What to Do When You Chip a Tooth

Your teeth are bones, the hardest material in your body. As much as or as well as you care for your teeth, accidents happen that may leave them (painfully) cracked or chipped! If you have the unfortunate experience of chipping a tooth, here are a few things you can and should do.

Take Care of It

Your tooth will likely feel some pain—intense pain, even—upon that kind of impact. One of the first things you should do is to care for your mouth and disinfect it to prevent harmful bacteria from entering your tooth through the exposed inside! If your tooth is left vulnerable to that bacteria, major issues can develop that cause internal tooth damage and longer-term issues to the roots and nerves. Furthermore, you should immediately take a pain reliever you are comfortable with to prevent pain from reaching levels that are difficult to manage! You may not be able to see a dentist immediately, so staying on top of your pain relievers will be your first line of defense against a severely painful experience.

Go to the Dentist

As soon as you can, go to the dentist. If your primary dental care provider is unavailable for a significant amount of time, consider looking elsewhere for a quicker fix (that still takes your insurance) to get the tooth taken care of as soon as possible. The dentist can evaluate the severity of the chip or crack, and fully, thoroughly repair the tooth so it is as good as new. Their treatment may require that your tooth receive a “crown”, which is basically a new top of your tooth made from a hard substance like metal. There are many metals commonly used in dental crowns, but gold and silver are some of the most common because of their noncorrosive properties.

Continue to Care for Your Tooth

Over the following weeks, pay extra attention to your tooth’s health. If it begins to turn gray, this may mean that the nerve of the tooth has died and the tooth itself could not survive. Don’t be afraid to contact your dentist with questions, comments or concerns about your tooth, as they may be able to provide you with helpful advice or guidance that can save both your tooth and your finances!

Caring for your teeth consistently will ensure that they are durable enough to handle a lot. Wearing mouth guards and avoiding dangerous activities are also good preventative measures. But if a chip does happen, taking these easy steps will help keep your tooth healthy as it heals!

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