Some people nickname teeth “pearly whites” or quite simply, “pearls.” Unlike the virtually unbreakable diamond, pearls can break – and so can your teeth!
Teeth are incredibly strong, though it is not impossible for them to break and accidents do happen. Dental traumas such as a broken tooth can be embarrassing, not to mention painful! Here’s what to do if it happens to you.
What to do when you’ve broken a tooth
The first thing you should do is phone your dentist for an emergency appointment and explain the situation. Your dentist will try their utmost best to accommodate you as soon as possible.
In the interim, you should rinse your mouth with some salt water. Your mouth is full of bacteria, and any injuries can become infected easily, salt water can help you to ward off infection.
If you cannot get an immediate appointment with your dentist, here’s what you can do:
First, apply pressure to any bleeding areas with gauze. Continue applying pressure to the damaged area for 10 minutes or until the bleeding stops. Apply ice to your mouth and lips to reduce any swelling, and ask your dentist and dental hygienist what pain medications they recommend.
If your entire tooth has been knocked out, or you still have the piece that has broken off, take the shard and put it in a container with milk or saliva to keep it from rotting. Then bring it with you when you visit the dentist. This is because in some cases, the dentist is able to reattach the portion of a tooth that broke off, so you should save it if you can.
While you are waiting for an appointment with your dentist, you should be careful about what you drink or eat. Avoid excessively hot or excessively cold food and beverages. Choose soft foods such as oatmeal and eat on the unaffected side of your mouth.
If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of dental trauma, you should remember not to panic. Stay calm and allow your dentist to handle it.