If you’ve ever had a chipped tooth, you know they aren’t fun. They can make you feel embarrassed when you smile and they can be painful too. If you are lucky and have never experienced a chipped tooth, you may want to know the popular ways they happen and what to do if you ever get one.

What are some ways I could chip my tooth?

Chewing Hard Objects

Candy stores are irresistible to most kids… and most adults too. There’s something about the magic and sweets of a candy shop that makes you want to enjoy all your old favorites⁠—like lollipops, Jolly Ranchers, and Jaw Breakers. Unfortunately, these sweets also come with the risk of a chipped tooth. Hard foods like candy, ice, and popcorn kernels can break your teeth. Biting other tough objects, like when tearing open a bag with your teeth, can also lead to some chips in your pearly whites.

Drinking

If your teeth are in a battle with glass or metal, chances are the other will win. If you accidentally get pushed while getting a drink from a drinking fountain, you could hit your teeth on the metal spout. This has resulted in chipped teeth before. Likewise, the same could happen if you knock your teeth while drinking from a glass bottle.

Clenched Teeth

Many mothers and weight lifters may know the pain that comes from chipped teeth. It’s been known for women in labor to clench and chip their teeth during the contractions and for weightlifters to do the same while they are lifting at the gym. To avoid chipped teeth during your workout, wear a mouthguard.

Face Injuries

Athletes and those involved in auto accidents have been known to have chipped teeth from trauma to the face. Whether that trauma is from a ball or an airbag, it still has the power from impact to do some serious damage to your teeth.

What makes my teeth susceptible to chipping?

Weak teeth are easily chipped, and though milk makes your bones (including your teeth) nice and strong, there are other things you should do to make sure your teeth are tough enough to withstand chipping.

-Avoid tooth decay by brushing and flossing regularly
-Don’t grind your teeth
– Limit the amount of acid-producing food/drink you intake

Taking preventative steps by strengthening the enamel of your teeth will help keep your teeth from chipping.

How do I know my tooth is chipped?

If you suspect you’ve chipped your tooth, you’re probably right. Chips are easy to spot and feel. If it’s a tooth near the front, you’ll be able to see in a mirror if it’s chipped. If it’s in the back, you’ll be able to feel a jagged surface with your tongue. You might also feel some irritation in the gums and in your tongue from running over it. Biting down can also make it hurt more.

What should I do if I chip my tooth?

Unfortunately, you can’t fix a chipped tooth yourself. If you accidentally chip your tooth, don’t panic. More often than not, they aren’t a medical emergency, however, you should see your dentist soon. While you wait to see the dentist, apply an ice pack to your cheek where your tooth hurts, take some pain relievers, and use gauze to stop any possible bleeding. If you happen to have the tooth fragment, you can keep it in a glass of milk to keep it moist and alive for your doctor to cement it back later. If you don’t have the tooth fragment, your dentist will most likely bond porcelain to your tooth to recreate the tooth’s surface. Other options include a porcelain veneer or a dental crown.

While it’s important to make sure your teeth are strong, you can’t always prevent a chipped tooth⁠—so it’s important to know what to do if it happens. If you do get a chipped tooth, call us for an appointment.