Chipped Teeth are Masters of Inconvenient Timing
Chipped teeth are no stranger to inconvenient timing. From sports practice to chomping on a hard snack just the right way, it’s oftentimes the very last thing we want to deal with. When you’ve chipped a tooth, it’s possible that your mouth feels just fine. Even if this is the case, you’ll want to take a few steps (five to be exact!) to ensure everything is taken care of in order to prevent the rise of further problems.
Take Preventative Measures, If You Can
Sometimes chipping a tooth is completely unpreventable unless you can look into the future. A few unforeseen circumstances would be, for example, getting hit in the mouth with a hockey puck (ouch!) or eating something hard that you didn’t think would chip your tooth. On the flip side of the unpreventable though is the preventable. Here are situations you might be able to avoid:
- Biting into something that is not food (ex: ripping open a package)
- Chewing ice or hard candy that you can suck on instead
- Grinding your teeth at night (talk to a dentist about an occlusal guard)
Preventing an unwanted situation is the best defense against chipping a tooth, so be sure you’re avoiding those risky habits. In the event that you’ve chipped a tooth despite prevention measures, there are a number of actions that you can (and should) take.
#1 Remain Calm
It sure can be startling to see a piece of your tooth come out of your mouth. The good news is that everything will be just fine. Remember that a chipped tooth can be corrected with the help of your dentist. Keeping calm will also allow you to make better decisions when you’ve chipped a tooth. So take deep, slow breaths before embarking on these next steps.
#2 Take a Moment
Upon discovering that you’ve chipped a tooth, take a moment to take care of your mouth. Be sure to keep the area as clean as possible by rinsing with warm water. Depending on the severity, you may need to use gauze or a clean towel to put an end to any bleeding. You can use an ice pack with a towel to keep swelling at bay as well. Even if you were in the middle of an important task, it’s just as important to prioritize yourself and take care of your tooth.
#3 Make an Appointment
You knew we were going to suggest this, but this step is crucial. Even if the tooth isn’t causing any discomfort at the start, the condition of the tooth could worsen and lead to infection. For those who haven’t been to the dentist in a while, any dental office would be lucky to have you. There’s no shame in going to the dentist even if it’s been a while. Should you have dental anxiety, check out our dental anxiety blog post to help you quell any fears. The dentist of your choice will be able to take the time with you to discuss treatment options depending on your particular situation.
Pro Tip: Bring any fragments along with you to your appointment as well. You can store it in a container with saline solution or clean water.
#4 Take Care of the Aftermath in the Meantime
While you wait for your appointment, keep your tongue and cheek protected from any sharp edges on your chipped tooth. These sharp edges can easily cut into your tongue or the skin inside of your mouth. Talk about making this situation even more uncomfortable! To help keep the area covered, go ahead and give dental wax a try. When you eat, we suggest choosing softer foods so that you can avoid breaking the tooth down even further. Ensure that you’re brushing and flossing as well. Food particles that are lingering around the tooth can place unwanted pressure on the tooth. Removing particles can help with any sensations you feel with the chipped tooth. By taking these steps, you’ll be able to keep the area nice and comfy while also avoiding further damage from occurring.
#5 Come to your appointment. Contact us today if you still need one. We’d love to meet you!