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What to do When You Chip or Lose a Tooth: Immediate Action

We have spent a lot of time focusing on preventative dentistry, like taking the time to eat the right foods and practice the right dental hygiene habits. We have discussed the importance of regularly seeing one’s dentist, the importance of brushing and flossing. We also spend a lot of time exploring the different types of restorative dentistry procedures, like dental bridges and implants. In other words, most of the preventative and restorative practices we discuss require a lot of time, planning, and preparation.

This week we will focus on something that does require a bit of preparation, but you cannot plan for this: when you chip or lose a tooth. The goal is to help you have the healthiest smile you can. In order to have the healthiest smile that you can, you need to be prepared for all sorts of possibilities - which might include chipped tooth repair.

I Chipped My Tooth–What Should I Do?

First off, do not panic. Chipping a tooth is normal and nothing to be afraid of. After all, we chew all day long with our teeth - accidents are bound to happen. The first piece of advice is that you cannot fix a chipped or broken tooth on your own. There are, however, some things that you can do to stop the pain and any damage.

The first thing you will need to do is rinse out your mouth with warm water. This will help clean the mouth and the affected area. Second, and only if you found the chipped off tooth, wrap it in wet gauze and bring it to your dentist so they can help you with chipped tooth repair. Lastly, you can place a cold compress onto your mouth and help stop any swelling from increasing. Continually flushing out your mouth with warm water and applying the cold compress will help reduce any pain that comes from the inflammation. You can also use over the counter medications, such as ibuprofen, to help take the swelling down. Clove oil, a home remedy, contains numbing and anti-inflammatory properties that are great for a chipped or broken tooth.

What if I Lost a Tooth?

If you lost a tooth, similar advice follows: do not panic. It might be really frightening to lose a tooth, but it does not pose a grave health concern. However, you should act quickly and take certain steps and precautions right away.

If your tooth falls out, and you still have it, try putting the tooth back into its socket and keep it there with a gauze pad. Your dentist can help you with the rest - who you should see as soon as possible. If your tooth falls into some dirt and looks unsanitary, you can rinse it off with water. However, do not clean or scrub it off with anything but water.

If the tooth cannot be put back into its socket, do not worry, you can place the tooth in a glass of milk, saline solution, or water. This way, the tooth will stay clean and moist until a dentist can take a look and figure out a solution.

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Merrick, NY