What to Do After You Chip a Tooth

January 27, 2021 | Dental Surgery,General Dentist

A chipped tooth is one of the most common dental problems seen in dentists’ offices around the world. A chipped or cracked tooth is a painful issue that can cause minor to major damage. The only remedy for a chipped tooth is a visit to a dental professional. Before you have your appointment, however, there are steps you can take to protect your tooth and the rest of your mouth from further injury.

Rinse Your Mouth With Warm Water

According to the American Dental Association, in a dental emergency, the first thing to do is rinse your mouth with warm water. The water will wash away any blood and keep the area clean. Make sure the water is not too hot or too cold, as this could be painful on exposed nerves.

Stop the Bleeding

If the chipped or cracked tooth caused bleeding, apply gentle pressure to stop the bleeding. You can do this using your finger wrapped in gauze, as long as you are careful not to cut yourself on the jagged edge of the tooth, or a rolled-up gauze pad.

Use a Cold Compress

Trauma to your tooth may cause swelling in your gums and mouth. You can reduce this swelling and help ease tooth pain by applying a cold compress to your face. Use an ice pack or ice cubes wrapped in a towel for a compress at home.

Treat the Pain, If Necessary

If the chipped tooth is particularly painful, you can use over-the-counter pain medications such as Tylenol or Aleve to help with the pain before you see a dentist.

Wrap the Broken Piece in Wet Gauze

Try to find and keep the broken piece of tooth, if possible. Rinse it gently if it’s dirty. Wrap it in a wet towel or wet piece of gauze and put it in a Ziploc bag to bring to your dentist.

Avoid Further Injury

If the chipped tooth has created a dangerous jagged edge, use a piece of wax paper or sugarless chewing gum to prevent the edge from cutting the inside of your mouth. If you must eat while you have a chipped tooth, choose soft foods and try to avoid chewing directly on the damaged tooth.

Go to a Dentist Right Away

This is the extent of what you can do for a chipped tooth at home. This problem requires professional care. It is very important to call your dentist and schedule an appointment right away. If the chip is particularly severe or painful, you may need to see an emergency dentist. The remedy available for your chipped tooth will depend on the circumstances.

  • Cosmetic contouring
  • Dental filling or bonding
  • Dental cap
  • Root canal therapy
  • Crown
  • Veneers
  • Extraction and dental implant

At the top of this list are the most common remedies for slight damage from a chipped or cracked tooth, while solutions toward the bottom are more suitable for severe cases. Take the steps mentioned above while you wait for a dental appointment. Then, discuss the best solution for you with a dentist in Phoenix for more information.

How to Prevent a Chipped Tooth

Prevention is better than cure when it comes to a chipped tooth. You may be able to avoid a crack or chip in your tooth by taking proper care of your teeth and avoiding common hazards.

  • Avoid dangerous foods that could chip or crack your tooth when you bite into them, such as bone-in meats, cubes of ice and hard candy.
  • Limit foods that damage your enamel. Avoid high-sugar-content foods to strengthen your teeth and reduce the risk of a chip. Limit acidic foods and drinks as well.
  • Do not use your teeth to open things. One of the most frequent ways people crack and chip their teeth is using them to open objects, such as bottles.
  • Treat teeth grinding. If you have a habit of clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth, including at night, see a dentist about treatment before you damage the enamel and compromise the tooth.

If you do chip a tooth, remain calm and take these steps at home to protect your mouth. Then, call your dentist immediately for an emergency appointment.