3 Dos and Don’ts of Soldiering on With a Broken Tooth
Experiencing a broken tooth is one of the most stressful experiences. No matter how you broke the tooth, it can be pretty scary trying to deal with the aftermath. While you may feel lots of stress and pain, it’s crucial to see and dentist and get it fixed as soon as possible. In fact, not getting the proper kind of help can mean further problems, whether it’s a month or a year down the road.
Even if the tooth is just chipped, it’s still imperative to have a reliable and professional dentist look at it. Some broken and chipped teeth can occur from a physical injury, but even something as innocuous as eating can also cause a break. You can find details here by checking out the major dos and don’ts of dealing with a broken or chipped tooth.
- Do: Call the Dentist Immediately
When a tooth cracks or breaks, it’s very important to calm down even though you’re most likely very upset. The feeling of realizing that a tooth is cracked or missing is not a pleasant one. The next thing to do is call a dentist so that the tooth can be repaired promptly. Even if there are no appointments for a week or so, they can still provide professional medical advice on how to handle it until then.
- Do: Take OTC Pain Medicine
In most cases, a broken tooth can be a very painful experience. Those who are experiencing pain from a cracked or broken tooth should take over-the-counter pain medicine like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Since these are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, they help keep down swelling and inflammation. If you take other medications, check with the doctor to ensure it’s safe before taking any OTC medication.
- Do: Consider a Temporary Filing
Temporary fillings are a stopgap that can allow for some limited use of a broken or chipped tooth. This is a good option for people who can’t get a dentist appointment for some time, but it is by no means a permanent solution. It can help keep food or other debris out of the tooth, smooth any rough edges, and helps temperature sensitivity down, too.
- Don’t: Delay Treatment
Unfortunately, something like a broken tooth always seems to happen at the worst time. Those with a broken or chipped tooth should never delay getting treatment. That’s where an emergency dentist comes in; they are exactly like they sound, offering same-day emergency dental work for people suffering from emergencies. Try searching online for some great local options that offer emergency dental services and after-hours or walk-in appointments.
- Don’t: Eat or Drink
This is an important one. Obviously, at some point, it becomes necessary to eat or drink. However, people with a same-day appointment or walk-in should avoid eating or drinking unless it’s absolutely necessary. Another important consideration is to avoid very hot and very cold foods and beverages. Chewing food can put pressure on the broken tooth that could conceivably cause more damage. If you must chew, only chew on the undamaged side. Keep in mind: causing more damage can mean the difference between total restoration or an implant.
- Don’t: Touch or Brush the Broken Tooth
While it may be very tempting to poke or prod at a broken tooth or maybe even brush it, this is a bad idea. In fact, it can be tough to avoid touching the damaged area with your tongue but try and resist the urge to touch the tooth in any way. This goes hand-in-hand with why chewing is a bad idea: it can cause further damage. So, resist the urge to poke, prod, brush or otherwise touch a broken or cracked tooth at all until you can get treatment.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Dealing with a Broken Tooth
The realization that you’ve just suffered from a cracked or broken tooth can cause outright panic, but it’s essential to stay calm. In most cases, a broken or chipped tooth can be restored, but it’s crucial to avoid causing further damage until it can be fixed. Don’t eat or drink unless necessary, and call the dentist immediately or consider emergency services. Before you know it, your tooth will be restored and looking pearly white again.