How to Care For Your Child if They Chip a Tooth

As parents, we do our best to care for our children when accidents or injuries occur. In dentistry, one of the most common dental emergencies that family and pediatric dentists see is chipped teeth.

By being prepared and knowing how to handle a chipped tooth, you can ensure your child is well looked after from the moment the injury occurs to when your family finally makes it to see your dentist.

Control Any Bleeding

The mouth bleeds easily and heavily, due to the many blood vessels supplying it. Apply pressure with a clean cloth or sterile gauze (a facial tissue works if you don’t have anything else on hand) to help stop any bleeding that’s occurring.

Look for the Tooth Fragment

If the damage to your child’s tooth is significant, your dentist may be able to bond the broken off portion back into place. The key is to find it quickly and store it properly, so that it doesn’t dry out. Place it in a sealed container and submerge it with milk, contact solution, or if nothing else is available, tap water.

Take note not to scrub the tooth fragment clean, especially if it’s a completely knocked out tooth. Doing so could make it harder for your dentist to put back in place.

See your dentist within the next hour if at all possible. The sooner you seek out care, the more conservative treatment will tend to be.

Baby vs. Permanent Teeth

How your dentist handles treating a chipped tooth will depend on if it’s a baby or adult tooth. Adult teeth need to be treated quickly to avoid permanent nerve damage or deterioration of the compromised enamel. However, baby teeth are typically handled on a case-by-case basis. Depending on the size of the chip, your dentist may only want to monitor the tooth to make sure it doesn’t start to die before it exfoliates (falls out) naturally on its own time. However, larger cracks and chips may require some type of filling or a crown.

Preserve Your Child’s Smile

The health of your child’s teeth plays a direct impact on the development of their adult smile, speech patterns, and even their self-esteem. If your child has chipped a tooth or suffered from a bump to the mouth, see your dentist for a quick exam and X-ray to determine the severity of the trauma.

About the Author

I am a family dentist who treats children as well as adults. Making smiles people love, extreme makeovers and complex dental reconstruction is our niche including implants, TMJ, orthodontics and cosmetic dentistry. As a participant in the blog, I will be offering dental perspectives on pediatric safety and health care options on a regular basis. I can be reached at www.suwaneedental.com. Blessings to all! Dr Williams is a member of the PedSafe Expert team

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