If you chip a tooth, it’s important to get it fixed as soon as you can. If you don’t, you risk further damage to the tooth and possibly infection. An infection in your tooth can travel anywhere in your body if it makes it into your bloodstream, potentially causing issues in places other than your mouth. If this issue applies to you, take these actions immediately to correct the problem.
If you or one of your children have chipped a tooth, then your first step is to assess the damage and deal with any immediate issues. If the tooth is bleeding, apply pressure to the area with a piece of gauze until the bleeding stops. Once the bleeding ends, rinse your mouth thoroughly with warm water or salt water to cleanse the area and rinse away any food or debris. If the tooth hurts, take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
Call the Dentist
When you have the situation under control, call your dentist to set an appointment. Although your family dentist can repair a chipped tooth, you may want to consider seeing a cosmetic dentist, like those at Parklane Dental, if the damage is in the front of your mouth. Repairing a chipped tooth is primarily a matter of restoring proper function, but you’ll want the repair to look natural if it is located in an area where others may see it. Whoever you call will likely want to see you as soon as possible to asses and repair the damage.
Cover the Area
After performing first aid, calling your dentist and generally recovering from the surprise of chipping a tooth, your tongue will gravitate to the damaged area and start checking it out. When it does, you may notice that your missing tooth fragment left behind a sharp edge. To keep from cutting your tongue or cheek, cover the edge with some paraffin wax or dental cement. Dental cement is available at many drugstores. In a pinch, you can also cover the area with a piece of sugar-free chewing gum.
If your dentist can’t squeeze you in right away, you may have to eat a few meals before your tooth is repaired. Make sure you do so gingerly so as not to further aggravate your tooth. Opt for soft foods that require little chewing. When you do chew, avoid biting down on the chipped tooth.
Prevent chipped teeth when you can by avoiding chewing super hard foods like ice cubes and popcorn kernels. You can also help yourself by using the proper tools for a given task rather than your teeth. Your teeth weren’t designed for opening plastic bags or cutting off clothing tags. If you do chip a tooth, taking these steps will help you avoid pain and discomfort until your dentist can fix the issue.
By Hannah Whittenly
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