Monthly Archives :

February 2016

Dental Emergencies

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Dental Emergencies

(and of course they always happen on a long weekend when your dentist is on a 3 week cruise)

Although we don’t have a dentist in our office and don’t treat dental emergencies, I thought a mini crash course in ‘What do I do when my 3 year old smashes his mouth on the coffee table?!!’ would be a good idea. It’s always best to be prepared, and knowing how to be ready for a dental emergency can be important to your oral health. If left untreated, a chipped or broken tooth, or a broken crown or filling can provide an opening for cavities because the damaged area is hard to keep clean.

If you have a dental emergency that involves trauma to your teeth, don’t panic (I know, easier said than done, especially if it’s your child). Follow these simple steps to hold you over until you get to the dentist:


  • Chipped tooth: If you break or chip a tooth, rinse your mouth with warm water. Apply gauze to any areas that are bleeding. Once any bleeding stops, apply a cold compress to the area and see your dentist as soon as possible.
  • Dislodged tooth: If your tooth becomes partly dislodged, get to the dentist immediately, and put a cold compress on the area to decrease swelling.
  • Knocked out tooth:  If possible, find the tooth and pick it up by the crown end, not the root.  Rinse the tooth if it is dirty but don’t scrub it – you want to preserve any tissue fragments.  Teeth that have been knocked out have the best chance to be saved if they are put back in place within an hour of the accident.  Try to put the tooth back in place (be sure that it is facing the correct way!)  but don’t force it.  If you can’t reinsert the tooth, place it in a small container of milk, or water with a pinch of salt, and get to your dentist!


Stinky breath? Who me?!

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Stinky Breath? No one will kiss you? Try flossing!

 Flossing is one of the easiest ways to prevent and get rid of bad breath. Flossing at least once a day can help improve bad breath by effectively removing the food particles and bacteria that contribute to it.

Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is a common topic here at Smiles for Life. You may joke about bad breath, whether it’s your own or someone else’s, but it’s an important oral health issue.  Bad breath can be embarrassing but it can also be a sign of disease or illness.

Some serious dental health conditions associated with bad breath include:

  • Throat problems such as strep throat
  • Dental cavities or gum disease
  • Throat or oral cancer
  • Tonsils that contain trapped food particles
  • An infected root canal or abscessed tooth

In addition, bad breath can be a symptom of a variety of serious non-dental related health problems including liver disease, diabetes, HIV, digestive system ailments such as acid reflux and even lung infections or lung disease. These aren’t health issues to ignore so make an appointment to see your doctor if you have any other symptoms other than bad breath.

If you experience chronic bad breath that doesn’t seem to improve despite a consistent oral hygiene routine, talk to us a Smiles for Life, your dentist or family doctor for further investigation to identify or prevent serious health problems.


Get into the Habit!

Research proves that not flossing (among other poor oral hygiene behaviors) causes bad breath. Your oral care routine to help prevent bad breath should include not only daily flossing, but also brushing the teeth, tongue, gums and roof of your mouth twice each day.  Using a mouthwash can provide short-term relief for bad breath, but use it only as an addition to (not a substitute for) brushing and flossing.

It seemed like a fun thing to do at the time….

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tongue stuck to-pole

If you ever get your tongue — or any exposed skin — frozen solid to a flagpole or any other type of metal, just relax and don’t panic!

Don’t try to pull it off right away, as you’ll leave a nice coating of skin on the metal…and that won’t feel very good at all! Instead, just get help from someone as quickly as possible. Pouring warm water on and around your skin and the metal should heat things up, so that you can thaw your skin enough to separate it from the metal without permanent injury.