Your pearly whites do a lot for you. They give shape to your face and make your smile beautiful. Your teeth also allow you to eat a wide range of foods and speak clearly and comfortably. So, of course, when you accidentally chip a tooth, it can be quite alarming. As a matter of fact, it can be so alarming that you are at a loss for what to do next. The good news is that it is a solvable situation! Here are five steps to take when you chip a tooth so you can get back to a complete smile as soon as possible.
Step #1: Visit Your Dentist as Soon As You Can
Anytime one of your teeth becomes damaged, it’s essential to visit your dentist as soon as possible. While even a slight crack may seem not very serious, it can seriously weaken the tooth and even lead to an infection. By visiting your dentist, they can stop any damage from becoming worse, as well as examine your other teeth to make sure they were not impacted by your chipped tooth. Fortunately, there are dental treatments like tooth-colored fillings and crowns that can instantly protect and restore your tooth.
Step #2: Rinse Out Your Mouth
After reaching out to your dentist, it’s time to turn your attention to tending to your mouth. Be sure to clean out your mouth with lukewarm water. This will gently wash away any dirt or debris, so it doesn’t creep into the exposed area. Additionally, if there are tiny pieces of your tooth in your mouth, rinsing will make them easier to come out.
Step #3: Preserve the Tooth (If You Can)
If you were able to locate the piece of your chipped tooth, you will want to do your best to preserve it since there is a chance it may be able to be saved or be placed back on. After rinsing it very gently and quickly (just to get any dirt or debris off it), submerge it in milk to keep it moist. If the chipped piece is still hanging onto your tooth, try to avoid taking it out yourself. You don’t want to cause more damage as well as risk infection.
Step #4: Use a Cold Compress or Pain Reliever
To keep your mouth from swelling, try to apply a cold towel or compress with ice. By holding it to the area of the cheek where the injury took place, the cold temperature will help to slow the blood flow. It will also allow your mouth to be slightly numbed if you are feeling discomfort. Over-the-counter pain relievers can also provide relief while you wait for your dental visit. Additionally, be sure to not chew or bite with the injured side of your mouth to prevent further damage.
With these few simple steps, you can get your chipped tooth treated as soon as possible while remaining comfortable and calm. Your savvy actions and the help of your dentist will help you return to a whole and happy smile before you know it!
About the Author
Dr. Saba Abernethy and her team at Holliston Complete Dentistry are eager to help you with any unexpected dental event, including a chipped tooth. She earned her Fellowship of General Dentistry, a designation only 6% of dentists have, and is a member of several dental associations. By offering a variety of procedures in-house, she provides a full range of dental services, including emergency care. To schedule an appointment, contact her through her website or call (508) 429-5300.