Whether you have an accident while playing ball or bite into something a little too hard, at some point in your life, you may chip a tooth. Chips vary in severity and may not even be immediately noticeable. However, it’s always important to address dental health issues as soon as possible to minimize long-term damage. Here are a few steps dentists say you should take if you chip a tooth.
What to Do After Chipping a Tooth
1. Clean the Tooth
As with any wound, clean the affected area immediately to prevent infection. Rinse with a warm, mild saltwater solution to clear out debris and blood. If a large piece has broken off, preserve the broken piece in a glass of milk and take it to your dentist. If it’s a minor chip, there’s no need to save the fragment.
2. Immediately Treat the Area
Once you’ve cleaned the tooth, treat the injured area immediately. If you’re bleeding, cover the wound with gauze and gently apply pressure. Blood may indicate you’ve suffered more severe damage than you initially realized. You’ll need to see a dentist if the bleeding persists, but in the meantime, stop the bleeding to prevent further issues.
3. Address the Pain
Chipping a tooth may be painful or uncomfortable, depending on the severity of the chip and location. If you are in pain, take an over-the-counter pain reliever if it is safe to do so. You can also apply an ice pack to numb the area until you can see a dentist.
4. Call Your Dentist
See your dentist as soon as possible if you continue bleeding. Otherwise, you’ll need to schedule an appointment as usual, and may need to wait a few days. Your dentist will examine the area to determine the extent of the damage. Possible solutions for a chip include veneers, crowns, or composite filling. For minor chips, the dentist may merely reshape the tooth to make it less noticeable.
If you’re a La Crosse, WI, resident in need of a trustworthy dentist, turn to the caring professionals at Main Street Dental. This state-of-the-art local clinic has provided preventative and restorative dentistry for over 30 years, treating everything from chipped and cracked teeth to extractions and dental crowns. Call (608) 784-4063 to schedule an appointment, and visit the website to learn more about their services.