Breaking a tooth can be a distressing experience, especially if it occurs on a weekend when your dentist may be closed or if you’re away from home on vacation. However, it’s crucial to know what steps to take to manage the situation effectively and minimize further damage. Your dentist in Chapel Hill is here to help.
Keep Calm & Evaluate
The first step to take if you break a tooth is to stay calm and evaluate the extent of the damage. Try to locate any broken pieces of the tooth if possible. Assess the severity of the break, including whether it’s a minor chip or a more significant fracture that extends deep into the tooth.
Rinse & Control Bleeding
After assessing the damage, rinse your mouth gently with warm water to clean the area. If there is bleeding, apply gentle pressure with a clean gauze or cloth to control it. Keep in mind that minor bleeding is normal and should subside on its own.
Store Broken Pieces
If you find any broken pieces of the tooth, carefully collect them and rinse them with water. Place the fragments in a clean container filled with milk or saliva. Saving the broken pieces can potentially aid in your dentist’s ability to repair the tooth.
Contact Your Dentist
Contact your dentist in Chapel Hill, even if it’s after hours, to explain what happened and schedule an appointment. Give them as much detail as possible including all symptoms. While there are things you can do to alleviate discomfort before seeing your dentist, you will need to visit in order to fix your tooth.
Protect the Area
To prevent further damage to the broken tooth and reduce pain, avoid biting or chewing on the affected tooth. Additionally, stick to soft foods such as soups, mashed potatoes, and other easily chewable foods until you can see your dentist in Chapel Hill.
Temporary Pain Relief
If you experience pain or discomfort, over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help alleviate the symptoms temporarily if they’re safe for you to take. Follow the instructions on the packaging and avoid applying pain medication directly to the tooth or gums, as it may cause tissue irritation.
Breaking a tooth at any time can be an unsettling experience, especially if it happens on the weekend. But by following these essential steps, you can effectively manage the situation until you can see a dentist. Remember to stay calm, rinse your mouth, control any bleeding, save the broken tooth pieces, and contact your dentist promptly. By taking the right actions and seeking professional dental care, you can increase the chances of a successful repair and minimize further damage to your tooth.