A chip, crack, or break can happen to a tooth for many different reasons.
A broken tooth is a very common reason for kids’ emergency dental visits.
Kids often aren’t as careful with their smiles as parents would like. Whether it be from horsing around with friends, school sports, or falling off a bike, an accidental injury from an impact can damage a tooth fairly easily. A crack or a chip can even occur from something as seemingly harmless as chewing on the end of a pencil or crunching on some ice while enjoying a drink.
In some cases, a broken tooth can be attributed to an underlying oral health concern, such as weakened tooth enamel and tooth decay. However, even kids with great oral health can still accidentally hurt a tooth.
The most important thing to do if your child has a broken tooth is to stay calm and take swift action.
A broken tooth can be a very alarming situation for parents. It’s important to stay calm and get control over the situation as quickly as possible.
Step 1: Get your child comfortable and assess the tooth.
A small chip may not warrant much of a reaction from your child, but chances are if they’ve badly broken a tooth they’ll be in pain and feeling very scared. Have your child rinse their mouth with warm water to flush any debris, blood, or sharp tooth pieces away. If possible, take a look inside their mouth to see what happened to the tooth so you can relay this information to their dentist.
Do your best to keep your child calm and have them sit down to rest. If the damaged tooth is bleeding, have your child gently bite down on a piece of gauze to stop the bleeding.
Step 2: Save any pieces of their tooth that have broken off.
While assessing the tooth and rinsing, look for any large pieces of the tooth that have broken off. You’ll want to save these pieces for the dentist to see. If your child has completely broken off a tooth and the entire tooth is out of their mouth, immediately place the tooth in a cup of cold milk, saline solution, or water. If you have a store very close by, you can also look for Save-A-Tooth to place the tooth in.
Step 3: Call their pediatric dentist right away.
Your child is calming down and you’ve saved the tooth or tooth fragments you could find. Now you need to call your kid’s dentist right away. Inform them of what’s happened, how your child is feeling, and the extent of the damage that you can see.
For a dental emergency involving a shattered tooth, lost tooth, or a tooth that is bleeding heavily, seek help from the closest emergency center if you’re unable to reach their regular pediatric dentist. The sooner your child is able to get medical help, the better!
Step 4: Use child-safe pain management while waiting.
If your child is feeling uncomfortable and in pain while you’re waiting for their emergency appointment, you can use standard, age-appropriate pain-management methods. Gently swishing with warm water, kids’ over-the-counter pain medication, and cold or warm compresses can all help take the edge off their pain. Avoid any questionable at-home remedies, such as clove oil or applying crushed aspirin to the tooth.
If your child has a minor chip or crack, their dentist may not be able to see them for a day or two. In this case, keep the tooth clean, ensure they brush and floss, and avoid any hard, crunchy, or sticky foods until then.
Thanks to modern pediatric dentistry, a broken tooth isn’t the end of a beautiful smile.
After the initial chaos of a broken tooth simmers down, the next thought many parents have is, “How is this going to change my child’s smile?” The good news is your child’s smile won’t be any different after getting help from a skilled team like at Spinnaker Pediatric Dentistry!
Dr. Cooper and Dr. Day provide the latest in pediatric dentistry technology and techniques, including cosmetic dentistry for kids. After assessing the damage to your child’s tooth and ensuring your child is pain-free, the next step is to create a treatment plan to recover your child’s smile.
Our zirconia EZCrowns by Sprig are perfect for protecting a damaged or weakened tooth. For cosmetic chipping, these crowns will also allow our doctors to cover the damage and revive the look of your child’s original tooth.
If your child has cracked or damaged a tooth, give our Salem office a call to book an appointment.
For our contact information and location, visit this webpage for everything you need to know. For non-urgent appointments or questions, you can also fill out the quick online form on that page. We’re here to help your child get back on track to a happy and healthy smile.