Toddlers with a chipped tooth. What can a parent do?

(February 23, 2010)

When children are toddlers they try to learn how to walk, run, and climb; they are very enthusiastic and unstoppable. Due to the activities they perform, they are bound to fall many times a day and sometimes, unfortunately, they hurt themselves.

A chipped tooth in a toddler could result due to an accident while playing. In most cases, even a strong blow on the lower mouth does not hurt the tooth too much, but sometimes, due to some unfortunate reasons, a tooth might get knocked off or get loose, but remain attached and out of place.

Here are some indications of a chipped tooth in a toddler:

•    A chipped tooth is easily identifiable since a portion of the tooth will be broken off and there might be blood in that area.

•    Swollen lips and gums are very common.

•    Continuous pain.

If your toddler hurts his mouth and there is an indication of a tooth being knocked out, then follow the first aid techniques mentioned below:

1.    After hurting himself, your toddler may be crying. Comfort your child by administering hugs and kisses.

2.    Put on protective gloves and try to find the broken tooth.

3.    Put the tooth in a glass of milk or wrap it in a moist cloth.

4.    Give your toddler a glass of chilled juice to stem the pain.

5.    Apply a cold compress to reduce the pain.

6.    If it’s bleeding too much, place some cotton on the area inside the mouth and gently apply pressure.

7.    Call your dentist and try to get to the clinic within half an hour.

Proper care for the chipped tooth is very important since swollen gums and lips can lead to a minor infection. If not treated well, continuous pain can disturb your toddler. A chipped tooth could be sharp on the edges and might hurt the soft parts of the toddler’s mouth. Finish the above mentioned first aid to your toddler and rush to the dentist for further treatment. Here are some treatment techniques:

•    A quick dental visit might save the tooth; the dentist could reattach the tooth to where it had broken off.

•    If the broken tooth could not be found, then the dentist can either fill the gap with a false tooth or simply leave the gap as it is till the permanent tooth comes up.

•    A chipped tooth with a sharp edge can be fixed by the dentist by putting a cap over the tooth; this is called a veneer.

•    Sometimes, due to a hard blow, the tooth could get damaged and may die; this could lead to a serious problem since the dead tooth can block the way for a permanent tooth to grow. A dentist can remove the internal pulp by doing an RCT (root canal treatment) and thereby prevent the tooth from dying.

Submitted by P T on February 23, 2010 at 11:50

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