cracked tooth sketchChipped teeth are so common that odds are if you don’t have one yourself, you know someone else who does. There are many ways a person can chip a tooth, and some people have multiple chipped teeth each with different causes. Here are some of the most common causes of chipped teeth and what you can do to protect yourself from each:

Falling: This is one of the most common causes of chipped teeth in children.  Some of them are small children, just learning to toddle around on two legs, or children running around and not watching where they’re going.  Sometimes a child will chip their baby teeth, which will obviously be replaced in a few years.  Other times, it will be an older child with their adult teeth, which is a bit more problematic.  Short of wrapping your kid in bubble wrap, there isn’t a whole lot you can do about this.

Sports: Many contact sports require players to wear mouth guards, and with good reason.  Even sports that aren’t generally thought of as contact sports can lead to chipped teeth.  Any time you have a ball flying at high speed, whether you’re talking about full contact sports like hockey and football, or sports that don’t involve any actual contact between players, such as tennis and baseball, there is a potential for chipped teeth.  Staying aware of the ball as well as other players at all times won’t completely prevent injury, but will lower your risk.

Biting hard objects:  It can happen when you bite into an apple, crunching a hard candy, or even biting into crusty bread.  When a chipped tooth is caused by biting into food, the chipped portion is often swallowed, and the person may not realize the damage has been done until later.  If your teeth are weak or soft, avoid hard or tough foods.  Even if your teeth are healthy and strong, you should still avoid chewing or biting non food items or using your teeth to untie knots or open containers.

Sometimes, despite every effort you may make to protect your teeth, things happen and you chip a tooth anyway.  If it happens to you, call your dentist as soon as possible.  Modern dental technology provides a number of options for repairing the chipped tooth and restoring your smile.

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