Keep Your Smile As Bright As The Fireworks This 4th Of July

Keep Your Smile As Bright As The Fireworks This 4th Of July

The 4th of July is one of America’s favorite holidays. It’s the day we celebrate the founding of our nation.  On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence. Now, 243 years later, this day is synonymous with fun, family, friends, food, BBQ and fireworks. But those aren’t the only things this holiday is known for. In fact, the 4th of July has earned a reputation as the deadliest holiday in America and it’s not hard to see why. When you mix fireworks with alcohol and loud music, the odds increase that the evening can end badly. While most injuries involve burns from fireworks and drunk-driving crashes, dental accidents can happen, too. This article should help you keep your teeth safe on the 4th.

Beware of the Beer
The freedom to legally drink and purchase alcohol at age 18 (in Maryland) is a right that many take advantage of on the 4th of July holiday. We’re not going to tell you not to drink, but we’d like to remind you that being intoxicated is a common cause for falls and fall-related injuries. Alcohol consumption is known to cause poor judgement, coordination problems and a lack of balance, increasing an individual’s fall risk. At our office, many of our dental-emergency patients have suffered falls that caused their injuries. If you plan on drinking this 4th, try to keep your consumption to an acceptable level and avoid areas where your chances of falling are high, like the stairs!

While we’re on the topic of alcohol, we feel like it needs to be said that you absolutely should not be opening beer bottles with your teeth. It’s an obvious no-no, but people still tend to use their teeth to pry open metal bottle caps. Beer bottle-related tooth injuries actually make up a large percentage of dental problems at 4th of July BBQs. Avoid them! 

Avoid Hard Foods

When you’re spending all day socializing, you’re probably snacking on lots of different foods. Two common things people chew on, that we’d prefer you avoid, are hard pretzels and ice. Crunching ice cubes can chip away at the enamel of your teeth and cause a tooth to break. “For refreshment, instead of crushing big chunks of ice with the teeth, dentists recommend letting ice slivers melt in the mouth like candy. Dentists also recommend baby carrots or apple chunks to ice chewers who are seeking a crunch.” - Colgate

Emergencies Happen

Even for the most cautious of us, dental injuries can still happen. Since dental offices won’t be open again until July 5th, here are a few things you can do to relieve pain should you suffer a dental emergency. 

  • Salt Water Rinse: Mix a tablespoon (1 tbsp) of salt in a glass of hot or warm water and then rinse/gargle with it. Repeat if necessary for added relief.  
  • OTC Pain Medications: Aspirin is great for temporary relief. Most people have it, or another over-the-counter pain reliever at home. 
  • Cold Compress: If your jaw or cheek is swollen, apply a cold compress to the area to keep the swelling under control. 
  • Help Tips: Emergencies can vary from getting something caught between your teeth to having an entire tooth knocked out. If you have a problem, here are some tips to help you handle a dental emergency quickly and calmly.  

If none of these remedies work, or if your injury is severe, we’d suggest that you visit your closest emergency room or urgent care center.

Now that you know some of the things that could cause a dental emergency this 4th of July, it’s up to you to take the necessary precautions. Beer, gum and many of the other foods you’ll consume this holiday are abrasive to your teeth and enamel, so make sure to end your day off with a thorough brushing and flossing. If you experience a dental emergency this 4th, have no fear, simply visit us at Quince Orchard Dental Care.