What to Do When Your Child Breaks a Tooth

Children have boundless energy, and that often comes with boundless potential for accidents. From bicycle accidents to injuries in the park, kids put their smiles through a lot. Check out this guide for parents explaining what to do when your child breaks a tooth.

Medical Emergencies – Call 9-1-1 or Go to the Emergency Room

If your child sustained a physical injury with the broken tooth, go to your nearest emergency room or call 9-1-1. Your child’s medical needs remain the top priority. For instance, your child may require stitches for a facial injury, or your child may need to medicine to manage pain. Take care of those matters first before seeing a dentist.

Should I Keep the Broken Tooth?

If you can find the broken segment of the tooth, rinse it off with cold water. Then store it on a container of cold milk in the fridge. You can bring this with you to your dentist appointment. Your dentist may or may not be able to reattach the original segment. It will depend on the nature of the break.

Temporary Treatments – See a Dentist as Soon as Possible

Contact your dentist office to get an appointment as soon as possible. Explain the nature of the break, and ask for care recommendations before the appointment. Here are some general care tips:

  • To keep swelling down, apply a cold cloth or ice pack on the outside of the mouth. Do not apply heat. This may increase pain and swelling.
  • Have your child eat soft, room temperature foods. The tooth may be sensitive to hot and cold temperatures.
  • If your doctor prescribed antibiotics, continue using them for the entire prescription.
  • Use a saltwater rinse (1 teaspoon of salt mixed with 1 cup of warm water) to keep the area clean.
  • Be careful when brushing or flossing around the injury. You may need to monitor your child or help your child brush his or her teeth.

What to Expect during Your Dentist Appointment

When you go to see the dentist, he will evaluate the broken tooth. Every case is different, so your dentist will recommend the ideal treatment for your child. In some cases, the broken tooth segment can be reattached with dental bonding. The dentist may also be able to rebuild the tooth with dental bonding on its own. If the break happens to a baby tooth, the dentist may recommend removing it. The dentist could also recommend getting a crown or bridge to correct the injury.

As you can see, there are many treatment options for broken teeth in children. The best way to get the answers you need is by scheduling a dentist appointment. Clinton Dental Center offers pediatric dentistry and restorative dentistry using advanced tools and techniques. To schedule a judgement-free appointment for your child, call (586) 949-5363.