What should I do if my child chips a tooth?

children's emergency dentistChildren can encounter a number of dental emergencies that have potential long-term implications if they are not treated properly. One of the most common reasons that parents bring their sons or daughters to see a children’s emergency dentist is for a chipped tooth.

If your child does chip a tooth, it’s important to have him examined by a children’s emergency dentist as soon as possible, even if the damage appears to be minor. You still want to be sure that the tooth hasn’t suffered any significant harm that would require an intervention.  

If your child does chip a tooth, it’s important to have him examined by a children’s emergency dentist as soon as possible, even if the damage appears to be minor. 

Even a small chip or crack could have lasting consequences for your child’s oral health. There could be an opening that’s invisible to the naked eye but still allows oral bacteria to enter the tooth’s sensitive inner core and cause an infection.

There are some steps that parents should take at home before getting to the dentist, too. First, rinse out your child’s mouth. If any swelling is present, you can reduce it with an ice bag or cold compress. If possible, preserve the tooth fragment and bring it with you to the dental appointment in case it can be re-attached.

The dentist will thoroughly examine your child and either re-attach the tooth fragment, if it is available and that treatment is feasible, or re-contour the tooth to remove any jagged edges or perhaps use a bonding material to fill in the empty space in cases of relatively large chips.

The dentist will also give you instructions for caring for the tooth at home after it is treated. Your child may need to make adjustments to his or her daily routine for just a few days after the tooth is repaired, depending on the intervention used.

The key to dealing with any kind of dental emergency, including a chipped tooth, is to have a plan in advance so that you can know what to do if and when the situation arises. Call 817-569-6633 to consult with our pediatric dentist if you should ever have an emergency with your child.