What Parents Should Know If Their Child Has a Chipped Tooth

What Parents Should Know If Their Child Has a Chipped Tooth | Junior Smiles of Stafford
What Parents Should Know If Their Child Has a Chipped Tooth | Junior Smiles of Stafford

Parents often worry when their child experiences a dental injury, such as a chip in their tooth. A chipped tooth can be a scary experience for both children and parents, whether the injured tooth is a baby tooth or an emerging permanent tooth.

While it is important to seek immediate medical attention for more serious dental injuries, such as an injury to teeth that results in a loose tooth or a piece of tooth coming off, minor chips in teeth can often be treated at home.

However, if your child has a chipped tooth, whether it’s primary teeth or adult teeth, it is vital to know what steps to take to ensure the health and safety of your child’s teeth and maintain their dental hygiene.

If you want to know more about what to do when your child chips their tooth, continue reading for essential tips on dental treatment and baby tooth repair.

What Causes Chipped Tooth in Children?

Chipped tooth in children can occur due to several reasons. Common causes include falls or accidents, especially during play or sports, which can result in a direct impact to the mouth or teeth. Biting down on hard objects or foods, such as ice or hard candy, can also lead to chipping. Additionally, teeth that are weakened by decay are more susceptible to chipping. 

How to Handle When Your Toddler’s Tooth Chips

Don’t Panic, Just Stay Calm

It’s natural to worry when your child chips a tooth, but staying calm is essential. Take a deep breath and comfort your child; your calm demeanor will help soothe their anxiety about the injury to their tooth. Remember, chipped primary teeth are a common occurrence and dentists are well-versed in treating them efficiently.

Check on Your Child

Gently assess your child’s mouth for the extent of the damage to the injured baby tooth. Inquire gently about their pain level and look for any signs of bleeding or additional injuries in their mouth. It’s important to be thorough yet gentle to avoid causing further distress or discomfort to your child.

Call Your Pediatric Dentist

As soon as you’ve evaluated the situation, contact your pediatric dentist to get professional advice. Explain the situation clearly, including any bleeding or pain your child is experiencing, and they will guide you on the immediate steps to take, which may include an emergency visit if the injured tooth requires prompt attention.

Cold Compress or Rinse

Apply a cold compress to the outside of your child’s cheek near the chipped tooth to reduce swelling and relieve pain. Have your child rinse their mouth with cold water to cleanse the area and reduce the risk of infection. If you’ve found the piece of tooth, place it in a clean container and bring it to your dentist – it may be helpful for the repair of the chipped tooth.

Pain Relievers

If pain persists after the initial injury, an over-the-counter pain reliever suitable for children can help alleviate discomfort. Always use the medication according to the package directions or a pediatrician’s guidance to ensure your child’s safety. Follow up with your dentist to discuss if any further pain management or dental treatment is necessary.

Pay Attention to It

Monitor the chipped tooth and surrounding area over the next few days for any changes. A change in color, such as a tooth turning grey, could indicate nerve damage, while swelling or redness could signal infection. Regular check-ups are essential to maintaining dental hygiene and promptly addressing complications from a chipped or injured baby tooth.

When Should a Chipped Tooth in a Child be Considered an Emergency?

Most parents ask themselves, “Do we go to the emergency dental room?” after their child loses or injures a baby tooth. Even if the damaged tooth isn’t life-threatening, it can cause other problems that necessitate immediate dental treatment.

Here’s a list of indicators that you should go to the nearest emergency room as soon as possible:

Difficulty in Breathing

If a piece of the chipped tooth has become lodged in the airway, it poses an immediate choking hazard. Quick action is crucial; observe your child closely for any signs of respiratory distress or wheezing, which can indicate a blocked airway. Should these symptoms appear, it’s imperative to visit the emergency room straight away to ensure that the airway is cleared and the child’s breathing is not compromised.

Unable to Swallow

Difficulty with swallowing can be a sign that a fragment of the tooth or swelling is obstructing the throat, which might lead to more severe complications such as a blocked airway. It’s also possible that the inability to swallow comfortably could indicate trauma to the soft tissues in the throat, necessitating an immediate evaluation by medical professionals. A visit to the emergency room is warranted to rule out any serious injury and to prevent any potential risk of asphyxiation.

Too Much Bleeding

It’s normal for a chipped or injured tooth to bleed initially, but if the bleeding is profuse or doesn’t stop within a few minutes, it could signal a deeper laceration or more extensive injury in the mouth. Continuous bleeding can lead to further complications, such as infection or significant blood loss, especially in young children with smaller blood volumes. Emergency room staff can provide the necessary interventions to stop the bleeding, assess the need for further dental treatment, and reduce the risk of other complications.

Signs of Head or Neck Injury

If your child is exhibiting signs of a head or neck injury such as loss of consciousness, severe fatigue, vomiting, headache, or neck pain, it is crucial to take these symptoms seriously. These symptoms could indicate a concussion or serious neck injury, especially if they persist or worsen over time. An immediate trip to the emergency room is necessary for a thorough evaluation, as such injuries may require urgent medical intervention to ensure the safety and health of your child.

How to Prevent Chippied Tooth in Children

To prevent chipped teeth in children, ensure they practice good oral hygiene to maintain strong teeth. Encourage them to use mouthguards during sports and physical activities to protect their teeth from injury. Teach children to avoid biting on hard objects like ice or hard candies, which can cause chips. Regular dental check-ups are important to identify and address any issues that may weaken teeth, making them more prone to chipping. Lastly, childproofing your home to minimize the risk of falls can also help in preventing dental injuries.

Contact Junior Smiles of Stafford to Learn More About Chipped Tooth Prevention

At Junior Smiles of Stafford, we understand the concerns and challenges that come with pediatric dental care. Our team of experienced pediatric dentists is dedicated to providing the best possible care for your child in a friendly and comforting environment. We are equipped to handle a variety of dental situations, including chipped teeth, with the utmost professionalism and care.

Don’t let dental emergencies cause undue stress; reach out to us for reliable and compassionate dental care. To learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment, please contact us. Our commitment is to ensure that your child’s smile remains bright and healthy!