The life of a child can be nonstop. They run around. They roughhouse. They like to munch on crunchy snacks. You know - all the things that can put someone at risk for chipping a tooth.
And, believe it or not, it happens a lot for kids of all ages. A chipped tooth is not at all uncommon. The key is knowing how to handle it as parents.
Since it will always happen when you least expect it, what do you do when your child has a chipped tooth? Let’s talk about it.
It can be scary when a chipped tooth happens - especially since it so commonly stems from some form of trauma. Maybe your child was running and fell face down, hitting the hard ground. Or maybe in a game of baseball, the ball found your child’s face rather than the bat.
However it happens, you have to remain calm because, as the parent, your reaction matters. Your child is going to respond to the chipped tooth based on your response. So, if you panic, your child will panic, too. But, if you remain calm and diligent with your steps, you will keep your little one at ease, as well.
At Home Care
The first thing you will want to do when the chip happens is to have your child rinse their mouth with plain water. Stick to room temperature (or lukewarm) water if possible. This will remove any little bits and pieces that may be remaining in the mouth.
Next up, grab a cold compress. Placing this in the area will minimize any swelling that may occur.
If you see a piece of the tooth that chipped off, keep it. You can bring this with you to the dentist when you go.
Call Your Pediatric Dentist
It is always important to give your child’s pediatric dentist a call when a tooth is chipped. If the tooth is broken in half - or more than half - you need to contact your dentist right away. Even a small chip that does not seem to cause any pain should be examined just in case - though this would not be considered a dental emergency.
When calling, the dental team will likely ask you some questions to help determine if the nerve is exposed. This will help them to determine whether or not the chipped tooth has an exposed nerve. If it does, the tooth may require prompt treatment.
On the other hand, a chipped tooth without an exposed nerve can often wait until the next available appointment.
Restoring a Chipped Tooth
Pediatric dentistry includes many different types of restorative - and cosmetic - services that can treat a chipped tooth. The procedures used will directly correlate with the damage involved in the chip.
Bonding, filling, and even reattachment are all options that may be used. If the nerve is exposed, treatment may be a bit more involved, including a root canal.
After a thorough examination, the dentist will be able to determine the best treatment to yield the best results.
Chipped Tooth in Maplewood, NJ?
If your child has a chipped tooth and you are not sure of the next steps, the team at Marigold Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics is here to help. We offer a long list of dental services to treat the chip and restore the tooth.