Cracked teeth can be painful, unattractive, and pricey to repair. Today’s post in the William J. Stewart Jr. DDS Advanced Family & Cosmetic Dentistry dental blog contains an easy-to-follow list of tips to keep your teeth whole and strong.
1. Avoiding a cracked tooth means avoiding chewing on hard things. Mind-blowing, right? People should steer clear of ice, hard candies, hard nuts, popcorn, and beef jerky. Also be careful with pitted fruits—that peach may be soft but if you bite hard into the stone, you could damage a tooth.
2. It is critical to protect your teeth while engaging in any physical activity where your mouth can be hit. If you enjoy pick-up basketball games, indoor soccer leagues, rec center flag football, and many other activities, you should be using a well-fitting mouth protector.
3. Don’t use your teeth as a tool. Use scissors to open a string cheese or rip the price tag off a new piece of clothing with your teeth. Use a nutcracker for nuts. A quality dental crown can cost hundreds of dollars.
4. Most people know that grinding your teeth is harmful, but did you know that it can lead to a cracked tooth? If you know or suspect that you are a tooth grinder, speak with your dentist so you can address the problem with stress reduction techniques and/or a mouth guard. Frequent headaches or jaw pain can typically be attributed to nighttime teeth grinding.
5. Lastly, make sure that you visit your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings. Your dentist can alert you to conditions that might predispose you to cracked teeth, such as having an uneven chewing surface or brittle teeth. Your dentist may also discover tiny cracks you aren’t aware of. Repair these cracks early before more damage ensues.
If you already have a cracked tooth, never fear! Treatment is available for cracks small and large. Veneers, cosmetic dental bonding, inlays/onlays, fillings, and dental implants are all used to repair or replace damaged teeth.