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STOP! Save this number under “emergency dentist” in your phone right now.

tooth and first aid kit

Dental emergencies often happen when you least expect them, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared for them! If you live in the Salinas, CA area, go to your contacts right now and add our phone number to the list.

Dr. Mark Washburn provides 24-hour dental care for unexpected dental emergencies, such as:

  • A chipped or broken tooth
  • A knocked-out tooth or filling
  • Severe toothaches
  • Dental abscess

If you are experiencing any of these dental emergencies, call 831-758-0959 to get help now. Our helpful and friendly team will walk you through exactly what you need to do until you get to our office.

Avoiding Dental Emergencies

While you can’t plan when dental emergencies will happen, you can try your best to avoid them. Here are four habits you should break to lower your risk of being in an emergency situation.

1. Not protecting your teeth during physical activity

Many dental emergencies occur during contact sports like baseball, basketball, football, volleyball, and soccer. Even independent sports, like biking, skateboarding, and gymnastics put you at risk for a dental or facial injury. If you’re involved in these activities, a simple mouthguard can significantly minimize the damage done by a run-in with a teammate, a ball to the face, or a fall.

Schedule an appointment with our dentist to be fitted for a custom mouthguard today.

2. Using your teeth as tools

In your mouth are four different types of teeth. All four types have the same purpose: to break down food. None of your teeth should serve as a tool to open packages, bite your nails, or hold items. Using your teeth in this way damages enamel and can cause cracked or chipped teeth, tooth loss, or jaw pain. 

Keep fingernail clippers and scissors close by to reduce the number of times you use your teeth as tools each day.

3. Chewing ice

Whether you chew ice daily or occasionally, your risk for dental damage is elevated. Yes, the enamel on your teeth is extremely strong (in fact, it’s the strongest substance in your body!), but it cannot withstand excessive pressure forever. The ice’s cold temperature combined with its hardness puts enormous strain on your teeth and may cause a tooth to chip or crack.

Break this habit by drinking through a straw to avoid temptation, or when eating out, ask for no ice! Most of the time, your beverage of choice will be cold even without ice.

4. Ignoring tooth pain

Our bodies talk to us with pain. Never ignore symptoms like tooth pain, sensitivity, loose teeth, and tender gums. Doing so may result in a dental emergency when the pain becomes too much to bear.

For example, your tooth pain could be a symptom of an infected or inflamed nerve in need of root canal therapy. Postponing diagnosis and treatment could result in having to extract the tooth, rather than repairing it.

If you are only using home remedies or taking over-the-counter medications, you are putting yourself at risk for an abscessed tooth. Over time you may begin to experience fever, swelling, and increased pain that will require immediate treatment.

You can avoid more severe dental issues AND more invasive dental treatment by simply visiting the dentist at the first sign of a problem.

In Case of Emergency

When a medical emergency happens, you know to call 911; when a dental emergency happens, you should know exactly who to call as well.

If you live in the Salinas, CA area, save our number to your phone as your emergency dentist. (831) 758-0950. You’ll be glad you did.