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How to fix a chipped tooth without going to the dentist

Updated April 17, 2017

A chipped tooth is more than a cosmetic flaw. Once you damage the hard enamel of the tooth, the damage can spread if it is not treated. Untreated, something as simple as a chipped tooth can become damaged further or even become infected, so it's best to take care of problems like chipped teeth immediately. It is possible to treat a chipped tooth at home if the chip is minor, but you should still follow up with a visit to the dentist. A do-it-yourself treatment can also act as quick fix if you can't see a dentist right away.

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  1. Rinse your mouth with warm water. If you have the piece that broke off, rinse that as well and save it. If you follow your at-home treatment with a trip to the dentist, as dental professionals recommend, your dentist may be able to re-adhere the chip to your tooth as a temporary fix.

  2. Take acetaminophen or another over-the-counter pain reliever if you experience pain from the chipped tooth.

  3. File the chip with an emery board if the damage is minor. For small chips in your teeth, you can simply file them yourself. For larger chips, you'll need to visit your dentist. If you choose to file the tooth, do so in front of a mirror so you can see what you're doing. Don't file the tooth down too much.

  4. If you plan to visit the dentist later, or if you can't file down the chip yourself, cover the chip with soft wax to prevent cutting the inside of your cheeks or your tongue on the sharp edge.

  5. Apply Dentemp to the tooth. Dentemp is a product available at most pharmacies and drugstores, and it's designed for chipped teeth in situations where you can't visit the dentist right away. Dentemp will smooth the surface of the tooth and prevent injury. For very minor chips in the tooth, this may solve the problem, though you may wish to check with a dentist just in case there is hidden damage to the jaw or gums.

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Things You'll Need

  • Soft wax
  • Emery board
  • Acetaminophen or other pain reliever
  • Dentemp kit

About the Author

Michelle Labbe

Michelle Labbe has been writing online and for print since 2004. Her work has appeared in the online journals Reflection's Edge and Cabinet des Fées as well as in Harvard Book Store's anthology, "Michrochondria." She is pursuing a Master of Arts in publishing and writing at Emerson College.

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