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How to Prevent a Dental Emergency



We’re pretty sure that you don’t think about dental emergencies very much at all. You’re busy with your life—work, family time, and social activities. Emergency dental work isn’t even at the back of your mind until it happens to you. Then it becomes front and centre.

How to Prevent a Dental Emergency

A Major Interruption

Needing an emergency dental appointment in Toronto is becoming more frequent. Your teeth and gums face demanding use everyday and so even over a decade—nevermind a lifetime—teeth may weaken and gums can recede.

For kids and teens, it’s a whole different set of circumstances. When your young ones need emergency dental care, the cause could be a chipped or lost tooth, a cut gum, or a lost filling.

If you’re a parent to preschoolers, you’ll know that little ones are constantly putting things in their mouths, and we’re not just talking about food! A child’s natural curiosity can turn into a dental emergency in a matter of seconds when a tiny toy, paper clip, or plastic disc becomes wedged between baby teeth.

Six or seven-year-old kids might think they are giving nature a helping hand by pushing on a loose tooth to the point of dislodging it. But too much pressure on a milk tooth not only causes a lot of pain, it may tear gum tissue and create a lot of bleeding as well.

Requiring emergency dental treatment can be a big inconvenience in your life. Not only are you or someone you love in discomfort or pain, you have to create time in your full schedule to get an appointment as soon as possible. Will there be a dentist available who’ll see you right now? Fortunately, the answer is yes. At Centenary Dental, we’re here for any and all dental emergencies that you or your family experience.

Can You Avoid Dental Emergencies?

The truth is: no. While some dentists and articles will say dental emergencies are preventable, that’s not the case. People are always going to have accidents, especially those who play physical contact sports. So while it’s reasonable for dentists to say that with preventative care emergency dental work can be avoided, there’s a small chance that you might have a dental emergency at some point in your life.

How to Avoid a Dental Emergency

  1. Good oral care

    This is the best way to avoid cavities and gum disease. If you clean your teeth properly and thoroughly at least twice a day, you rid your mouth of decay-causing bacteria. Cleaning properly means using a new brush every two months and flossing daily as well. Brushing techniques come and go, so if you’re not sure about the best way to clean your teeth, we’re more than happy to help you to err . . . brush-up on your teeth-cleaning skills.

  2. Come and see us for a regular check-up

    A regular visit to Centenary Dental is the next best thing in preventing emergency dental work. We’ll perform a thorough exam of your teeth and gums, as well as your throat and surrounding tissues as part of our oral cancer screening. Our dentists will look for any sign that your teeth need dental care or that your gums require attention. We’ll also ensure that any existing dental work is in good condition.

    We’re particularly sensitive to people who really don’t like dentists, or to your little ones who might be a bit afraid. We do our best to reassure you and make the experience comfortable and stress-free. Believe us, visits to the dentist don’t have to be painful!

  3. Use your teeth for eating and avoid super hard foods

    Your teeth aren’t there to snap off plastic tags from clothes or rip open packets of dog treats. Breaking or tearing objects with your teeth can chip or break them, and that’s when bacteria enters the tooth and creates decay. Even chewing on ice, toffee, or hard bread crusts can cause a tooth to crack or even break. Go easy with these things.

  4. Make dental care fun for kids

    Being a parent becomes a chore when you have to keep saying “No” to your young kids too often. So make caring for teeth fun by making it interesting and educational. Explain to your younger children why putting things in their mouths isn’t a good idea, and then ask them to count all the things around the house that could get stuck in their teeth. They could also draw or paint some of those things for our dentists!

    Don’t forget to mention that the Tooth Fairy often leaves an extra reward for children who let their milk teeth fall out naturally. And encourage them to brush at an early age.

  5. Wear a mouthguard

    Millions of people lose their teeth every year playing sports. Not taking care of that cracked, broken, or lost tooth means you could face a lifetime of higher dental costs. Things like periodontal disease, jaw joint issues, misalignment, and headaches occur at a much higher rate amongst patients who delayed care for chipped, broken, or lost teeth. Be sure to wear a good quality mouthguard when you’re actively enjoying your favourite game.

  6. If you grind your teeth, ask for a splint

    Life is stressful for most of us and we all deal with our stress in different ways, some healthier than others. But if your stress relief comes in the form of teeth grinding, which we call bruxism, you need our help. Teeth grinding is usually an unconscious activity so it’s a hard habit to break. If you have an aching jaw, a few teeth that are sensitive to pressure, or signs of wear on some teeth, it’s highly likely that you’re grinding your teeth at night.

    Bruxism can loosen crowns, break teeth, or even wear out tooth enamel, thus exposing the dentin below to bacteria. We strongly recommend a dental splint (something you might hear us call a night splint or an occlusal splint) if you have bruxism. A splint is a close-fitting appliance that is custom-fitted to your teeth. They can be made from soft or hard plastic and need to be worn regularly to protect your teeth and close bone and tissues from bruxism.

Centenary Dental For Toronto Dental Emergencies

Now that you’ve read this, you have the most up-to-date information about how to prevent emergency dental work. Follow our actionable tips and see us at Centenary Dental regularly for healthy teeth that last a lifetime.

However, if you do have an accident that requires immediate emergency dental treatment, call us right away at 1-888-897-2371 and we’ll make sure you get to see one of our dentists as soon as possible.

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Dr. Stacey Stein
A graduate from the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Toronto, Dr. Stacy Stein provides personalized care to each patient by explaining the risks and benefits of different treatment options in an honest way, and involves patients in their own care. With a focus on preventative, paediatrics, restorative, prosthodontics, and endodontics, she loves working with patients of all ages.