Oral health is important to your overall health. According to the American Dental Association, it is recommended to visit the dentist every six months, as well as a good oral hygiene routine at home, including brushing and flossing daily. However, even with all the preventive care, your oral health can be at risk during a dental emergency. Here is what you should do if you have a dental emergency.

What is a Dental Emergency

Not every oral health problem is a dental emergency. While a toothache may be painful, it may not require emergency care. If the pain is sudden onset, you should call your dentist, and they will let you know if you need to be seen right away. However, there are some instances when a toothache is an emergency.

If there is any swelling in the face or jaw with a toothache, you have a dental emergency and need to be seen right away. Swelling can indicate that the infection in the tooth has spread, and you have developed an abscess. This is a serious health problem.

If you have a dental injury. For example, if you are hit in the mouth by something, that may be an emergency. A permanent tooth is knocked out or a tooth is chipped is also a dental emergency.

When A Tooth Is Knocked Out Or Chipped, Do This

If your tooth was knocked out and the root is intact, put your tooth in a small container of milk and get to the dentist ASAP. You should also use wet gauze to pack the hole where the tooth was. In some cases, the tooth can be placed back in the socket and saved. If you chip your tooth and the parts are large enough to collect, bring those pieces with you.

Your regular dentist may not offer emergency services. In that case, call the office anyway to get a referral. Some urgent care centers provide emergency dental services. You can expect a short wait time at an urgent care center. About 85% of people are seen in less than an hour according to the Urgent Care Association.

When The Pain Is Disrupting Your Life

While every toothache is not worthy of emergency care, some are. If the pain you are experiencing is keeping you from sleeping, working, or living life and you cannot reduce the pain with over-the-counter type treatments, it is an emergency for you. Dental pain can often be intolerable. Emergency oral health care can put an end to the pain.

How To Avoid Dental Emergencies

No one wants to find themselves with a dental emergency on the weekend or after hours. There are a few steps you can take to protect your oral health and reduce the risk of having a dental emergency. As of 2021, only 13.5% of adults in the U.S. use dental floss daily. Flossing is very important to your oral health. Brushing cannot get below the gum line where bacteria can cause painful infections like hiding.

Another thing you can do for both you and your children is to wear a mouth guard when participating in any type of contact sport or any time there may be a risk of oral injury. Protecting your teeth with a mouthguard can help you to avoid some of the common injuries that send people to the emergency dentist.

Never use your teeth as a tool to open the packaging. Use the proper tools to open the packaging to protect your oral health. Using your teeth to open packaging can cause chips in your teeth which will require a visit to the emergency dentist.

By focusing on caring for your teeth, you can avoid many of the emergency mishaps that require immediate dental attention. Enjoying good oral health is easy when you partner with a dentist and make your oral health a priority. Get started today by making a dental appointment.