It’s happened to the best of us. You’re eating a snack, or maybe you’re just brushing your teeth, and suddenly — CRACK! You’ve got a broken tooth. What do you do now? Don’t worry — we’re here to help!
If you’ve got a broken tooth, the first thing you need to do is call your dentist. They’ll be able to tell you what the best course of action is — it could be as simple as just fixing the tooth with a filling, or it might require more extensive work like a teeth replacement or a root canal.
In the meantime, there are some things you can do to help ease any pain and make sure the injury doesn’t get worse.
1. Rinse Your Mouth Out With Warm Salt Water
If your tooth is bleeding, rinse your mouth out with warm salt water to help clean the area and ease any pain. Do not swallow the saltwater — just let it sit in your mouth for a few minutes before spitting it out.
Repeat this as often as necessary until you can get to the dentist. Warm salt water will also help reduce any swelling in your gum tissue. Just make sure the water isn’t too hot — you don’t want to burn yourself!
2. Apply a Cold Compress
If your face is swollen, apply a cold compress to the outside of your cheek for about 15 minutes at a time. This will help reduce any inflammation and pain.
Do not put the ice directly on your skin — wrap it in a cloth or paper towel first. Make sure to ice the area for as long as it takes the swelling to go down.
3. Take Over-the-Counter Pain Medication
If you’re in pain, take over-the-counter pain medication like ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help ease the discomfort. Follow the instructions on the package to make sure you’re taking the correct dosage.
Just be careful not to take too much medication — it could end up doing more harm than good. And don’t forget to drink lots of water! Broken teeth can sometimes cause dehydration.
4. Avoid Hot or Cold Foods
If your tooth is sensitive, try to avoid hot or cold foods and drinks until you can see the dentist. Eating or drinking anything that’s too hot or too cold can aggravate the injury and make the pain worse.
Stick to soft foods that are easy to chew, like soup, apple sauce, mashed potatoes, and yogurt. And drink lots of fluids — water is always a good choice!
5. Protect Your Tooth
If your tooth is cracked or broken, it’s important to protect it from further damage. If possible, try to avoid chewing on that side of your mouth. You might also want to cover the tooth with a piece of sugarless gum or waxed dental floss to keep it from rubbing against your cheek or tongue.
Do not use superglue, tape, or any other type of adhesive — this could end up doing more harm than good!
6. Avoid Sugary Foods and Drinks
If you have a broken tooth, it’s important to avoid sugary foods and drinks. Sugar can cause bacteria to grow in the wound, which could lead to an infection.
Avoid sweets like candy, cake, cookies, and ice cream until your tooth has healed. And don’t forget to brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day! Taking good care of your teeth will help reduce the risk of developing an infection.
7. Sleep with Your Head Elevated
If you’re having trouble sleeping due to pain, try sleeping with your head elevated. This will help reduce swelling and pain in the morning.
Just make sure to use a pillow that’s soft and comfortable — you don’t want to end up with a neck ache!
8. See Your Dentist ASAP
If you’ve broken a tooth, it’s important to see your dentist as soon as possible. They’ll be able to determine the best course of treatment and make sure the injury doesn’t get worse. Don’t wait too long to see the dentist — the sooner you go, the better!
If you find yourself with a broken tooth, don’t panic! There are many things you can do to ease the pain and make sure the injury doesn’t get worse. Rinse your mouth out with warm salt water, apply a cold compress to the outside of your cheek, take over-the-counter pain medication, and avoid hot or cold foods and drinks until you can see the dentist. Protect your tooth with sugarless gum or waxed dental floss, and sleep with your head elevated. See your dentist as soon as possible — they’ll be able to determine the best course of treatment.