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Six Tips for Avoiding Toothaches

The dreaded toothache! I know it so well. The truth is that I’ve never actually had a toothache. However, I take all our office emergency calls at night and on weekends. More than anyone in our practice, I talk to people who are having a toothache bad enough that they call the dental office emergency line! 

In our office, we never want you to have a toothache. Since today (February 9th, 2022) is National Toothache Day, we’ve put together these six tips to help you avoid it. Keep in mind, there are times when you may do everything right but still get a toothache. You can definitely minimize the risk, though, by following these tips. 

  1. PRACTICE HOME CARE – There is no doubt that those who brush and floss regularly are guarding themselves from the most common causes of toothaches, other oral pain, tooth decay, and infections. 
  1. EAT A HEALTHY DIET – Dr. Pugh says, “If you eat or drink a lot of foods that are high in sugar and/or acid, you will have trouble with your teeth. I personally don’t eat anything hard, sticky, or gooey or drink high-sugar juices or sodas.” 
  1. LISTEN TO YOUR DENTIST – Go to a dentist you trust and follow their recommendations. When your dentist recommends treatment for gum disease or cracked teeth, or they suggest you replace old silver fillings, refusing to proceed with treatment will lead to more cost AND pain later. Proceed with treatment now to avoid higher costs later! 
  1. SEE YOUR DENTIST REGULARLY – Get your regularly scheduled cleanings and checkups (dental hygiene and doctor exams). Getting your teeth cleaned as often as recommended will help keep your teeth and gums healthy but will also help you catch problems early, before they become painful. 
  1. PAY ATTENTION – Be aware of your mouth, both how it looks and how it feels, so that when something is different you know to have your dentist look at it. Look specifically for how your teeth and gums look, how flossing feels, if food is catching anywhere, or if anything feels sensitive. When you know your mouth, you will recognize when something needs to be addressed…before a toothache begins. 
  1. TAKE CARE OF PROBLEMS PROMPTLY – Nearly all after-hours emergency messages have this statement at the beginning: “It’s been bothering me all week.” Rarely does tooth sensitivity go away on its own. If something is bothering you, call as soon as you notice, especially early in the week. I feel bad for patients when they call on Friday night or early Saturday morning with a severe toothache. Most of the time it has been bothering them for a few days, but they just didn’t call. Remember this tip next time you have tooth sensitivity. 

There is no guarantee that if you do these six things, you will never have a toothache, but it will definitely lower the chances. While we never want to see anyone in pain, when it does happen, we’re ready to help. Call our office anytime with questions or concerns about your oral health. We are here for you!