A little chip in a tooth is not really a big deal but, depending on how you handle the situation, it could become a serious problem. Take care of it right away. Don’t let a small chip become a big problem.
1. Call Your Dentist
The first thing you should do is call your dentist. Let them know that you’ve chipped a tooth and would like to come in right away to have it evaluated and treated. The Canadian Dental Association recommends that you, “… bring in any pieces of the chipped or broken tooth to your dentist.”
2. Take a Pain Reliever
If there is any pain or sensitivity, take an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. It may not completely alleviate the pain but it will at least take the edge off.
Rinse your mouth out with lukewarm salt water. Pour 1/2 teaspoon of regular table salt in the bottom of an 8-ounce glass, fill the glass to about half full with lukewarm water then stir the water until the salt is dissolved. Gently swish the salt water around in your mouth then spit it out. Do not swallow it.
If there is a jagged or sharp edge where the tooth is chipped, place a small bit of wax paraffin or sugarless gum over the edge to help prevent cuts to your cheek, lip or tongue.
3. Apply Ice
If the chipped tooth was caused by an impact and/or there is swelling in your check or jaw, apply a cold compress. Put some ice cubes in a plastic baggie, wrap them in a towel and put that against your face or jaw. It will help reduce the swelling.
The Canadian Dental Association cautions against using heat because, “Heat will make things worse instead of better.”
4. Eat Soft Foods
Eat soft foods that you don’t have to chew. Soup, yogurt, mashed potatoes and cream of wheat, for example, are good, nutritious foods that you can eat without chewing. You want to be able to just swallow the food right down. Even if you think it is only a tiny chip, are experiencing no pain and don’t have any trouble chewing, eat soft foods. There could be a tiny crack in the tooth that you can’t see and chewing food could cause more damage.
Rinse your mouth with lukewarm salt water after each meal.
5. Brush Your Teeth
Continue to brush your teeth as you do normally. Just be cautious around the chipped tooth. Even if you are eating soft foods and not chewing, the food and bacteria are still going to get on your teeth. Do the best you can to keep your teeth clean.