Surprised Your Tooth is Chipped?
Human teeth are hard, durable, and covered in a tough mineral called enamel. Permanent teeth are so tough they are stronger than bones. Given this information, you might think that chipping your teeth is unlikely. Unfortunately, despite their sturdiness, teeth are susceptible to damage.
Tooth Chips Happen
When people chip their teeth, they are often surprised by the occurrence. Many times, a chip occurs when you’re least expecting it. For example, a tooth can chip when you’re eating something as soft as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. This type of chip can be impossible to predict or prevent. Other times, however, a chipped tooth is not as startling – such as during a game of ice hockey.
No matter what, nobody wants to experience a chipped tooth. Not only can a chip be painful, but it leaves you with a dental situation that requires immediate attention. If a chipped tooth is not repaired quickly, it can weaken the tooth and cause it to break completely. Also, a chip leaves the tooth susceptible to bacteria and decay.
Following is a list of some of the common ways people chip their teeth. While some of these circumstances might seem ordinary, others are more unusual.
Biting Fingernails. Biting a single nail to get rid of a hangnail one time might not cause damage to your teeth. But regularly and habitually biting your nails can weaken your teeth and ultimately cause a chipped tooth. Most people bite their fingernails with their front teeth. Therefore, this habit leaves your most visible teeth susceptible to damage.
Overly Excited Dogs. Believe it or not, a dog that is incredibly happy to see you can leave you with a chipped tooth! It’s not uncommon for teeth to chip as a result of a dog that jumps towards the face too quickly or too aggressively.
Holding Items in Your Mouth. When you have too much to carry, you might be inclined to grasp items with your teeth. Unfortunately, putting a hard item in between your teeth, and clamping down, may lead to an otherwise avoidable chipped tooth.
Teeth as Scissors. Teeth are for chewing and eating, and not for cutting paper, tape, or any other object. If you’re not able to find scissors or another apparatus to open packages, cut tape, or tear a hole in something, do not use your teeth as a substitute.
Swimming Pools. Anyone with teeth is vulnerable to a chipped tooth at a pool. Swimming pools are usually crowded with children and adults moving around the area, jumping into the water, and throwing toys through the air which can inadvertently hit you in the face. Also, people occasionally hit their teeth on the pool’s hard concrete or tiles.
If you have a chipped tooth for any of the reasons listed above, or if a different circumstance caused your chip, it’s important to visit a dentist as soon as possible. Living with a chipped tooth is uncomfortable, and it puts the tooth at higher risk for further damage. Despite the cost of a dental visit, the fee to repair a chipped tooth is typically less than the price of a more serious problem that can develop as a result of the chip.