Chipped Teeth? Immediate Steps and Recovery
Chipped teeth can happen when you bite into something hard. It can also happen when you fall and hit your mouth. No matter how the accident occurs, it is frustrating and often painful! So what can you do about it?
If you have a chipped tooth, it's important to take care of it right away. Ignoring the problem can lead to more significant and more expensive problems down the road. Here are the steps you need to take to get your chipped tooth fixed:
Contact Your Dentist
Fixing a chipped tooth is usually a quick and easy process. The sooner you take care of it, the better. Get in touch with your dentist as soon as possible to set up an appointment. They will be able to assess the damage and recommend the best course of action.
A chipped or broken tooth can lead to infection if not fixed right away, so it's crucial to take action as soon as possible. This infection can cause pain and swelling and can even damage the bone in your jaw.
The damage done by a chipped tooth can also affect your appearance. If the chip is large or in a visible spot, it can be difficult to hide. A dentist will repair the chip quickly and get you back to feeling like yourself.
Take Care of Yourself at Home
In the meantime, there are a few things you can do to take care of yourself before your appointment. With some basic self-care, you can minimize the pain and swelling until your dentist can fix the problem.
Rinse your mouth with warm water and salt to clean the area and prevent infection. Apply pressure to the area with a clean cloth to stop the bleeding. Take ibuprofen to reduce pain and swelling.
If the chipped tooth is causing you a lot of pain, you can also try using a cold compress. Apply it to the outside of your cheek for 20 minutes at a time to numb the area and reduce swelling. Just be sure not to put the compress directly on your tooth or gums.
You should also avoid eating hard or chewy foods as they can further damage the tooth. Stick to soft foods like soup and mashed potatoes until your appointment.
What to Expect at the Dentist
Your dentist will likely give you a few options for fixing your chipped tooth. For minor chips, they may be able to smooth out the tooth with a quick filing.
For bigger chips, they may recommend bonding, which is when they apply a tooth-colored resin to the chipped area and then harden it with a UV light. This will restore the tooth's original shape. Bonding is especially common if you have chipped one of your front teeth, and it is cosmetically obvious.
If the chip is large or if there is significant damage, your dentist may recommend a dental crown. This is when they fit a custom-made cap over the damaged tooth to protect it from further damage.
Recovery and Aftercare
Once your chipped tooth has been fixed, there are a few things you need to do to take care of it. Avoid chewing on that side of your mouth for a few days. Stick to soft foods and avoid hard or chewy items. Brush and floss as usual, but be gentle around the area where your tooth was chipped.
And, of course, see your dentist for regularly scheduled appointments and cleanings!
A broken tooth is no fun, but your dentist will quickly fix your chipped tooth and get you back to feeling like yourself!