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Uh oh! You’ve bitten into an almond at the wrong angle. You’ve tripped and hit the edge of the stair railing. You’ve been whacked with a shovel while working with a family member in the garden. Whatever the reason, a chipped tooth needs to be repaired before it chips more or rots and causes even bigger problems. What is the best course of action immediately after you discover you’ve chipped a tooth, and how can we help you?
What not to do – First of all, don’t attempt to use superglue the chipped tooth back together. This could damage the remainder of the tooth and compromise our ability to restore it later on. You should also not delay seeing us after chipping a tooth – the sooner we can address it, the better your prognosis. Lastly, avoid eating any hard foods – stick with soft, preferably low-sugar foods until you can see us.
What you should do – Now, here’s how you address a chipped tooth, starting with caring for what remains of the damaged tooth. If the remaining tooth portion has a sharp edge, rinse your mouth with salt water and then cover it with strong wax paper or sugar-free gum to protect the rest of your mouth. This shield should only be temporary, though – you should visit us as soon as possible to treat the tooth. If it will be longer until you are able to see us, visit the pharmacy to purchase a temporary filling kit to cover the tooth. Otherwise, keep your mouth clean and rinse with salt water frequently to keep sensitivity and infection at bay. If you have the portion of the tooth that broke off save it and bring it to your appointment. It may be possible to bond it back in place.
Restoring your tooth
We will be able to determine your best course of action for returning your chipped tooth to its original appearance and function. The tooth may simply need either to have the rough spot smoothed or a filling to restore it. If a large portion of the tooth has been damaged, it may need a veneer or crown to make it strong again and save the tooth.
Chipping a tooth can be embarrassing, annoying, even painful – but we’re here to guide you through the process of making your smile whole again. Call us at (708) 460-3040 today.
It’s not those daily morning Dunkin Donut runs (though all the coffee is certainly not helping on the “bad breath” front!) or smells from the stomach, as some people might think. It’s the surface of the tongue, one of the mouth features that gets the least attention during your daily cleaning routine.
According to the Australia-based medical resource Better Health Channel, bad breath primarily originates from bacteria on the surface of the tongue, especially near the back, that help digest food. But if there’s too much food or debris on the tongue, the bacteria may run afoul – and a run a foul-smelling mouth!
Here’s how to keep your tongue clean and healthy:
- Use a dentist-approved mouthwash for dry mouth, and swish the directed amount of time. Treatments for dry mouth benefit the tongue as well as the rest of the mouth. A moist tongue allows you to eat and swallow food and liquids effectively, and it helps control the levels of good bacteria in the mouth. The signs of a tongue affected by dry mouth include a raw, red-colored tongue and a sticky feeling when you move your tongue around the mouth.
- Use a tongue brush or scraper, not your toothbrush on the tongue. The tongue brush should be as key a part of your dental arsenal as your floss and your toothbrush. Toothbrush bristles are coated to be gentle on the sensitive enamel of the teeth, and do not provide as rigorous a scrub as your tongue needs to lift out all the bacteria and food debris that can lead to bad breath. You can typically find these wherever you find toothbrushes and electric toothbrush heads, and replace them as often as you would a toothbrush – three to four months is a good measure.
- To use the tongue brush effectively – Move the tongue brush up and down the tongue, but not too hard so that you don’t hurt your tongue’s tissues. Gently brush the scrubbed-off material off the tongue and out of your mouth, rinsing the tongue brush thoroughly between sessions. Use the tongue brush as frequently as you would a toothbrush.
If you follow these steps – as well as other approved good dental practices – we can’t wait to give you your well-deserved good grade on your next dental exam. Call us at (708) 460-3040 today!