Summer will be here soon with more and more people heading outdoors, increasing the risk of dental injuries. Although our team is at the ready to assist you in the event of an emergency, oral injuries can often be avoided and are preventable with good dental habits.

Habits to Avoid

Neglecting oral hygiene: Your teeth and gums need to be cleaned and cared for regularly, which is why oral hygiene is vital. Your smile will ultimately pay the price, along with your self-esteem and wallet without good dental habits. It means you need to be brushing twice a day and flossing at least once daily unless you are struggling with gum disease (then it needs to be more often like directly after meals). Reducing oral bacteria protects your smile from the damage caused by tooth decay and gum disease. Don’t forget your biannual dental cleanings and exams to remove tartar and treat dental problems in the early stages.

Chewing on objects: When you chew on pens, pencils, your own fingernails or foods – like ice or hard candies – you apply pressure that can crack, chip or break your teeth. Another bad habit that can damage teeth is using them as tools, such as opening packages with your teeth (they aren’t scissors, so please don’t!).

Signs of a cracked tooth include the following:

– Inconsistent pain while chewing
– Pain when you consume hot or cold items
– Painful throbbing that keeps coming back

Cracks that reach into the tooth pulp will require a root canal to remove the damaged nerve and decaying tissue. Once the affected tissues are removed, the root canal will be cleaned, sterilized and sealed. If a large area of the tooth was removed, you might need a dental crown. Keep in mind that ignoring a cracked tooth can lead to infection, abscess and more pain.

Protection

Athletic guards: Protecting your teeth, jaws and soft tissue (while participating in contact sports and other recreational activities) can make all the difference to your smile safety. Sudden damage can happen at any time, cracking the teeth or knocking them out as well as damaging facial or jaw tissue, bone, or teeth. Whether you are out on the tennis court, baseball field or in a competitive watersport, we strongly encourage you to take this extra step to keep your mouth safe.

Sunglasses/Goggles/Masks: If you are planning on swimming, hiking, mountain biking or climbing, you’ll want to protect your eyes from injury. Wearing special UV-proof plastic sunglasses or safety goggles will help, and scuba divers and snorkelers will need masks.

Helmets: Mountain bikers and climbers need helmets as well as those participating in sports like football, baseball, polo, lacrosse, cycling or horseback riding.

It’s easy to prevent oral and facial injury when you focus on safety, whether that’s daily preventative care or wearing protective gear. If you need surgery or a cosmetic procedure to correct oral issues affecting the mouth, jaw, facial structure or neck, our skilled team is here to help! Give us a call in the case of an emergency, and we’ll be happy to assist.