Chipping a tooth is not a great feeling. There’s the initial fear as you realize what happened. Then, you rush to the mirror to see how bad the damage is.
As awful as it is for an adult, it’s even worse for a child. They’re likely to panic, and it’s up to you to keep them calm and help them through the next steps. So, now you begin to wonder what to do if your toddler chipped their tooth?
If you live in the Las Vegas area, the first thing you need to do after seeing your child’s chipped tooth is to call your pediatric dentist at Children’s Dentistry and make an appointment. Make sure you explain what’s happened to your child, and if possible, take the first available appointment.
There may be a bit of time until you’re able to be seen by the dentist. So in the meantime, here are several ideas that should help ease your child’s discomfort.
1. Rinse with Warm Salt Water
A good way to start fixing a child’s chipped tooth is with a warm water and salt rinse. Although it won’t completely fix the problem, it will help answer what to do if your toddler chipped a tooth in a couple of ways:
- Pain management: A rinse with warm water should help numb the pain for the tooth on a temporary basis. One of the advantages of the rinse over medication is that it can be done as many times as your child would like with no side effects.
- Fight bacteria: The salt dissolved in the water will help keep harmful bacteria from growing. This will help reduce the risk of infection in your child’s chipped tooth or the surrounding gums.
Warm your water using your microwave or kettle, but be sure that it’s not too hot for your child. Liberally add several pinches of salt to the water and have your child swish the water in their mouth. After 30 seconds to a minute, have them spit it out.
2. Watch Your Child’s Diet
Make sure your child doesn’t make the situation worse by munching on hard, crunchy food. As much as you’re able, keep these foods from their diet. This will keep the tooth from having any extra pressure on it. Soups, puddings, and nutritional shakes are all good options in this circumstance.
In addition to a soft diet for a child’s chipped tooth, make sure to eliminate any foods or drinks that are very hot or very cold. These can cause sharp pain in the affected area. Giving drinks like soda or coffee are not ideal to do if your toddler chipped a tooth, so eliminate those as well.
If it will take a few days to be seen by the dentist, a soft diet may not be possible for that length of time. If that’s the case, then make sure your child eliminates as many crunchy foods as possible. Also, make sure they chew their food on the side of their mouth that does not have the chipped tooth.
3. Cover Your Child’s Chipped Tooth
Even if your child avoids eating certain foods, it’s likely that they’ll agitate the tooth now and then. This is especially true if the chip is particularly large or if the tooth that remains is jagged. In these cases, the best thing to do for your toddler’s chipped tooth is to cover the tooth as well as possible.
There are two simple remedies to fix a chipped tooth with a temporary covering. The first is with dental wax, which can be found at most drug stores. It’s often used for pain with braces, but under the circumstances, it will work just as well.
If you can’t find wax to cover your child’s chipped tooth, sugar-free gum will also work in a pinch. Make sure the tooth is dry before you apply either one, because if not, the covering will come right back off. Although this treatment is temporary, it will give your child’s tooth an extra layer of defense.
4. Use Over-the-Counter Medication
In the event that other remedies are not helping, you may need to use some over-the-counter medicine for pain management. Although this solution will also not fix your child’s chipped tooth directly, easing some of the pain with medication will at least allow your child to function until their appointment.
Pediatric dentists take great care in ensuring that your child takes the proper pain medications, and it’s important that you do as well when trying to determine what to do for your toddler’s chipped tooth.
Administer acetaminophen or ibuprofen by using the proper doses that are found on the medication’s label. Keep in mind that children’s doses are given by the child’s weight and not their age. If you have any questions about dosages, give your dentist’s office a call. They’ll be glad to help you.
You can also use a medicated gel like Orajel on the gum around your child’s chipped tooth. This can help alleviate the nerve pain that often radiates from the affected tooth. Again, read the instructions carefully and use them accordingly.
Give Children’s Dentistry a Call
If you live in Las Vegas or the surrounding area, contact us at Children’s Dentistry. When your child sees us, we’ll explain all the options available for how to fix a chipped tooth. If the chip is minor, the tooth will likely only need to be filed down to match the rest of the teeth. If the chip is larger, there could be a need for bonding or a crown.
We’re here for you! The team at Children’s Dentistry of Las Vegas will do everything we can to set both you and your child at ease about their chipped tooth. Call us at (702) 832-0508 –– we’re open Mondays through Saturdays and are even open on holidays!