Perhaps just as important as knowing what to do in a dental emergency is being armed with the knowledge of how to prevent one from happening in the first place. Despite dental clinics being well prepared to immediately and thoroughly address a wide range of emergencies, emergency dentists always prefer that patients do the best they can to prevent them in the first place. Many accidents, though they are accidents, are actually avoidable with good oral hygiene, regular dental exams, and the following preventative actions. Many dental clinic emergency dentists have attended to their fair share of dental injuries that have stemmed from people simply not using common sense with the tasks for which they choose to use their teeth! The worst part is, most of us are guilty in this area: Biting down on popcorn kernels or chewing ice or equally hard substances—like candy, for example—is only an invitation to crack or chip one’s teeth. Another regular culprit in damaging teeth is the mistaking of one’s teeth as shears; emergency dentists are quick to identify damage—cracks, grooves, or chips—that occurs from using teeth to tear off a piece of tape or break thread. There are many preventative actions emergency dentists urge parents to take to ensure their children—and by extension, themselves—needn’t go through the stress of a visit to an emergency dental clinic. Similar to the above, they include common sense choices that serve to protect oral-health, as well as overall health, in the long run. Infants through pre-schoolers, in part, explore the world around them orally; that is, they put everything in their mouths! Though both normal and expected, it is obviously important to ensure that the “everything” does not include sharp or hard objects that will injure gums and growing teeth. Crawling, toddling, and running also make young children prone to dental injury, and while it would be ridiculous to suggest restricting movement, it is prudent for parents to keep a close eye on their children’s teeth for possible injuries, as well as help them early on maintain good oral health habits. Finally, and not surprisingly, emergency dentists see the bulk of dental emergencies come through their dental clinic doors due to sports injuries. Wearing helmets and properly fitted mouth guards are highly recommended for active sports enthusiasts, particularly for contact sports. Both modes of protection can prevent a plethora of dental injuries involving the whole mouth—teeth, lips, cheek and tongue! Mouth guards, in addition to helmets, also act as a cushion against even broken jaws, neck injuries and concussions. They are simply that important! Most local dental clinics can provide a custom-fitted mouth guard to ensure a proper fit. Good oral health depends not only on the good habit of regular dental exams, but also the good habit of proactive, preventative care to ensure it remains healthy for years to come.
A member of the Ordre des dentistes du Québec and owner of the dental clinic Clinique de l’Avenir, Dr. Gallant obtained her doctorate in dentistry at the Université de Montréal in 2010. Since the beginning of her multidisciplinary practice, she has expressed an interest marked for surgery and cosmetic dentistry. Always in the interest of perfecting her art, she took part in several continuing education courses in order to provide the most sophisticated dental care to her patients. Her personalized, gentle approach inspire confidence in those who typically fear dental work. For her, a radiant smile of health is a pledge of confidence and success.