An injury resulting in a chipped tooth can be scary and traumatic, especially for children. These kinds of injuries can do permanent damage to the teeth or gums.
It’s important to take your child to the dentist even for what seems like small chips. An X-ray may show that the crack or chip extends farther up the tooth or into the pulp, making treatment necessary. Treatment for the chipped tooth at the dentist will vary depending on how severe the chip is and your child’s age. Sometimes primary teeth (also known as baby teeth) may be left alone to fall out naturally if the tooth is not badly chipped.
At Tooth Fairy Pediatric Dental in greater Reno, Nevada, we are experienced in treating your child’s chipped tooth. As a parent, here’s how to best handle a child’s chipped tooth.
What Should I Do if My Child Has a Chipped Tooth?
Your first step should be to assess the damage. How bad is the chip? If your child is having difficulty swallowing or breathing, they may have a piece of tooth caught in their throat. In this case, we do recommend a trip to your nearest ER. If a piece of the tooth has chipped and needs treatment, preserve it by putting it in milk, not water. Use a cold compress to reduce swelling, and you may give children’s pain relievers like Tylenol or Ibuprofen if the pain warrants it.
Unless the chip is extremely large or causing intense pain, you should take your child to the dentist instead of the emergency room for a chipped tooth. Many emergency rooms don’t have dentists on call, and we can easily handle even a serious crack or chip.
The most important thing is to stay calm. Your child might be surprised or upset at their chipped tooth, and they will look to you for reassurance. Make sure your child understands this can be a normal part of growing up.
If you live in the Reno, Nevada area, call Tooth Fairy Pediatric Dental at 775-800-4117 and we will schedule an appointment as soon as possible.
What Treatment is Best for a Chipped Tooth?
We offer several options for treatment, depending on how much of the tooth is chipped.
For small chips, we can file the tooth surface to make it smooth. For larger chips, we can most likely bond the broken-off chipped piece to the tooth right here at the dentist.
If you don’t have the piece of tooth and the tooth needs repair, we will use dental bonding to recreate the piece.
If the piece is too large to be reattached, or we don’t have the piece of the chipped tooth, treatment will most likely include dental bonding. Just like with fillings, this is where a tooth-colored resin is applied to the teeth and hardened with a special light that matches the natural shade of the teeth, restoring its structure and functionality.
Do I Really Need the Dentist For A Chipped Primary Tooth?
Yes. We can inspect the tooth and determine whether it needs treatment. Even though primary teeth will eventually fall out, if they are chipped badly enough or the tooth has to be extracted, it can affect the alignment of your child’s permanent teeth. Your child may require orthodontic treatment in the future.
It’s best to check with us for any chipped tooth to ensure your child gets the correct and most timely treatment.
Why Do Primary Teeth Seem to Chip So Easily?
Although primary teeth are strong, the enamel is not as thick as permanent teeth, and their roots are shorter.
In addition, babies can chew on hard objects that can cause a chipped tooth which may need treatment.
When learning to walk, babies often fall, and that can lead to tooth damage as well. Babies and toddlers running into objects at full speed or falling onto hard objects also chip teeth.
The enamel on permanent teeth, on the other hand, is thicker because it has to protect teeth for many years.
I Have a Special Needs Child or My Child is Afraid of the Dentist
We can treat your child’s chipped tooth with no fuss. At Tooth Fairy Pediatric Dental, all our staff and dentists know how to reassure your child and comfort them to ensure a positive experience.
We also offer several types of pediatric sedation for special needs children or other children who are afraid of dental treatment.
Our dentists spend an extra two years in training to specialize in infants and children, and we work with hundreds of special needs children and those who need extra care every year.