October 1, 2016
Your teeth are amazing. You can chew with them all day long for years, and they’re ready for more. But there’s a difference between tough and impervious. One of the more obvious damages your teeth can suffer are chips. Chipped teeth look bad and can feel worse. Call us today at 816-399-5539 to schedule your appointment for restorative dentistry.
How You Can Chip A Tooth
A tooth gets chipped when you hit it hard enough. However, it’s not as simple as that. There are several ways you can either chip your tooth or make it likely to happen.
Chewing ice: Many people like to chew on ice, especially the leftover ice in a soda cup. It’s cool and fun to chew. However, it’s also dangerous. Ice is incredibly hard. Try breaking it apart with your hands. Even an ice pick has trouble breaking through a big piece of ice. When you use your teeth to do this, you are damaging your enamel. You are also at risk for cracking your teeth.
Crunching corn kernels: The same thing applies to tough foods like unpopped corn kernels. Sure, they can be tasty with all of that salt and butter. They can even be fun to crunch. But they are so hard that you need to put a lot of pressure into your chewing. One slip, and all of that pressure slams into your teeth instead.
Using teeth as tools: You probably know someone who can open a bottle of beer with his teeth. We all have used our teeth to rip a bag or package at some point. Your teeth have never been meant to be used as tools. Using them to open, tear, or even just hold onto things runs the risk of damaging them.
Bad tooth decay: When harmful bacteria are allowed to run free, they can cause cavities. This decay in the enamel only gets worse with time. Depending on how the cavity grows, it could weaken your teeth along an edge or corner. One bad accident, or even just chewing on some ice, and you could chip your tooth at that weak spot.
Bruxism damage: Bruxism is when you grind your teeth unconsciously, especially at night. All of that grinding wears down your enamel in spots. As with bad tooth decay, this creates weak points on your teeth. It becomes easier to chip your teeth along those worn spots.
Water fountains: Most water fountains have a bubbler or piece of metal right close to where the water comes out. It’s safe to drink from. The problem is if someone bumps into you, or you get hit unexpectedly. You could bang your teeth hard enough on that metal to chip a tooth.
Biking accidents: Nine times out of ten, you’re going to be perfectly fine riding a bike. Even if you’re just learning how to ride, bicycles are generally safe. That said, there’s a reason you’re supposed to wear a helmet when riding. If something goes wrong, it can go seriously wrong. Many people have landed badly and chipped a tooth on the hard surface.
Auto accidents: The same is true for car crashes. With modern safety features like airbags, cars are safer than ever. That doesn’t mean they’re perfectly safe, mind you. Even having small problems like a fender bender can injure your face. Whenever you hurt your face, you run the risk of chipping a tooth.
Repairing A Chipped Tooth
You’ve gone and done it. You’ve chipped a tooth. Worry not, as the Kansas City dentists at our office can help with either cosmetic dentistry or restorative dentistry treatments.
Tooth bonding: This is probably the most affordable and easiest way to repair chipped teeth. A tooth-colored resin material is applied to your tooth. It’s the same material used in our tooth-colored fillings. Once applied, we will smooth it out and shape it so it makes your damaged tooth look healthy and normal again. This material is very durable and will last a long time.
Dental veneers: These thin shells are made to look and feel just like healthy versions of your teeth. They’re bonded to the front of your teeth. Once placed, they hide any chips or similar damage. They also seal up the damaged part of your teeth, protecting them from getting worse.
Dental crowns: If the chip is large, you might want to consider a crown instead. These caps are made to look natural and healthy just like tooth bonding and dental veneers. However, these are placed over the whole visible part of your tooth. You seal up and hide the damage as with a veneer, but you also hold the tooth together. If the chip is big, you might be at risk for fracturing the whole tooth one day. Crowns will stop that.
Having a chipped tooth is bad, but it’s easily fixed. With the treatments available at our Kansas City, MO dental office, we can get your smile back to how it should be. Call us today at 816-399-5539 for an appointment.