How can I prevent dental emergencies?

A simple way to reduce the chances of damage to your teeth, lips, cheek and tongue is to wear a mouthguard when participating in sports or recreational activities that may pose a risk. Avoid chewing ice, popcorn kernels and hard candy, all of which can crack a tooth.

Good oral hygiene at home and frequent visits to the dentist (at least twice a year) are the best ways to prevent dental emergencies. Always follow through with your dentist's recommendations regarding dental treatment. A small cavity left untreated can become a painful infected tooth over time.
It is possible to prevent tooth decay and gum disease, but accidents happen. Nonetheless, you can lower your risk for a dental emergency if you do some basic things for your dental health, regardless of sports activities.
  • Limit how much food you eat that contains sugar.
  • Brush with a fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day.
  • Floss at least once a day.
  • Use a fluoride mouthwash.
  • See your dentist regularly, at least twice a year, and at least once if you become pregnant. If you have diabetes, osteoporosis (a disease of bone loss), or  periodontal disease, you may need to see your dentist 3 or more times a year.
  • Since children sustain the majority of dental emergencies, remind them of the rules of the pool and daily brushing and flossing habits, and watch what you feed them.
  • If you play contact sports, wear a mouth guard and a helmet, face mask or shield, or jaw guard.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.