- Visit the dentist right away to assess the condition of the chipped tooth and determine the best course of action.
- Use sensitive toothpaste to soothe the area and reduce discomfort.
- Avoid eating hard foods that can cause further damage.
- Use a cold compress to reduce pain, discomfort, and swelling.
- Wear a mouth guard to protect the chipped tooth when engaging in physical activities.
Did you recently chip a tooth? Whether it is during eating or a sports-related activity, it can be an unpleasant and even painful experience. Unfortunately, chipped teeth are quite common, but the good news is that there are several steps you can take to repair and protect your damaged tooth. This guide will provide five tips on how to deal with a chipped tooth and protect your oral health.
1. Visit the Dentist Right Away
The first and most important step is to visit your dentist immediately after noticing the chip in your tooth. A dental professional will be able to assess the condition of the affected area and recommend the best course of action to protect your tooth and restore your smile.
Here are some procedures your dentist may choose to perform:
Bonding is a conservative approach to repairing a chipped tooth that doesn’t involve removing healthy tooth structure. This method uses composite resin materials, which match the color of your teeth and help repair the broken area while preserving as much of the natural tooth structure as possible. The dentist will file down the existing tooth, apply an adhesive material and shape it into a more aesthetically pleasing form before curing it with a special light.
If more of your tooth has been damaged, your dentist may suggest using crowns to protect the remaining healthy part and reconstruct its original appearance. A dental lab will craft a customized crown for you based on impressions taken during your appointment before it is permanently secured to your tooth. Once the crown is in place, it should be strong enough to withstand normal biting and chewing forces.
Sometimes, a chip may be too large for bonding or crowning alone and require more extensive repairs. Your dentist could suggest using veneers to strengthen the affected area and improve its appearance. Veneers are thin shells of porcelain or composite resin material that fit over the front of your teeth and mask any noticeable chips or cracks while providing extra protection against further damage.
Depending on the severity of the chip, your dentist may recommend dental implants as a durable tooth replacement. Implants are a permanent solution that provides a comfortable, natural fit indistinguishable from your original tooth. To place the implant, your dentist will create a small incision in your gum and insert a titanium post into the area where your tooth used to be. The post is an anchor for the replacement tooth, usually made from porcelain or ceramic.
2. Use Sensitivity Toothpaste
If you notice any discomfort or sensitivity associated with the chipped tooth, it’s essential to use a sensitive-type toothpaste. These types of toothpaste contain ingredients to help soothe and protect your teeth from irritants. When selecting a sensitive-type toothpaste, look for products containing potassium nitrate or strontium chloride, two common ingredients that help reduce teeth sensitivity. Apply the toothpaste directly onto the chipped tooth and brush as usual. This can help ease discomfort and protect against further damage. Be sure to use this toothpaste twice daily and floss regularly.
3. Avoid Eating Hard Foods
It’s important to avoid eating hard foods like candy, nuts, and popcorn, as they can further damage your chipped tooth. Eating softer foods like mashed potatoes or yogurt can help protect your tooth from additional breakage. It’s important to avoid using the chipped tooth when chewing, as this can also cause further damage.
4. Use a Cold Compress
If you notice swelling around the chipped tooth, using a cold compress is essential. This can help reduce pain, discomfort, and bleeding associated with the chip. Applying a cold compress to the outside of your mouth can help reduce swelling and discomfort caused by the chipped tooth. If your dentist has prescribed an ice pack, follow their instructions.
If you’re searching for an effective and easy solution to reduce swelling, a cold compress is a perfect remedy — even if you don’t have access to an ice pack. Simply wrap some ice in a clean cloth and apply it to the affected area for about 10-15 minutes several times a day to alleviate pain and reduce inflammation.
5. Wear a Mouth Guard
Wearing a mouth guard when playing sports or engaging in physical activities is important, as this can help protect your chipped tooth from further damage. Your dentist can provide a custom-fitted guard to fit perfectly and protect your tooth from further damage. Your dentist may also recommend wearing a mouth guard while sleeping, which can help protect your tooth from grinding or accidental biting.
By following these tips, you can ensure that your chipped tooth is properly treated, protected, and restored to its natural appearance. Consult your dentist on the best action and consider any recommended treatment options. With proper care, your chipped tooth should be as good as new in no time and restore its strength, health and aesthetics.