Oral diseases are some of the most common health conditions that affect people across the globe. The World Health Organization estimates that there are currently 3.58 billion individuals in the world with dental cares or tooth decay, and while tooth loss may not be a big issue for many people, having poor dental health can lead to pain, discomfort, and a reduced quality of life, and in some cases, even death. This is why it’s essential to keep your mouth and teeth healthy, but is it possible to achieve good oral health when you’re living off the grid?
It can be difficult to deal with a knocked-out tooth or broken braces when you’re living miles away from the nearest town or city. Fortunately, there are ways to deal with dental emergencies by yourself. Try these solutions to keep your teeth in tiptop shape.
Quick Fixes for Orthodontic Braces
Having orthodontic braces when you’re living off-grid can be challenging, as not only do you have to be careful not to damage them, but you also have to schedule regular appointments to ensure that your teeth are being aligned as they should. But if you do get a dental emergency before your next checkup, don’t panic. You can cope with issues with orthopedic braces using some of the things that you already have in your homestead. One of the most common things that can happen when you’re wearing braces is having a broken wire. If this happens and the wire is poking into your cheek, you can trim it with nail clippers. To do this, place a piece of tissue inside your mouth to catch the cut-off piece; then carefully snip the wire. You can also place a small piece of orthodontic wax (ask your doctor for a few pieces during your checkup) at the end of the wire to relieve discomfort.
Act Fast If You Knocked Out a Tooth
Accidents can happen when you’re living off-grid, and one of the most common is having a tooth knocked out. If this happens, act fast. Retrieve the tooth immediately, and clean it gently with water. Then try to place it into the socket and close your mouth as gently as possible to prevent the tooth from getting dislodged. If that’s not possible, keep the tooth in a small container filled with whole milk. If you have children, it’s a good idea to have a tooth preservation kit in your homestead – this way, there’s a good chance of preserving the tooth while you’re en route to the dentist or the emergency room. Keep in mind that your tooth has a better chance of being restored if you’re treated within an hour after the accident, so head to the nearest dentist as soon as possible if this happens.
Lay off the Sweets, and Rinse with Tea
One of the easiest ways to care for your teeth is to avoid eating foods that can cause tooth decay. Hard candies and sticky chocolate bars are the main culprits of dental caries, as well as soft drinks, sugary cereals and overly sweet pastries. For healthy teeth, eat foods that are high in calcium, such as cheese and unsweetened yogurt. You may also want to increase your tea intake or use it as a natural mouth rinse to keep tooth decay and bacteria away. A University of Illinois study found that people who rinsed their mouths with black tea have less plaque build up on their teeth than individuals who rinsed their mouths with water.
Having a dental emergency while living off-grid can be challenging, but by practicing good oral hygiene, keeping calm, and having the right tools on hand, you can keep your mouth and teeth healthy for a long time.