I don’t know about everyone else but I’m still at the stage where I wake up and wonder if this is all just a bad dream. Unfortunately, I soon realise it’s not and I am yet again faced with a rather different day to my norm.
The only slight similarity was when I had my first baby and life changed dramatically, however, at least I had nine months to prepare for it and there was bundle of joy somewhere amongst it all!
I certainly wasn’t prepared for this.
As most of you will be aware the Government’s advice for dental practices is to delay all routine dental procedures and provide telephone advice and remote prescribing where indicated. Anyone requiring urgent care which cannot be dealt with remotely will be referred to an urgent care centre and the local health authority is currently putting these centres in place. For the time being, our advice is to contact us first during normal business hours or call NHS 111 outside of these times.
I know all of us at the practice sympathise with those of you who may be struggling with dental problems. We miss being able to see you and help you in our usual way but it’s important to follow the government guidance to ensure everybody’s safety. We are working hard in the background to make sure that we can get back to seeing you very soon. Thank you to you all for your continued support and understanding.
I thought I would write a few posts over the coming days and weeks to try and keep connected with you and maybe try and help with some advice and tips to manage minor non-urgent dental problems at home.
Also, I may reinforce some basic dental hygiene instruction and diet advice in as non-nagging way as possible! I know it’s Easter time and there are plenty of chocolate eggs to munch through, apparently the supermarkets have no shortages of these. Plus, we all need a treat during difficult times.
I thought I would start with chipped or broken teeth. This is one of the most common non urgent problems we come across on a day to day basis.
Chipped or fractured teeth
Most teeth that fracture tend to already be filled. Either the filling comes out or part of the surrounding tooth breaks.
Until we can see you at the practice you can follow some simple steps at home to help manage your symptoms
My tooth is broken and sensitive/painful
This may be because the fracture is large or deep and close to the nerve in the tooth. It is important to keep the tooth clean, try not to allow food to pack into the area, remove it immediately if it gets stuck. Brush and floss regularly.
Avoid eating hard or chewy foods, try and keep food to the other side of your mouth.
Avoid extremely hot or cold beverages.
If it is safe to do so, take Paracetamol 2 x 500mg every 4-6 hours no more than 8 x 500mg in 24 hours, to help with the pain, do not exceed this dose, please check with your GP if you are unsure if paracetamol is safe for you
If it is safe for you to take ibuprofen you can take up to Ibuprofen 1 x 400mg every 4-6 hours no more than 3 x 400mg in 24 hours , again check with your GP if you are unsure whether ibuprofen is safe for you as it can interact with certainother medications you may be taking. Also people who have mild Covid 19 symptoms or are confirmed Covid 19 positive are advised not to take Ibuprofen.
Lastly, apply a desensitising toothpaste to the affected area, do not rinse off, it can help reduce
the sensitivity especially if applied last thing at night before you go to sleep.
My tooth is sharp
If there is a sharp edge on your tooth which is causing trauma to your tongue or cheek, some bigger pharmacies may have temporary dental filling kits which can be used to cover the sharp area. I understand demand for these kits is high at present and you may not be able to get hold of these, in which case by careful drying the area and applying some soft wax you may achieve a degree of relief. It’s not ideal I know!
Preventing chipped teeth
If you have heavily filled or crowned teeth please avoid eating extremely hard brittle food such as boiled sweets/mints, avoid toffees as they are notorious for pulling off crowns. I know they are tempting but just say no!
Many of you will have a nightguard. One of the causes of chipped/fractured teeth is grinding or clenching during your sleep. This is a particularly stressful time for all of us so it’s even more important to try and put your nightguard in before you go to sleep.
I think that’s it for my broken teeth blog.
Hope I have covered it clearly enough. We are more than happy for you to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a problem such as this and want some advice. Please be assured we will arrange an appointment to see you as a priority as soon as we are able to open our doors and welcome you back.
Thank you for reading, I sincerely hope you stay safe, healthy, positive and importantly stay smiling. Keep looking after your smile and we shall look forward to seeing it very soon.