How to file a chipped tooth

Written by lisa rusczyk
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How to file a chipped tooth
You can file your own chipped tooth with an emery board. (teeth image by JASON WINTER from

A chipped tooth can be irritating. Every time you rub your tongue against the rough surface or look in the mirror at a jagged tooth, you may be wishing you could take care of it yourself without going to the dentist. You may have an exposed nerve if you have any pain with your chipped tooth, and the method in this article is not recommended for teeth with exposed nerves. Otherwise, all you need is a good emery board.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Emery board
  • Mirror

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  1. 1

    Buy a brand new emery board. An emery board that is not made of metal is preferable. Metal is more abrasive and can file more of the tooth than you want filed. Metal can also make your mouth taste and feel bad if you have fillings in the tooth you are filing.

  2. 2

    Look at your tooth in the mirror. Position the emery board so that it is flat against the chipped portion of the tooth.

  3. 3

    File the chipped tooth in just a few strokes. That is all you should need to do so your tongue is no longer scraping against the chipped tooth. Too many strokes can damage the tooth where it does not need filing. Your tooth is soft enough for only a few strokes to do the job. Do not use too much pressure or you may do damage to the enamel.

Tips and warnings

  • See a dentist if you have any pain with your chipped tooth.

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