Can You Chip A Tooth While Flossing? Emergency Dentist Perth & Brisbane

The scenario where you see a piece of white particle flying out of your mouth is all too common, especially while you floss. The thing is, this particle may be a part of your tooth that has chipped off or merely tartar.

Tartar results from a build-up of bacteria and debris on the surface of your teeth and in the crevices. It is possible to have this chipped off while you floss but that doesn’t rule out your actual tooth getting chipped off.

What To Do If Your Tooth Chips From Flossing

Can you Chip A Tooth While Flossing?

It is possible to experience a chipped tooth while you floss. Although likely, the floss itself did not cause the crack or chip as a floss may not be able to cause even minor scratches on your tooth to talk less of chipping it.

If your tooth chips while flossing, first check that it was your tooth that chipped. It may have been the tartar or plaque build-up that was knocked out of place. So make sure to ask yourself the question,” Did I chip my tooth or was it plaque?”. 

Otherwise, the small chip in your tooth may have been because it has been weakened. Tooth decay or cavities can weaken your enamel even though it is the strongest material in your body and when that happens a practice as simple as flossing can chip your teeth.

Preventing Tooth Damage From Flossing

Flossing your teeth regularly has a lot of benefits in that it cleans the areas of your teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach. However, the reverse is the case if you don’t floss the right way. As already stated, flossing may just be the last straw to cause your tooth to chip.

Also, if you aggressively floss your tooth it may lead to tooth damage ranging from injuries to your gum and gum recession. However, if you want to prevent tooth damage from flossing here are the things you should do.

  • Try not to floss more than twice daily. One or two floss sessions can be enough each day as it removes food particles effectively.
  • Always floss gently because using too much force can cause your gems to bleed due to injuries.
  • Do not pull the floss through your teeth too hard as it may pull on the gum and cause it to go beneath the gum line.
  • Examine your teeth before flossing each time as you may notice some signs of weakness. If not pay a visit to the dentist for a proper examination.

What To Do If Your Tooth Chips From Flossing?

If you get your tooth chipped while flossing your first line of action should be to call a dentist. They’ll put you in for an appointment on the closest date possible. Then you could go ahead to do some things to relieve yourself of the pain before you can see the dentist.

  • Get some over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or Alvin from a pharmacy or drug store near you. This will help to alleviate any pain that may be coming from the chipped tooth.
  • Get a temporary dental filling material or dental wax to protect your tongue and gums from scrapes. You could use a tea bag or sugar-free gum in the case of an emergency. It will simply serve to cover the jagged edge of the chip.
  • You may also gently floss in between other teeth to remove any food particles and reduce pressure on the chipped tooth.
  • If you are feeling any pain around your gum area, use clove oil to rub the spot as it will help relieve the pain.


1. Why Did My Tooth Chip While Flossing?

If your enamel is weakened due to decay or any tooth damage, it may chip while you floss. The enamel is the strongest substance in your body but it can wear out if it receives a huge blow.

2. Can Your Tooth Break From Flossing?

Flossing is likely not the root cause of your tooth breaking as the floss threader is too thin to cause your tooth to chip. However, flossing a weakened tooth can cause it to break.

3. Should I Floss A Chipped Tooth?

If the chipped tooth causes no pain you may go ahead to floss it gently. Otherwise, avoid flossing a chipped tooth until you see the dentist.

4. What Happens If I Chipped A Small Piece Of My Tooth?

A slightly chipped tooth may result in mild to serious pain as well as exposing some nerves in your tooth. It can make chewing more difficult and the chipped tooth is usually more sensitive to hot and cold temperatures.

5. Can Flossing Make Your Teeth Hurt?

Flossing will not cause pain as long as you do it gently and not too often. However, flossing the area near a chipped tooth may result in minimal pain.


Several factors can cause your tooth to chip while flossing. Most of these factors are not the flossing itself but other underlying factors. If your tooth chips while flossing, it is important that you keep calm and not try to “fix” the situation by yourself.
Immediately you notice a chipped tooth, call or book an appointment at My Emergency Dentist to find the root cause and get a remedy that will have your teeth sparkling in your smile yet again.

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