A Guide to Protecting Teeth
Taking action during a dental emergency is vital to ensuring oral health is maintained into older age, allowing teeth to remain healthy and strong without the need for extraction. However, the majority of dental injuries sustained can be avoided if an effective dental hygiene routine is established.
Adopting good cleaning habits can be useful in protecting teeth and gums, as well as ensuring breath remains fresh and smiles are dazzling and attractive. The routine, when followed on a daily basis, can prevent the onset of a vast array of dental health issues and ultimately limit the risk of needing to visit an emergency dentist.
Tips for healthy teeth
A wide range of dental emergencies, such as avulsion, dislodgement and infections, as well as split, broken or fractured pearly whites, can often be caused by one of two factors: decay or damage.
Emergency dentists would argue that the majority of injuries sustained occur as a result of weakened teeth or gums that are caused by ongoing neglect or failure to take adequate care to maintain oral health.
Attending dental appointments on a regular basis is one of the most vital factors in ensuring teeth and gums remain in good condition for as long as possible. A dental professional is able to monitor the condition of each tooth while detecting decay or breakages in the early stages.
A high number of dental emergencies are caused by everyday tooth decay and without the appropriate care and attention, this could lead to the onset of further issues and ultimately cause pearly whites to fall out.
Dental decay builds up when bacteria reacts with carbohydrates in food and forms harmful acid. This can lead to the erosion of protective enamel on teeth and create cavities, or holes, which can harbour harmful substances or food.
If the decay is left untreated, cavities can significantly increase in size and weaken the structure of the tooth. Following this, the pearly white may become weak enough to split, fracture or break completely. In other cases, the cavity can deepen and cause infection in the inner part of the tooth. This issue could result in the need for root canal treatment, which can cause pain and discomfort for the individual.
This issue often requires immediate emergency dentistry to remove the infected tooth from the mouth and stop the problem from spreading further. Harmful plaque that builds up from the simple accumulation of food substances could result in a serious issue if left untreated.
Dental damage, which can also lead to a number of emergencies, is usually caused when teeth are partially dislodged, as a result of jaw injuries or when they are knocked out completely as a result of an accident or sporting mishap.
In the majority of cases, this issue cannot be avoided. However, it is vital to take the necessary precautions to limit the chances of it happening in situations where accidents are expected, for example, on the sports field.
High contact sports, such as rugby, lacrosse, boxing and hockey, see a large number of players sustain dental injuries on a regular basis. Therefore, it is highly recommended that competitors purchase and wear a mouth guard to protect their teeth.
Purchasing a mouth guard from a dentist could significantly reduce the likelihood of experiencing the loss of a tooth and could be the difference between an attractive smile and undergoing a loss of self confidence due to unattractive teeth.
Wearing the protective mouth piece may not completely prevent damage caused by a strong blow, but it will lessen the impact and increase a patient’s chances of stopping their teeth from becoming dislodged. In addition, wearing a mouth guard will reduce collateral damage, as it will stop individuals from biting their tongue in the impact.
Selecting the correct type of mouth guard is vital to suit the needs of the individual, who should also make sure it fits accurately and is effective for the sport that is being played. Purchasing a mouth guard from a dental practice means that it can be custom-manufactured to suit the teeth of the individual, which makes it much easier to breathe and talk, as well as being more comfortable to wear.
Older teenagers, as well as adults, are advised to wear the protective mouthpiece to protect their teeth against damage that could affect them for the rest of their lives. However, it may be easier to purchase an over-the-counter creation as the jaw shape is still developing during this time.
Although problems regarding misaligned bites are often limited, the issue can place pressure on areas of the teeth and jaw that may cause them to wear down faster than usual.
For example, a high number of people with an overbite or underbite suffer from bruxism – which means they grind their teeth during the night. This issue can often lead to wider oral health issues due to the unnecessary wear and tear placed on each tooth. In many cases, dental professionals will recommend that patients who grind their teeth wear a mouth guard during the night to prevent the issue from worsening.
Alternatively, malocclusion can be corrected using orthodontics during childhood. This form of treatment usually involves the patient wearing a type of brace to straighten out their teeth and reduce the risk of allowing a build-up of plaque in areas of the mouth that are difficult to reach.
A significant increase in the number of well-known figures seeking corrective braces to improve the appearance of their teeth has caused the treatment’s popularity to soar in recent years. Celebrities such as Justin Bieber, Cheryl Cole, Gwen Stefani and Tom Cruise have all reportedly worn braces to create a bright and dazzling Hollywood smile, while successfully removing the stigma surrounding wearing braces.
Ensuring that an effective oral hygiene routine is maintained is one of the most important actions an individual can carry out to protect their teeth and gums from the development of harmful decay.
Halting small cavities from increasing in size means that the need to worry about larger issues is reduced significantly, with regular brushing one of the most important parts of an effective routine.
Good oral hygiene results in a mouth that looks and smells healthy and means teeth are clean and free of debris, as well as gum tissue that is firmly held against the pearly whites and does not hurt or bleed after brushing or flossing.
Healthy teeth not only enable individuals to look and feel good, they make it possible to eat and speak properly, along with being vital for the maintenance of overall wellbeing.
Preventative care, such as brushing and flossing, will help ward off problems before they develop and means that dental treatment will be much less painful and expensive.
Individuals are advised to carry out a series of simple steps to drastically limit the risk of developing tooth decay, gum disease and other dental problems:
- Brushing thoroughly twice every day, while ensuring flossing takes place at least once daily
- Consuming a balanced diet that is rich in nutritious fruit and vegetables, as well as limiting intake of sugary snacks between meals
- Using dental products that contain fluoride to ensure the protective layer of enamel remains intact and continues to do its job
- Additionally, rinsing the mouth with a fluoride mouthwash if advised to do so by a dental professional can provide extra protection against the build-up of harmful substances.
It is important for members of the public to remember that preventing the development of tooth decay and plaque, which are the main causes of the majority of dental emergencies, is vital for maintaining oral health.
Therefore, although it is possible to rely upon treatment provided by dental professionals, the most important factor is to ensure each individual is capable of looking after their oral health on a daily basis, to ensure their smile remains bright, white and healthy.
The practice is open Seven days a week from 8am to 11pm for routine dentistry and we offer a 24 hour emergency dental walk-in service 365 days a year. You can book a consultation at any time by calling our reception team 24 hours a day on 0208 547 9997 or contact us during our working hours by email.