Dental care services may not be on the priority list this holiday season, so that’s why it’s important to care for your teeth this Thanksgiving. Here’s how to avoid dental emergencies and ensure a painless and enjoyable gathering.
Understanding the Most Common Dental Emergencies on Thanksgiving
Dental emergencies are classified as any oral problem that causes pain, excessive bleeding, and/or the sudden damage or loss of a tooth due to impact. It is imperative to seek professional treatment as soon as you can if you experience a dental emergency to prevent further damage, infection and chronic pain.
Below, is a list of the most common dental emergencies dentists see during the Thanksgiving holiday.
Chipped or Cracked Teeth
Chipping or cracking of the teeth can occur suddenly when biting down on a hard surface such as ice chips or hard candy. Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the body but does wear down over time due to chewing, grinding of the teeth and exposure to plaque-causing bacteria.
Tooth Sensitivity and Pain
Mild sensitivity to hot and cold foods and beverages can be a common occurrence. A dental emergency arises when the sensitivity is extreme and severe pain ensues. This may indicate tooth decay or a cavity. Any sudden swelling with pain needs to be treated as soon as possible.
Dislodged Dental Work
Biting down on a variety of delicious Thanksgiving foods may cause existing dental work to loosen or become dislodged. Fillings and crowns are treatments for serious dental problems. Seeking immediate professional help may be necessary to prevent infection or further damage to the tooth.
Gum Irritation and Bleeding
While a little bleeding of the gums is common but should be eliminated when brushing or flossing, the issue can escalate to a dental emergency is you experience excessive bleeding or irritated gums. Random or chronic irritation and bleeding may indicate a serious dental problem such as an abscess or a de.
Signs of painful and swollen spots in the mouth may be a dental abscess. This is an infection that has developed near the root or gums and can quickly spread to other areas of the mouth. Salty and spicy foods can irritate the abscess drawing attention to its existence and severity.
Smart Dental Prevention Strategies for Your Thanksgiving Feast
Your dentist can recommend that everyone be proactive this Thanksgiving. By following these tips, you can avoid a dental emergency.
Mindful Eating Habits
It can be tempting to indulge in every single food served at the Thanksgiving table but be aware that there are some eating habits that can lead to dental emergencies. Avoid munching on meat with bones attached, candies, and hard cookies.
Tooth-Friendly Food Choices
Choose tooth-friendly dishes such as sliced turkey which offers the beneficial phosphorous protein to help strengthen teeth and vitamin-packed vegetables. Sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, carrots, and snap peas have vitamins and minerals to help keep teeth and gums strong and healthy. Pumpkin pie offers Vitamins A and C for enamel protection!
Hydration and Moderation
As Thanksgiving is a time when we may not eat in moderation, it is important to increase our water intake. For those celebrating with alcoholic beverages, the key is to enjoy it in moderation as alcohol promotes dehydration of the body and often contains high sugar and acid content.
Avoid Ice and Hard Substances
Choose alternatives to chewing ice chips and hard substances like candies and nuts. These and other tooth-damaging activities such as opening bottles or plastic packages with the teeth can lead to a chipped or cracked tooth.
Oral Care After the Feast
While drinking water will help remove tiny food particles and sticky substances from the teeth surface, it is highly advisable to maintain oral care after each meal. Taking a few minutes to attend to the teeth can prevent a dental emergency later.
Best Ways to Care for Your Teeth After a Thanksgiving Feast
Once the dessert has been enjoyed and the disheshave been cleared away, there are a few more preventative strategies that can protect your teeth and extend your time spent with family and friends.
Use Brushing and Flossing Techniques
After the Thanksgiving meal, properly brush your teeth with a soft-bristle toothbrush and fluoride-containing toothpaste. Rinsing with water or mouthwash can offer extra protection to the teeth and gumline.
Time Your Oral Care
It should be noted there is a correct time to brush your teeth after any meal. As acidic drinks and foods can linger on the tooth surface, brushing immediately after eating can damage the enamel. Wait 30 to 60 minutes after consuming the meal before brushing.
For those who have been advised by their dentist to regularly rinse with mouthwash, use mouthwash after brushing. This action can help to fight gum disease and prevent cavities while giving you fresh breath. Studies have shown that using alcohol-free mouthwash controls the development of plaque and gingivitis as effectively as mouthwash containing alcohol without the harmful effects.
Consuming acidic foods can cause the tooth enamel to erode, leading to tooth decay and tooth loss. With consumption of acidic ingredients such as vinegar or a cup of coffee, have a glass of water or milk or eat a cube of cheese afterwards to balance the pH levels within the mouth.
Schedule Regular Dental Check-Ups
Regular dental care by a professional is key throughout the year but especially during times when we indulge in treats. Having a dental checkup before Thanksgiving can provide guidance on the condition of your teeth and mouth.
Thanksgiving Smiles: A Recipe for Dental Success!
For year-round and Thanksgiving dental services, see the team at Princeview Dental Group. We provide personalized dental care treatments in Etobicoke as well as emergency dental services. However, if you cannot wait for our office to open there is an emergency number you can contact. Call our office to hear the message and the emergency phone number. Happy Thanksgiving from our staff and remember, we are here if you need us this holiday season. Call (416) 231-4652!