Having a chipped baby tooth can almost be seen as any parent’s very own dental nightmare. It is quite understandable that whether the tooth fracture causes pain or not, parents would still regard every event as a dental emergency. If your child fell and chipped a tooth, it is reasonable to feel scared and worried. But what should parents know so that they can handle a chipped baby tooth incident? Here are what dental experts would advise parents and guardians when accidents happen, and tooth fracture is one of the foreseeable sustained injuries.
Chipped Baby Tooth
The truth is, having a fractured milk tooth is one of the most common dental issues for pediatric dentists. Because toddlers are still learning how to walk while developing their balance and strengthening their knees at the same time, accidents are bound to happen. There will always have a chance for them to slip or fall even if the floor is flat. No matter how keen parents are at helping and teaching them how and where to walk, instances of bumping their heads or falling are possible. But come to think of it – when kids fall head first, their teeth are not your first concern, right? It could be the head, the eyes, the nose, and others. And when you have established that these parts are OK, you would now check their teeth. So, with this logic, panic and hysteria will never help. Here are tips that dentists usually advise their patients’ parents when it comes to chipping baby teeth.
Chipped Baby Tooth: How To Handle At Home
Not even your home is a safe place for your little ball of energy. Jumping and running too fast in tight spaces or stairs may instantly cause a fall, risking your child to have a chipped baby tooth. So what should you do once you discovered a fracture in your child’s baby teeth? Should you go straight to your pediatric dentist or the emergency room? Read on to find out.
In any accident, panic will do you no good. It will only contribute to making you careless and clumsy, leading to errors and wrong decisions. Because having a chipped baby tooth is a common thing, we can assure you that there is no need to be deeply alarmed or in full distress. Do deep breathing exercises, calm your child and soothe his crying.
Check your child’s overall status
As your baby (and you!) calms down, you can now check his head for any injuries, pain, or bleeding. You can also check his extremities, chest, and back. Once these are cleared, and your only concern is the chipped tooth, you can now rest assured that you can somehow manage it at home. Again, unless other injuries are sustained that may cause loss of consciousness or bleeding, you can ideally treat your child at home for the moment.
Seek your pediatric dentist’s advice
If your child’s dentist hasn’t given you any tips or instructions about how to deal with a chipped baby tooth, you can give them a call so you can be sure of the steps that you would take to apply first aid to your child. He may ask you to do the following:
- Rinse the child’s mouth. This is to prevent any tooth fragment from getting swallowed. Let the child rinse his mouth and spit it in a basin in the hopes of retrieving the chipped tooth pieces. You can let the pediatric dentist look at it during your consultation.
- Apply a cold compress. Because the fall may cause swelling and pain, applying a cold compress on the area alleviates them. Your child’s chipped baby tooth may cause further sensitivity, so as much as possible, do not give ice chips. If inevitable and no cold compress are available, give this as a last resort.
- Inform your pediatric dentist. If you know your dentist’s personal number, give him a call or send him a text narrating what happened to your child. Based on the information you provided, your dentist may give you further instructions as to how you can manage your child’s condition. He should be able to provide you with care advice to address the pain, swelling, and status of the chipped baby tooth (signs of infection, damage inside the gums, gum damage, etc.)
- Take pain medications. If the pain and swelling persist, you may also give them pain medications as instructed by your dentist. Ibuprofen is one of the common analgesics that can be given to kids, provided that the dentist gave you the correct dosage and frequency of use.
Watch out for further damage
Whether the chipped baby tooth looks minor with having the top part cracked, or the fracture looks deep, you should still be alert for some changes that can happen in the next couple of hours or days. If you see that the child’s tongue or insides of the cheeks get bloody, or he may lose appetite, this may mean that the chipped tooth is making him uncomfortable and caused nicks and cuts to the insides of his mouth, you have to let his pediatric dentist file the tooth to smoothen it up.
You may also determine that the broken tooth may look grey or discolored compared to the other baby teeth. This scenario may indicate nerve and blood vessel damage on the roots. Have your child’s dentist manage this as soon as possible so as not to cause further problems with his gums and bone.
It is never OK for a child getting into accidents that can hurt and damage their teeth. Even if it is a common thing, proper safety precautions and keeping a vigilant eye towards what could potentially cause falls and head injuries are important in making sure that your child’s overall health would not be compromised anywhere he is.