Have you ever had a really bad tooth ache? One so bad you couldn’t concentrate on anything or even sleep at night? I have. And let me tell you, it’s no picnic. Pain killers and Orajel weren’t enough to stop it, or even dull it significantly. I was in so much pain that I was calling every dentist in the book, trying to find one that could see me immediately. Eventually someone agreed to see me that same week and I ended up getting a root canal.
Several months ago I was thinking about what I would have done in a survival situation. What if a hurricane, earthquake or some other disaster made it impossible for me to get to a dentist for weeks or even months? What if the economy got so bad that I couldn’t afford to go to the dentist? (Or what if most dentists went out of business, for that matter?) I suppose I would have been like Chuck Noland in Castaway, trying to knock out my tooth with some crude tools just to put an end to it. If the pain is bad enough, you’ll do anything to stop it.
If you visit my Survival eBooks page under the category, “Health, Medical, Sanitation” you’ll find a PDF on survival dentistry called “Where There Is No Dentist.” I highly recommend this book in case you’re ever in a situation where someone has extreme tooth pain and no dentists are available. It explains what tools and supplies you’ll need, how to put in temporary fillings, and even how to extract a tooth.
However, let’s be optimistic and imagine that whatever disaster you face will be temporary and that eventually there will be affordable dentists again. If you don’t want to have a friend or family member yanking out your teeth in the meantime, then I suggest you brush and floss your teeth everyday and get your cavities filled ASAP. No one likes going to the dentist so it’s tempting to put it off, but if the SHTF you’ll wish you hadn’t.
I hate to admit it, but my teeth are terrible. It’s my own fault. For most of my adult life I drank Mountain Dew all the time and only brushed my teeth once a day, and I never flossed. Now I’ve changed all that. I avoid sugar like the plague, I use mouth wash, and I brush my teeth twice a day. I even started flossing. The way I managed to do this is by keeping Floss Picks at my desk. Now sometimes I’ll find myself flossing instead of chewing my fingernails like I used to. It’s made a big difference.
But once you have a cavity it’s too late. So earlier this year I went to the dentist several times to get my cavities filled and have a couple of crowns put in. I went ahead and did it because this year I’m feeling a bigger sense of urgency about being prepared for a disaster.
The dentist can be expensive, especially if you don’t have a dental plan. I would try something like Dental Plus Card which can get you some huge discounts. The catch is that you’re very limited in what dentists you can see (I have to drive for about an hour to see my dentist), but it’s worth it for the money I’m saving.
Anyway, I just wanted to point this out to my fellow preppers because it’s an issue most people don’t think about until it’s too late. I believe hard times are just around the corner so now is the time to get your teeth fixed.