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My Child Chipped His Tooth! Now What? Ask Our Advance Pediatric Dentist

Dealing chipped, cracked or knocked-out tooth is almost a rite of passage for parents. While you can’t prevent every stumble, fall, or sports injury, there are a few steps you can take to minimize the chance of an accident occurring. If an accident does happen, knowing what to do ahead of time can minimize permanent damage and make the experience less frightening for your child (and for you!) Learn more below from our Advance pediatric dentist.

Immediate Care Tips

Your first step is phoning an emergency dentist, preferably an emergency pediatric dentist. Do not call the emergency ward at the hospital unless there are no other options near you; dentists are more experienced and knowledgeable in treating teeth. In addition, you should:

  • Examine your child’s mouth to ensure that no tooth fragments are lodged in his lips, gums or tongue.
  • If you do find any chipped tooth pieces, store them in a glass of milk to keep them moist, and bring them with you to the dentist.
  • Use water to rinse the mouth out and keep it clean. If the area is bleeding, give your child wet gauze and instruct him to hold it gently in place until the bleeding stops.
  • Apply a cold washcloth to your child’s face to keep the swelling down. Bags of frozen peas or corn work well.

Do Try to Replant an Adult Tooth ASAP

If a permanent tooth is lost, it should be replaced as quickly as possible. The faster a permanent tooth is replanted, the more likely it will survive. The tooth’s chances for survival start to drop off significantly after 15 minutes of being out of the socket. Pick the tooth up by the non-root portion, rinse it off gently with water (no soap), place it back in the socket, and have your child bite down gently on a clean washcloth. Then seek emergency dental care.

Don’t Try to Replant a Baby Tooth

A knocked-out baby or “milk” tooth must be replaced by a dentist, lest it damage the permanent tooth coming in behind it. A pediatric dentist will be able to reposition the tooth properly.

Always Seek Treatment from a Local Pediatric Dentist

Be aware that any dental injury, no matter how minor it may appear, may be disguising a more serious issue beneath the tooth surface. For example, a chipped baby tooth may have a fractured root, posing a risk for infection. Your child’s dentist can take X-rays and determine the full extent of the damage. If you need an emergency dentist or pediatric dentist in Advance NC, please contact Advance Pediatric Dentistry here.