One of the most common forms of tooth injury is a minor tooth chip. A tooth chip is typically a small piece of tooth enamel that breaks off. It can create a sharp edge on your tooth and may make your tooth vulnerable to future damage, wear, or decay.
But the most obvious effect of your chipped tooth is cosmetic. Visible chips in your teeth can make them look unattractive. Here are way to protect your teeth from chipping so that you can enjoy the benefits of a healthy, attractive smile.
Chew Only Food
Your teeth are perfectly suited for chewing on food, but not necessarily for chewing on other things. Nervous habits like chewing on fingernails, pens, and other objects can damage your teeth.
And don’t forget that some parts of food aren’t really good for your teeth. Eating chicken off the bone is fine, but your teeth aren’t really designed to crack the bones. And we understand that the ribeye was delicious, but gnawing too much on the bone can also damage your teeth. And never chew unpopped popcorn kernels: they’re too hard for your teeth.
If you’re a gardener or like to pick up food at the farmer’s market, make sure you’re carefully washing everything to get rid off all the grit. Otherwise, that can be an unpleasant surprise for you and your tooth.
Don’t Use Teeth as Tools
Your teeth are good for chewing, but they’re not really great tools for other uses. Don’t use your teeth as pliers, scissors, or bottle openers. Things like bottle caps are too hard for your teeth and can chip them easily, while other uses may cause your teeth to hit against each other so hard that they chip.
This also extends to uses like nutcracker and icebreaker. Yes, a nut is food, but any nutshell more solid than a peanut’s is too hard for your teeth and can lead to serious damage. And ice isn’t just hard: the cold temperature can make your teeth more brittle and more likely to break.
Many people chip teeth while playing around. This includes both miscellaneous recreation and more formal activities like sports. If you’re going to engage in any kind of horseplay, make sure you’re aware of your limits and keep to them.
The same goes for more formal sports, too. And if you’re engaging in any kind of sporting activity, make sure you’re wearing a mouthguard along with other protective equipment. Remember that tooth injuries can occur in non-contact sports, too–biking is one of the most common sources of tooth injury.
If You Do Chip a Tooth
If you experience a chipped tooth, check out our page on how to deal with common dental emergencies. We are happy to help if you need emergency dental care in Scripps Ranch. We can evaluate the health impact of your tooth injury and recommend a treatment that provides the cosmetic and functional repair you need, such as porcelain veneers.