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What to Do if a Toddler Chips a Tooth

A toddler in a white shirt crying.
When your child young, they’re learning how to walk, run, hop, jump, and explore the world. While this is an exciting period for parents, it’s also a time of many falls and injuries, scrapes, and boo-boos. As a rambunctious child, they’re a magnet for the kinds of injuries that can result in your child’s tooth being chipped.

A toddler’s chipped tooth may or may not be a problem. Still, it’s always best to immediately perform basic first aid (cleaning any cuts or abrasions, administering an ice pack to bruised or swollen areas) and then call your pediatric dentist.

Here are 5 tips to help you cope when a child has a chipped tooth.

  1. Call the Dentist

A dentist looks into a child’s mouth.
Unless the chip is significant, you may not be able to tell the amount of damage that’s been done. Your toddler’s chipped tooth may be minor and require nothing beyond a dentist’s expert eye. Larger cracks or chips may need to be filled or capped, and your dentist will advise you on the best course of treatment.

In cases like this, a pediatric dentist will be a great help! Pediatric dentists specialize in providing care to children, so they have a great deal of experience fixing common dental problems such as your child’s chipped tooth.

  1. Discoloration May Occur

Be prepared for your toddler’s chipped tooth to become discolored. The impact of falling on the teeth may result in your child’s chipped tooth turning grey, brown, or yellow. The discoloration is similar to a bruise you would get on your skin after a bump or fall. As the blood vessels in the teeth and gums heal, the tooth should return to its natural color. For extreme discoloration or discoloration that does not fade after a few days, contact your dentist. They can check your toddler’s chipped tooth for any further infections and determine if the tooth requires further treatment.
A pediatric dentist and technician with a child.

  1. Practice Good Oral Care Habits

After you’ve had the dentist examine your toddler’s chipped tooth, you’ll want to make sure that tooth brushing and flossing occur at least twice a day. Keeping the teeth clean and free of plaque is essential for preventing any infections that could happen in the area around your child’s chipped tooth.

Toddlers should have adult assistance at first when brushing their teeth. Young children have not yet developed the motor skills and coordination to brush their teeth perfectly, so help will be necessary to do the job right. Brushing your own teeth together with your children is also a great way to teach them the habit, as children learn much of their behavior by copying us.

  1. Be Alert for an Abscess

Teeth that have been significantly damaged due to a fall or injury may not heal. Your toddler’s chipped tooth may result in bacteria infecting the tooth’s inner pulp. This damage can lead to an abscess and is a serious condition requiring a root canal. However, if parents know the warning signs of an abscess, they can get treatment right away and prevent the infection from spreading through the gums and other teeth.

  1. Warning Signs Your Toddler’s Chipped Tooth May Have an Abscess

If you notice any of these signs of infection or abscess, be sure to call your dentist immediately.

  • If your toddler is experiencing pain in their mouth, check the area around the tooth and gum for any redness or pus.
  • Be on the look-out for swelling. When an abscess forms near a chipped front tooth, the lip may become swollen and red.
  • Infections often cause a fever, so check your child’s temperature regularly.
  • Bleeding near the chipped tooth that isn’t caused by toothbrushing.
  • Not wanting to eat. Toddlers can’t always communicate what is wrong and how they feel, which is especially true if your toddler has special needs. If you notice that your child doesn’t want to eat or is chewing on one side of their mouth, you’ll want to take a closer look.

A smiling toddler playing outside.

Call ToothFairy Pediatric Dental

Having a toddler with a chipped tooth can be a nerve-wracking experience, but the dental experts at ToothFairy Pediatric Dental are here to help. When your child falls and chips a tooth, we’re here to provide a thorough examination, advise you on follow-up care, and offer you treatment options. We have six convenient locations to choose from, and our offices are welcoming and friendly for all kids and their families.

Contact us to schedule your dental appointment today.