If you’ve chipped a tooth, there’s no reason to panic. In fact, a chipped tooth is extremely common. It can happen as a result of an injury or while eating hard foods. However, it’s important you address a broken tooth right away. If the damage has caused a loss of enamel, you’re at risk of infection.
In addition, a severe chip can cause discomfort. Ignoring the problem won’t make the pain go away. Keep reading for five steps you need to take after chipping a tooth.
1. Stop Any Bleeding
If you notice any bleeding after breaking a tooth, it’s important you stop it right away. First, you’ll need to rinse with warm saltwater. This will wash away blood and debris and reduce the chance of infection. Then, gently press gauze or a wet cloth on the bleeding area. This helps stop further bleeding and can also help decrease pain associated with the chip.
2. Call Your Dentist
After you’ve stopped any bleeding, give your dentist a call. Explain the situation and schedule an appointment. If you’re in severe pain, let them know so they can see you right away.
A minor chip doesn’t need immediate attention. If you need to schedule your appointment a few days later, that’s fine. Your dentist should easily be able to repair your tooth. Don’t hesitate to learn more about the process before your visit.
3. Use Temporary Dental Cement
If you need to wait a few days to see your dentist but want to cover the damage until then, there’s a temporary solution. You can find over-the-counter dental cement at most drugstores. This product is very easy to use. It comes with a tool for application and instructions. Dental cement can conceal the chip and may even reduce pain. However, keep in mind this product is only meant as a temporary solution.
4. Treat the Pain
If you’re in pain, but can’t get to the dentist right away, take ibuprofen. This will reduce swelling and make things a little more comfortable. Applying a cold compress to the outside of your mouth is also an option. Make sure you only do this for 15 minutes at a time. If the pain is severe, try using an oral gel. This causes a numbing effect and will make things tolerable until you can see your dentist.
5. Watch What You Eat
Even if your chip is very minor, the affected tooth is now vulnerable. It’s better to watch what you eat until you have it repaired. Stay away from hard, chewy, or sticky foods. They could end up causing more damage. You should also avoid sugar. There’s a chance you’ve lost some of the enamel, which protects your tooth from decay. Make sure you drink water and keep your teeth clean.
Taking Care of a Chipped Tooth is Easier Than You Think
Dental emergencies happen, but most of them have an easy solution. The most important thing to remember when dealing with a chipped tooth is to treat it right away. The last thing you want is more damage.
Take the steps discussed above the second you chip a tooth and make the healing process a breeze. Check out more articles for health-related information and tips.