October 16, 2023
Imagine: while at the park, you watch your child play happily. You take your eyes off them for one second and then hear a cry of pain. When you approach them, you see that they’ve chipped a tooth. Panic starts to kick in because you don’t know what to do!
If you know what you should do in advance, you can take care of your child and keep stress to a minimum in a dental emergency like chipping a tooth. Here are the steps you need to take in this type of scenario.
Step #1: Stay Calm
As a loving parent, you may find the thought of something bad happening to your child frightening, but your child will need you to remain composed and calm. Otherwise, they may become overwhelmed or worried too. Take a few breaths and reassure your child that everything will be okay because it will!
Step #2: Do a Quick Examination of Your Child
Before you can do anything about the problem, you need to have an idea of what’s wrong. Look at your child’s mouth to see if there is anything other than a chipped tooth. Are they bleeding? Did a tooth come out? Your priority in this case would be to control bleeding and assess the situation.
Step #3: Call Your Pediatric Dentist
Even if a chipped tooth is the only problem, you need to contact your pediatric dentist right away because the tooth could be more vulnerable to decay or additional damage. Interior layers, which are not as resistant to bacteria as enamel, can become exposed without treatment.
Fortunately, your pediatric dentist can usually see emergency patients on the same day as their call! They can also provide more personalized instructions or advice as well as deal with the problem quickly.
Step #4: Find the Piece(s) of Your Child’s Tooth
In some situations, the piece(s) may be reattached to the tooth, so you may wish to find the chipped off part. However, this depends on the severity of the damage. Keep in mind that the tooth may require a dental crown to protect it.
Step #5: Cover Sharp Points or Edges
A chipped tooth often leaves a sharp point or edge on the tooth, which may puncture your child’s gum tissues, lips, tongue, or cheek. To prevent further harm, you can give your child some sugar-free gum to cover the tooth. Dental wax, which you should find in the oral healthcare aisle at any drugstore, also does the trick.
Although remembering what to do can be challenging in a stressful situation, knowing these steps can help you keep a cool head, make the right decisions, and preserve your child’s smile.
About the Practice
At Coastal Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. James Forester and Dr. Natalie Vander Kam are board-certified pediatric dentists, which means they are specifically trained in children’s dental issues. We do everything we can to treat emergency patients as quickly as possible, and we are dedicated to relieving pain. If your child chips a tooth and you need help, don’t hesitate to reach out to our office in San Luis Obispo online or call 805-592-2020.
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