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The season of outdoor adventures, lakeside barbecues, and relaxing vacations is well and truly underway. However, while we’re enjoying our adrenaline-inducing sports and deliciously sweet treats, a variety of dental emergencies can occur. We all know how important it is to keep our mouths and teeth healthy in the sun, but there are some accidents and dental emergencies that simply can’t be prevented. Here are some of the most common summer dental injuries, and how you can treat them.

A chipped or broken tooth

A large majority of summer injuries occur in the pool. Chipped teeth are fairly common for both adults and children, and it often doesn’t take much to sustain one: A fall on the slippery pool deck, a dive into shallow waters, or a bit of bad luck can be all it takes.

If you have chipped a tooth, it’s important to rinse your mouth with warm water, and stop the bleeding by lightly pressing gauze against the wound. To reduce the pain and swelling, place an ice pack on the area where your tooth is chipped, and take an over-the-counter pain reliever. The chip can often be successfully reattached, so make sure to save and rinse any pieces, and take them to your dentist with you immediately. However, if you can’t find the broken piece- don’t worry, as there are many other treatments available.

A knocked-out tooth

While there’s nothing quite like biking down Whistler or Blackcomb Mountain at extreme speed, it’s not uncommon to have a crash or fall. We offer custom-fit mouth guards to protect your teeth, and prevent broken or knocked out teeth from occurring in this scenario.

If you do knock out a tooth, it’s important to immediately pick it up – but do not touch the root surface. Rinse it under warm water and, if possible, place it in a glass of milk, saline or cool water, before heading to your dentist straightaway. Our ultimate goal is to get the tooth back in the socket as soon as possible, as the quicker it is replaced, the better the chances of saving the tooth.

A lost crown or filling

Fillings and crowns can fall out when you eat hard, sticky sweets, or they can just become lose in the tooth. If you swallow a crown, don’t panic! It should pass without problem.

A lost filling or crown is rarely an emergency, but it can be painful because the exposed tooth is extra sensitive. You should schedule an appointment with your dentist promptly, to avoid further damaging the exposed tooth, and to prevent the dentin underneath from changing shape. In the meantime, place dental cement directly on the tooth’s surface, to protect and seal the area.

Toothache

While we all like to indulge on our summer vacation, it’s important not to take a vacation from cleaning our teeth – especially if we’re treating ourselves to ice cream and fizzy drinks.

If your oral hygiene routine starts to slip, you may begin to feel a sharp or constant tooth pain, or get some swelling around a tooth. To ease the pain, first rinse the mouth with warm water, and use floss to remove lodged food. It’s important to never put aspirin or other painkillers against the gums near the aching tooth, as this may burn the surrounding tissue.

If your toothache is severe, or persists for over 2 days, visit your dentist immediately to make sure it isn’t something more serious.

By being sensible in the sun, sticking to your brushing and flossing routine – and not attempting any crazy dangerous stunts or backflips – you can avoid many of these emergencies. Dental injuries require immediate attention, and you can find Whistler Dental on Main St., across from the Whistler Public Library.

For more information on other dental injuries, see our emergency dental care advice. You can also contact us here to receive immediate advice from one of our dentists or specialists.

Refreshing fizzy drinks, delicious velvety ice cream, and a quick stop in the Great Glass Elevator Candy shop – in Whistler, summer is the season to indulge. But that sharp pain you feel as you take a bite of your favourite summer snack is enough to stop the fun in its tracks.

Summer is too short to let sensitive teeth rule your life, and we believe you should still be able to treat yourself every once in a while. Unless it’s severe and persistent, tooth sensitivity doesn’t usually require a trip to the dentist. Here are a few easy and smart changes you can make to your routine that can help relieve sensitive teeth.

What causes tooth sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity is characterized by soreness in one or more teeth caused by hot and cold temperatures, and sweet or sour foods and drinks.

The inside of your tooth is made up of dentin, which contains microscopic tubules filled with tiny nerve endings. A hard outer layer of enamel, and a layer of cementum that extends down to the root of your tooth, protect this dentin.

Dentin hypersensitivity occurs when dentin loses its protective enamel or cementum coating, and the nerve endings are exposed to certain foods.

How can you protect your teeth?

#1 Upgrade your brush

While it’s important to practice good oral care, and brush your teeth at least twice a day, overzealous brushing on a daily basis can aggravate sensitive teeth. Try switching to a soft bristle brush, as it helps to keep your teeth’s protective layer as strong as possible because you aren’t scrubbing away the enamel protecting your teeth. Also, remember to change your brush every two to three months!

#2 Check your toothpaste

Ultimately, we recommend you avoid store-bought whitening products, and opt for another safe whitening method. Whitening strips, toothpastes and mouthwashes are abrasive on the enamel of your teeth, and can aggravate your teeth and gums.

If you’re not ready to ditch the whitening products altogether, try alternating between a whitening toothpaste and a less abrasive option, to see if it alleviates sensitivity. Oral-B’s Gun and Enamel Repair is one of many great toothpastes specially designed for sensitive teeth.

#3 Avoid fizzy drinks

In Whistler we are spoilt by an array of stunning lakes, and nothing quite beats relaxing by the waters edge with a cold drink in hand. However, fizzy drinks, acidic foods, and smoking all speed up the wearing away of your teeth’s enamel.

We recommend keeping consumption to a minimum, and if you really can’t survive barbecue season without some bubbles, drink through a (re-useable or recyclable!) straw, so the liquid won’t come into contact with your teeth.

#4 Don’t brush immediately after food

Acidic food and drink, such as fruit and wine, soften enamel and make your teeth weaker and more sensitive. To prevent damage, brush your teeth last thing at night and first thing in the morning, instead of immediately after consumption. You can also try drinking water or milk after eating acidic substances, as these help to balance the acidity levels in your mouth.

Here at Whistler Dental, we’d never want tooth pain or discomfort to interfere with your summer plans. If you’re still experiencing sensitivity, visit your dentist ASAP- you may have a cracked tooth or excess plaque. You can book an appointment online with us today, or get in contact here.