20/20 Dental Practice Blog

What to do if you have a chipped or broken tooth during C0VID-19

Posted by Ronel Van Der Spuy on Apr 6, 2020 12:29:48 PM

Rinse to clean your mouth after eating

Gently rinse your mouth each time you eat to clear debris from around the broken tooth. You can use warm water, or dissolve one-half teaspoon of salt in a cup of lukewarm water to use as a mouth rinse. Alternatively, a fluoride containing
 mouth rinse can be used.

Keeping your broken tooth clean can help to avoid decay, infection and pain.

Continue to floss

By flossing you can remove food particles, bacteria, and plaque that is stuck in-between your teeth. If more tooth or ‘filling’ material is dislodged during flossing (or brushing), do not worry, as these pieces would be lost in any case.

Brushing your teeth, the best that you can is now more important than ever by doing the following steps

  1. Tilt your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against the gum line and roll the bristles away from the gum line.
  2. Gently brush the outside, inside and chewing surface of each tooth using short back-and forth strokes.
  3. Gently brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen breath.
  4. Use a toothpaste containing 1,350 to 1,500ppm fluoride.

Chew on the other side

Chew food in other parts of your mouth to avoid putting too much pressure on your broken tooth.

Pain Relief

Over the counter pain killers can help, in particular ibuprofen and paracetamol (ideally taken together, taken in accordance with instructions on the packet).

Patients who have confirmed COVID-19 (or believe they may have it), should avoid ibuprofen at this time.

Over-the-counter tooth repair

If your tooth is broken and sharp against your tongue, or there is a cavity trapping food and plaque, you can find temporary tooth filling kits in stores such as Boots and Amazon. Brands such as Safe and Sound Temporary and DenTek make repair kits you can use at home. Normally I would advise not to use these where possible, and to see a dentist straight away, but in these unprecedented circumstances their use can be warranted.

Application of toothpaste

It can be beneficial for broken and/or sensitive teeth to apply toothpaste to it at night with a fingertip, leaving it in place overnight. The fluoride in the toothpaste will help to ‘harden’ the exposed dental tissues and prevent the spread of decay until there is the opportunity to see a Dental professional.

Avoid cold drinks as that can set off sensitivity

What NOT to Do at Home

Do not, by any means, try any of the following on your own:

  • Grind down the edges of your tooth with sandpaper or a nail file
  • Extracting your own tooth with a pliers
  • Use superglue to stick a piece of tooth, veneer or crown back (there are also temporary crown re-cementing kits available from stores such as Boots and Amazon for use currently).

You can contact Dr. Hughes for emergency dental advice on 07521719072.

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