mouth, which in turn may lead to infections, and even to oral cancer.
- Grinding or clenching your teeth can speed up the damage caused by normal wear and tear. Protect your teeth by wearing a mouth guard at night, as ignoring this habit could result in broken or cracked teeth, or cause damage to the hinged joint where your skull meets the jaw.
- Smoking not only discolors your teeth, but it can also result in receding gums and tooth loss, as well as a loss of the sense of taste. It can also lead to oral cancer, affecting not only the mouth, but the neck and throat as well.
- Your teeth are a chewing tool. They are not meant to open bottles, crush ice, cut string or do any of the number of other things we often expect them to handle. These habits can end up costing you a lot of money in the long term – far more than buying the necessary tools to do the job would in the first place.
- Protect your teeth: If you know your teeth are at risk because of your sporting activities, take steps to protect them. Most important is to be sure to use a mouth guard.
Looking after your teeth not only helps you avoid emergencies, but can also mean you are likely to keep your own teeth healthy a lot longer without the need for expensive dental work.