7 Important Tips for Avoiding a Dental Emergency

*Collaborative post

Dental emergencies can strike unexpectedly, causing discomfort and potentially severe complications if not handled correctly. However, with the right preventive measures, many such emergencies can be averted. Here are seven critical tips derived from NHS and dental industry guidelines to help you minimise the risk of dental emergencies. 

1. Regular Dental Check-Ups

Regular visits to the dentist are foundational to preventing dental emergencies. These check-ups allow for early detection and treatment of potential issues before they escalate.

Key Points:

  • Early Detection: Routine dental appointments enable the dentist to spot early signs of decay, gum disease, or dental damage. Addressing these issues promptly can prevent complications that might require emergency care.
  • Professional Cleaning: Dental check-ups typically include a professional cleaning that removes plaque and tartar that regular brushing and flossing might miss. This not only improves oral hygiene but also prevents periodontal disease.
  • Tailored Dental Advice: During a check-up, dentists provide personalised advice based on the condition of your teeth and gums, including recommendations on improving your oral hygiene routine or dietary suggestions.

For more details on the importance of regular dental visits, see the NHS guide. 

2. Proper Oral Hygiene

Effective daily oral hygiene is the most direct way to prevent dental emergencies. This includes several routine practices that should be adhered to ensure optimal dental health.

Key Points:

  • Brushing and Flossing: Brushing at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing daily helps to remove food particles and plaque, reducing the risk of cavities and gum disease.
  • Fluoride Use: Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel and prevents decay. Using fluoride toothpaste and mouth rinses can bolster your dental health.
  • Regular Replacements: Replace your toothbrush every three to four months or sooner if the bristles are frayed. A worn toothbrush won’t do a good job of cleaning your teeth.

Additional information on proper oral hygiene can be found in the Healthline’s comprehensive guide. 

3. Having a Dental First Aid Kit

Watch the video to learn how to temporarily fix dental issues on the go with the Dental First Aid Kit for emergency toothache relief. 

A dental first aid kit is an essential tool for managing minor dental issues at home or during travel until professional care can be accessed. Equipping yourself with the right supplies can provide immediate relief and prevent further damage.

  • Kit Essentials: Include items such as sterile gauze, dental wax, a small container with a lid, over-the-counter pain relief medication, and temporary filling material.
  • When to Use: Use the kit to manage minor dental emergencies such as lost fillings, broken braces wires, or minor oral cuts.
  • Limitations of Home Care: While a dental first aid kit is useful for temporary relief, it is not a substitute for professional dental treatment. Always follow up with a dentist as soon as possible after using any temporary measures.

For more information on what to include in your dental first aid kit, you might want to check resources available through dental health websites or directly consult with your dentist for personalised advice.

4. Wearing Protection During Sports

Sports activities can pose significant risks to dental health, with injuries potentially leading to lost or damaged teeth. Protective gear such as mouthguards are essential in sports that involve physical contact or moving objects.

  • Custom-Fitted Mouthguards: A dentist in North Harrow can provide mouthguards that fit precisely, offering better protection and comfort than over-the-counter versions.
  • Prevention of Trauma: Mouthguards cushion blows that might otherwise cause broken teeth, injuries to the lips and face, and even jaw fractures.
  • For All Ages: Both children and adults should use mouthguards during sports activities to protect their oral health.

5. Avoiding Hard Foods

Diet plays a significant role in dental health, particularly in the prevention of emergencies like cracked teeth. Being mindful of what you eat can prevent unnecessary damage.

  • Risks of Hard Foods: Hard or sticky foods can break or pull out fillings, crowns, and natural teeth. Avoid hard candies, ice, and other similar foods.
  • Caution with Non-Food Items: Avoid using your teeth to cut tape, bite nails, or open packaging, as these habits can lead to dental emergencies.
  • Dietary Adjustments: Incorporating softer foods into your diet and cutting down on sugar can significantly reduce the risk of dental problems.

6. Immediate Response to Dental Emergencies

Knowing how to respond quickly to dental emergencies can significantly impact the outcome. Understanding what constitutes a dental emergency and the initial steps to take can mitigate severe complications before professional help is reached.

  • Recognising Emergencies: Common dental emergencies include severe pain, broken or knocked-out teeth, and injuries causing significant bleeding. Recognizing these signs is critical for timely intervention.
  • Initial Steps: For a knocked-out tooth, keep it moist at all times, ideally by placing it back in the socket without touching the root. If that’s not possible, keep it between your cheek and gums, or in milk.
  • Seeking Professional Help: Contact your dentist immediately for any dental emergency. If out of hours, seek assistance from available emergency dental services or use NHS 111 for guidance.

For guidelines on handling dental emergencies, visit the Web MD’s  advice page. 

7. Education on Dental Health

Continuous education about dental health plays a vital role in preventing dental diseases and understanding the importance of early treatment. Well-informed individuals are more likely to engage in proactive dental care and recognize potential issues before they escalate.

  • Understanding Conditions and Treatments: Knowledge about common dental conditions like cavities, and gum disease, and the importance of fluoride can empower individuals to make informed decisions about their oral care.
  • Importance of Regular Check-Ups: Educating about the benefits of regular dental visits helps individuals understand how preventive care can reduce the risk of developing serious dental problems.
  • Resources and Learning: Many dental health professionals and organisations provide educational materials online and in dental offices to help patients understand best practices for oral health.


While dental emergencies can happen, taking proactive steps to protect your oral health can significantly reduce their likelihood. Regular care, protective measures like visiting an emergency dentist Harrow, and a good understanding of dental health can keep your smile safe and healthy.

Author Bio: Malavi Sivakanesan
Malavi Sivakanesan is the Co-founder & Operations Director at Complete Smiles in Harrow, Greater London. She is responsible for establishing the Complete Smiles brand throughout the United Kingdom and Europe and has 5 successful practices under her strong leadership.

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