My Child has a Broken Tooth! ….. What Do I Do????

Hi All!

With spring in full effect and the summer months coming upon us, I figured that I would share a tip that affects many of us with little kids - What happens when my child falls and breaks a front tooth????

I have a little girl that's 8 years old now but, when she was between the age of 2-4, she was getting used to walking and running and we had MULTIPLE incidents of faceplants to the concrete! Ugh! In my dental office, we see this happen all the time where a child breaks a front tooth after a traumatic accident and the parent (me included) is a wreck! What do I do??? Here is a list that I give to my patients that may help guide you when this happens:

  • 1. Make sure that your child is ok and that you comfort him/her and ensure them that everything will be all right.

  • 2. Make a mental note of the exact surroundings where it happened - in case you leave the area.

  • 3. ICE is best to apply to the area. Ice will decrease the swelling and it will actually provide some pain relief to the area. If your kiddo is bleeding, a napkin, or towel applied to where the accident happened is good. The more pressure that you can apply, the better it will stop the bleeding. More than likely the bleeding will subside after just a little while - don't panic.

  • 4. Some Children's Tylenol or Advil is good for pain relief.

  • 5. Find the tooth fragment that chipped off. This is why I said make sure you take a mental note of where the trauma happened just in case you leave the area and come back later to try to find the fragment.

  • 6 Place the tooth fragment in some sort of solution. Water, Water with salt, Milk, etc. This can be placed in a ziplock bag or a cup. You just want to keep the fragment moist. Don't wash it or rinse it off - especially with any detergents - just put it in one of the above solutions and that's it!

  • 7. Call your dentist right away! Even if it's on the weekend. This is the most important, because ..... if you forget all of the points above, call us! As dentists, we'll walk you through what to do.

  • 8. When you get to your dentist, REMEMBER TO BRING THE TOOTH FRAGMENT. I say this because, it never fails that, in all the chaos, usually us, as parents, will forget things and this happens to be one of them!

So what happens when you get to your dentist? There are a few things we can do.

  • 1. We might be able to bond (glue) the tooth back together. Or ....

  • 2. If you can't find the broken chip, don't worry! We can actually use filling material to "sculpt" or repair the tooth back the way it was. Now, after the tooth is fixed, you, as a parent will have to keep an eye out in case it starts to change colors over time. It may turn an intense yellow, a darker form of yellow, or even turn gray. Still, don't worry as this can be treated as well. (I can go into this in a future post if you would like.)

I just wanted to bring this to your attention because I know that our children are coming close to being out of school and outside play will be more frequent. Thus, more bumps and bruises will likely happen! ;)

The below photo is of a young girl who happened to fracture her teeth during a basketball game and actually decided to finish it before she came to see me as an emergency! The trainer acted quick and placed the fragments into a saline solution and the young girl came to see me late in the evening after the game. Luckily, we were able to bond the fragments back on leaving them looking like nothing ever happened!

Hope you all have a great start to the summer and if you have any questions at all, PLEASE feel free to get in touch with me! Our office phone number is 817-812-2082.

- Dr. Chad