April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month. While oral cancer isn’t a topic that most people…
Oh, no! You’ve chipped a tooth! Maybe you were biting down on something hard, like ice in your favorite beverage. Perhaps you had a fall, or you’ve been in an accident. Maybe you received a hard knock while playing sports. All of these are common ways to chip a tooth. As your Overland Park dentist, we’ve got a lot to say about chipped teeth, but there’s one thing that readers are always most interested in knowing right after they’ve chipped a tooth.
What should you do if you’ve chipped a tooth?
First, Get Help – The first thing you should do when you’ve chipped or broken a tooth is to seek treatment from your family dentist. At Watts Family Dental in Overland Park, we have an emergency line that you can call in the event of a dental emergency, and chipped teeth definitely qualify. Just call our 24-hour phone at (913) 338-3384 to make an emergency appointment or contact your regular family dentist as soon as possible.
Then, Try to Relax – It’s going to be okay. Really. Chipping a tooth is not an uncommon occurrence. Your tooth enamel may be one of the hardest substances in your body, but it can still be chipped and broken. Here’s the good news: Most of the time, a chipped tooth is very repairable, and your Overland Park dentist will know the best way to treat your situation and restore your smile.
In the meantime, here’s what you can do to help the process:
If there’s pain, the first thing you’ll want to do is to address that. There’s no reason to be in agony while you’re handling any of these other steps. Rinse the inside of your mouth with warm water, and then treat the pain with an over-the-counter medication that reduces both pain and inflammation.
If there’s bleeding or swelling, you’ll want to apply pressure to stop the bleeding and apply a cold compress (or ice) on the affected area—outside of your mouth, of course. This will help to reduce swelling.
If you can find a piece of broken tooth, keep it. Wrap it in wet gauze or put it in a glass of milk, saline solution, or water. Bring it with you when you go see the dentist. What you don’t want to do is spend a lot of time trying to clean either the tooth itself or the affected part of your mouth. Let the dentist handle that.
If the chipped or broken tooth has a jagged edge, you can temporarily cover the jagged part with something like wax paraffin or sugarless chewing gum to prevent the jagged edge from injuring your cheek, lip, or tongue. Cover the tooth, but don’t press it down any tighter than you have to, and leave it in place until you can see the dentist.
What happens next? Get in to see your Overland Park family dentist as soon as you can, ideally within about 30 minutes of your injury, and try not to eat anything until you do. Your dentist will take a look and let you know about the best solution to the problem. We can address a broken tooth in a variety of ways, from bigger solutions like fillings or crowns to simple things such as bonds and veneers.
Whatever needs to be done, we want to assure you once again that it’s going to be okay. If you have chipped a tooth, call your dentist right away, and we’ll take it from there! If all this talk about chipped teeth has you itching to make a regular visit to the dentist, just call Watts Family Dental at (913) 338-3384 to schedule an appointment today!