It doesn’t matter whether you chipped a tooth because you accidentally tripped while looking at your phone or playing sports. Most dental emergencies can be incredibly stressful to handle because they always happen when you’re not expecting them! However, with a game-plan in place in case you chip or damage your tooth, you can not only minimize any stress you feel, but also reduce the chances of sustaining additional problems by not acting fast enough. Read on to learn how you should address a chipped tooth.
1. Call Your Emergency Dentist
The first step you should always take, whether you chipped a tooth, knocked one out, or are experiencing a bad toothache, is to call your emergency dentist immediately. They’ll provide you with over-the-phone first aid guidance, if necessary, and schedule a same-day appointment to ensure you receive the urgent attention you need.
2. Rinse Out Your Mouth
After chipping a tooth, you should immediately rinse out your mouth with warm or lukewarm water to clear away any debris from the area. If the piece of tooth that broke off is still in your mouth when you rinse, this is an easy way to get it out and keep you from accidentally swallowing it!
If the damage has caused your mouth to bleed, you can apply pressure to the area to help the blood clot and stop the bleeding. The best way to do this is by using a clean towel or gauze. It may take the bleeding a little bit to stop, but if it feels excessive to you, visit your local emergency room to get it under control.
3. Try to Preserve Your Tooth
If you’re able to recover the broken-off portion of your tooth, do so! It’s important that it doesn’t become dry and gets cleaned off, so gently rinse it under cool water and store it in a sealable container of either milk or salt water. If you can see the roots of your tooth, make sure you don’t touch them. Instead, handle the structure by the biting surface that’s typically above the gumline.
4. Relieve Your Pain with Over-the-Counter Medication
If you’re experiencing swelling as a result of the trauma, a cold compress is a great natural anti-inflammatory. Simply grab a bag of peas or a frozen ice pack from your freezer and wrap them in a clean dishtowel, then place them on your face or the area that you’re noticing the swelling for 10 minutes at a time.
If your pain isn’t a result of inflammation, you can use over-the-counter pain medication to ease your discomfort until you reach your emergency dentist’s office. You can take acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or aspirin, being careful to not let the aspirin come into contact with your gums.
5. Get Treatment
After taking these steps to reduce the chances of sustaining additional oral damage, hopefully it will be time for your same-day emergency appointment! Getting to a professional in a timely manner can help improve the chances of requiring minimally invasive procedures to repair your tooth, saving you money and hopefully making it so you don’t have to spend the rest of your day in the treatment chair!
About the Practice
Washington Dental Associates is led by a wonderful, skilled group of five dentists who are dedicated to helping their patients, even through the most stressful times. They focus on getting patients out of pain fast by providing same-day dental emergency appointments and use the latest technology to make urgent services streamlined and effective. If you’re experiencing a dental emergency, call 201-453-4863 or visit our website to schedule a visit.