5 Steps to Take When You Chip Your Tooth
Tooth enamel is considered the strongest material of the human body. While enamel may be strong, it does not mean that it is entirely indestructible. There are numerous ways that you could chip a tooth and damage the enamel. If you find yourself in this type of situation, you need to know what steps you should take to minimize the damage and save the tooth. Keep reading to learn what you should do when you chip one of your teeth.
Contact Your Dentist
The first thing that you should do after you chip a tooth is to get in touch with your dentist. He or she will assess your situation based on the information that you give him or her over the phone. An appointment will be scheduled accordingly. In some cases, your situation may be able to be managed until the next available appointment. However, in certain instances, an emergency appointment may need to be scheduled. In either case, you will be provided with tailored first-aid treatment until you can get to the office.
Rinse Your Mouth
The next thing you should do is use warm water to rinse out your mouth. This will help to remove any dirt, blood, bacteria, and other debris that may be around the chipped tooth. If there are any pieces of the chipped tooth in the mouth, rinsing will remove them so that you do not accidentally bite down on or swallow them. If there are any large pieces of the tooth, make sure to put them in a bag or container and take them to the appointment with you.
Stop the Bleeding
Depending on how you chipped your tooth, you may be bleeding inside of your mouth. After you have thoroughly rinsed your mouth, use a paper towel, a piece of gauze, or a washcloth to apply steady pressure to the affected area. If the bleeding has not stopped after about 15 minutes or it is severe, head to the emergency room for help.
Manage the Pain and Swelling
Once the bleeding has stopped, you will want to apply an ice pack or cold compress to the mouth for roughly 10 minutes at a time. This will help to reduce the swelling and discomfort that you may be experiencing. Over-the-counter pain medication can be taken as directed. However, you should avoid aspirin products if you were experiencing significant bleeding.
Protect Your Tooth
If the dentist recommended a same-day appointment, you will want to avoid drinking or eating anything until you have received treatment. It is okay to drink water throughout the day, though. If your appointment is not for a couple of days, avoid any crunchy or hard foods. You should also try to make sure that you are only chewing on the non-injured side of your mouth. To prevent any injury and minimize sensitivity, dental wax or sugarless gum can be placed over the sharp edges of the chipped tooth.
For more information on what to do when you chip a tooth or to schedule an appointment, contact a family dentistry clinic near you.