Having a broken or chipped tooth is a pretty common occurrence due to a bad fall or maybe a sports injury. Perhaps you were enjoying a piece of hard candy or crunching on a piece of ice, and you chipped a tooth. If your tooth had already suffered some decay, it would have been vulnerable to breaking. Although the protective enamel that covers your teeth is strong, falling, or biting down on something hard can damage your teeth. However, if you do end up breaking or chipping a tooth, do not panic, but act quickly. Your dentist has many different ways to fix a broken tooth. If you cannot immediately get it to the dentist, you should know how to care for the compromised tooth. Do you need to brush it? What foods should you avoid? Read further as we discuss how to properly care for a chipped or broken tooth.
Why Do Teeth Break or Chip?
Even though the enamel that covers the surface of your teeth is the strongest tissue in your body, it does have limits. Your teeth can be damaged in a variety of ways, as discussed above. You can fall, have trauma or a blow to the face, or simply bite down on something hard. Decay to the teeth make them vulnerable to damage. Remember to schedule regular dental visits to help control tartar and plaque buildup, which is responsible for weakening the teeth. Try to avoid hard candy, or biting down on something hard like a pencil.
What To Do if You Break or Chip a Tooth
Knowing how likely it can be that you break a tooth, you should know what to do if it happens. If a tooth chips or breaks, find the missing piece, wrap it in wet gauze, and bring it into the dentist ASAP! Rinse your mouth with warm water to clean away any bacteria, and apply pressure to the area if your mouth is bleeding. A cold compress can reduce swelling. You will want to try to get to your dentist soon, like within thirty minutes if possible. If you are in pain, take an over the counter anti inflammatory. Clove oil is a natural numbing agent that can provide pain relief as well.
How to Care for Your Mouth While Waiting For Your Dentist Appointment
One way to protect your tongue from a chipped or jagged tooth is to apply dental wax to the sharp edge of the damaged tooth. This only applies if the chip is small, if a large section of the tooth broke off, skip the dental wax. Dental wax can be found at the drugstore. You will want to avoid chewing on the side with the damaged tooth until you can see the dentist. Avoid hard food and drink only warm beverages. You will still want to brush and floss, but be very gentle and cautious. Gentle flossing around the damaged tooth can actually help reduce the feeling of pressure and irritation.