Your Step-by-Step Guide to Handling Chipped Teeth

A man with a chipped tooth

Chipping a tooth can be a harrowing experience that leaves it broken and exposed to further damage. It can also cause you to panic if you don’t know what to do before it happens. While it’s not always a dental emergency, it certainly can be.

If you’ve recently chipped a tooth and need guidance, the information below will be invaluable. Continue reading to learn how to care for a chipped tooth step-by-step until you can get to a dentist.

Step 1: Find and Save the Fragment

If you can find the broken fragment easily enough, you should save it in a small Ziplock or another container. There’s a chance your dentist can simply restore your tooth by reattaching the fragment depending on its size and placement. Otherwise, they may need to use other methods to fix it.

Step 2: Clean Your Mouth and Control Bleeding

If your tooth breaks, you’ll need to carefully rinse your mouth with warm salty water to kill bacteria and then use a fresh piece of gauze or paper towel to pack the site to stop any bleeding that may have occurred. This will help your gums heal and keep the area from getting infected.

Step 3: Call Your Dentist

If you haven’t done so already, call your dentist and schedule an appointment. If you’ve lost a large chunk of your tooth, or if you’re in pain, your dentist may have same-day emergency appointments. If the incident happened at night, or if the tooth isn’t actively harming your cheeks, lips, and other teeth, you can schedule one at your earliest convenience.

Step 4: Avoid Certain Foods

Once your appointment is set, you’ll need to think about keeping the tooth from further damage while you wait. Even a small chip can lead to a larger one or even a crack if too much pressure is applied at the correct angle.

Avoid hard or crunchy foods like pretzels, chips, and nuts. Don’t crunch ice or consume anything that is too hot or cold as the chip may have exposed the inner part of your tooth, leaving it open to sensitivity issues.

Step 5: Follow Your Dentist’s Directions

Once you’ve had your appointment, or if your dentist recommends any care instructions over the phone, follow their advice closely. The last thing you want is to get complacent about your recovery and accidentally cause more damage. Turning a chip into a crack is much more painful and costly.

With this guide, you’ll be able to quickly and safely navigate your treatment from start to finish. Chipped teeth are weak and vulnerable, so be sure to maintain a regular oral care routine to ensure they don’t become infected. If you have other concerns, be sure to contact your dentist right away. With diligence and care, your smile will be restored.

About the Practice

Dr. Ellis Shwarts and Dr. Norma Lehman are trained professional dentists with one goal: making you happy about your smile. At Shwarts Family Dentistry, they’re standing by with a talented team of support staff who share their passion for effective and affordable treatment. The team is prepared to guide you through your treatment step-by-step. To schedule an emergency dental appointment, call (972) 525-9283 or visit the website to learn more.