It only takes a moment or a single misstep, but the next thing you recall is looking in the mirror and seeing that chipped or broken tooth. Whether you damage your tooth while tripping and falling or simply bite into the wrong thing, chipped and broken teeth are unpleasant and unsightly. Fortunately, there are many fixes for these damaged teeth; just follow these dentist-recommended steps.
Assess the Damage
The first step in the management of a broken tooth is a triage of the damage. If your tooth or gums are bleeding, then you need to apply gentle pressure. Use a clean wet cloth to wipe away excess blood from the outside of your mouth if you cannot see the area that has been damaged. Once bleeding has slowed, swish warm water in your mouth to remove any debris from the damaged area. Use a cold compress or ice pack wrapped in a soft, clean cloth to help reduce swelling in the damaged area.
If you have excessive pain, signs of a concussion, or trouble stopping the bleeding from your injury, go to an urgent care medical professional for further support.
Steps for Chipped a Tooth
If you chip, break, or crack a tooth, you may not have an injury that requires a trip to an urgent care clinic, but you should contact your dentist right away and swish warm water in your mouth. You may or may not be able to find the broken piece of tooth. If you can find the shard, wrap it in wet gauze and bring this to the dentist with you. A broken tooth can range in severity, so the exact fix will need to be determined by a dental professional, but your quick action can help make the repairs easier.
Steps If You Knock Out a Tooth
If you knock out a tooth, first follow the triage and first aid procedures listed above. Some knocked-out (avulsed) teeth may include the whole tooth while some may break off at the root. If possible, Try to gently place the tooth back in the socket without touching the root of your tooth. If that isn’t possible, it’s key to keep the tooth moist at all times. You can place the tooth between your cheek and gum, in a glass of milk, or purchase a “Save a Tooth” kit from your local pharmacist. Take your tooth to the dentist as soon as possible.
You Can Save Your Smile
If you chip, break, or knock out a tooth, there are solutions to restore your smile. First, address any imminent injuries and then take steps to preserve the broken or missing tooth. Remember, keeping the tooth moist is key. Swish warm water in your mouth to help prevent infection and call your dentist right away.
If your tooth cannot be saved, there are a variety of dental treatments available to restore the fullness of your smile and provide relief. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your dentist if you suffer a dental injury, as prompt treatment can often prevent oral health problems from progressing.