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Week 10 of 52: Dental Preparedness (List 1)

Welcome to this on-going series entitled “52 Weeks to Preparedness.” Each week, we will share the week’s action plan, authored by Tess Pennington of Readynutrition. This step-by-step plan provides an organized method of increasing family readiness.

This week’s installment is called “Week 10 of 52: Dental Preparedness (List 1.)” If you missed week 9, “Emergency Medical Supply List” you can find it here.

Week 10 of 52: Dental Preparedness (List 1)

How many of us have dental supplies on hand? I’m guessing not very many of us. Dental emergencies can hit out the blue.  Without a warning, pain and soreness can occur in the gums or teeth and cause an extreme amount of discomfort. Ensuring that you have some dental supplies on hand can help maintain healthy teeth and gums and assist in not further aggravating any existing dental problems.

Be proactive and take the time to schedule regular dental visits and develop good dental hygiene habits, and in doing this, it will ensure that your teeth and gums stay healthy.  When your family dentist suggests elective procedures, take the opportunity to the extra mile for your teeth because the last thing you would want to face during a disaster scenario is a dental emergency.  Two proactive solutions to maintain good oral health is to floss regularly and to invest in a water pick.

Anticipating a dental emergency is difficult to say the least, but, there are seven likely dental emergencies that could affect your health in a long-term emergency.  To learn more about them, click here. I cannot stress how important it is to take your oral health seriously, and failure to treat a dental emergencies could result in one of the following:

      • Loss of the tooth
      • Mediastinitis
      • Sepsis
      • Spread of infection to soft tissue (e.g., facial cellulitis, Ludwig’s angina)
      • Spread of infection to the jaw bone (osteomyelitis of the jaw)
      • Spread of infection to other areas of the body resulting in brain abscess, endocarditis, pneumonia, or other complications

Dental experts have suggested there is a correlation between overall health and oral health. As a result, those that have a healthy diet tend to have healthier teeth and gums. Consequently, vitamins play a vital roll in oral health too.  These  7 vitamins would be essential to have in a long-term emergency. In addition to a regimen of vitamins, having natural alternatives to turn to when dealing with oral pain would also be beneficial.  Some natural alternatives to look into would be:

      • Valerian Root – pain reliever
      • Kava Kava – muscle relaxants and mild sedative
      • Passionflower – pain reliever
      • Clove oil – relieves teeth pain
      • Charcoal – can make a compress that relieves swelling and pain.

If a long-term disaster situation were to occur, many people would face malnutrition, be vitamin deficient, and have poor dental hygiene, as a result, they could face some painful dental repercussions that may become life threatening.  Here are some dental preps to purchase this week:

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Preps to buy:

Action Items:

1. Go to the dentist and get an annual check-up and cleaning.

2. Start taking a vitamin regimen that will assist in oral health.

3. Begin brushing your teeth for at least 1-2 minutes, and teach your children to do the same.

4. Floss at least once daily.

5. Read your dental emergency resource to be familiar with treatment plans.

6. Read a dental emergency resource to be familiar with treatment plans.

Note: If you plan to have older adults staying with you during a short or long-term disaster, do not forget to anticipate their dental needs.

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