Nothing will ruin a trip faster than a dental emergency, whether you’re traveling for business, pleasure or both. You can reduce your risk of needing an emergency dentist in Lafayette by taking a few basic precautions. These include regular brushing and flossing, keeping dental appointments, and knowing what to do if a toothache strikes.
Prevention Is the Best Cure
There’s a reason why vehicle manufacturers urge drivers to follow the maintenance schedule in the owner’s manual. Taking a few moments to change your oil and rotate your tires can save you from a costly and time-consuming breakdown at the worst possible time.
This same principle applies to your teeth and gums. The best way to treat a dental emergency is to prevent it from happening in the first place. You can reduce your risk of tooth-related trouble by following these tips:
- Brush 2-3 times a day. You should use a soft bristle toothbrush and a fluoridated brand of toothpaste. Look for products with the ADA seal of acceptance on the packaging.
- Eat a sensible diet. This means enjoying plenty of protein, calcium, and fiber-rich food while limiting consumption of sweets, saturated fats, and simple starches. Do you have a sweet tooth? Try fresh fruit as a healthy alternative to sugary desserts.
- See your dentist every six months. Routine dental examinations can catch cavities and other problems in their earliest stages, before they have a chance to become emergencies.
- Avoid all tobacco and vaping products. Not only are these substances bad for your lungs, they promote tooth decay and gum disease.
- Use common sense when it comes to alcohol. An occasional drink every now and then may be fine. But excessive consumption can erode the enamel on your teeth, increasing your risk of cavities and other serious problems.
Preparing for the Unexpected
Sometimes even the most diligent precautions can’t prevent a dental emergency from taking place. Here’s how to prepare yourself for when the unlikely occurs:
- Know what to do. For example, a broken or knocked-out tooth calls for a cold compress to control swelling, gauze or a teabag to control bleeding, and a small amount of salt water or milk in which to store the tooth for possible reinsertion later.
- Keep contact information handy. A dental emergency can happen any time, even when Internet connection is spotty or unavailable. Write down your dentist’s phone number and take it with you as you travel. You should also have your coverage information close by at all times.
- Assemble your own dental first aid kit. At the very least, it should include a container of dental wax, a bottle of clove oil, a few doses of pain reliever, a pair of latex gloves, and a few sticks of sugar-free gum to act as an emergency filling for cavities.
Nothing in life is ever 100% guaranteed. But following the tips in this post can reduce your risk of suffering from a dental emergency. Keep them in mind as you travel the highways and byways of life. We wish you lots of happy smiles throughout 2019 and beyond.
About the Author
Dr. Andrew Holecek has been practicing dentistry for over 30 years. He earned his DDS degree from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and devotes much of his spare time to ongoing education. You can reach his office online or by calling (303) 604-6355.