Young children, especially between the ages of 2 and 3, can be incredibly mobile, but still not completely in control of all their motor skills. This combination means that spills and falls are all too common, and some incidents can easily lead to a damaged tooth. If your child sustains an injury to their tooth, it’s time to get them to the pediatric dentist as soon as possible. Just because they still have their baby teeth, doesn’t mean that you should ignore a damaged or broken tooth.
If Teeth Are Knocked Out
If your child falls and a tooth is knocked out of its socket, the first thing to do is recover the tooth. Wash it under warm water and then try to gently push it back into its socket. If this doesn’t help, place the tooth in a cup of milk or cool water, but whatever you do, be sure to bring it with your to the dentist’s office.
A pediatric dentist will be able to determine the best course of action following a tooth that has been knocked out. Sometimes a spacer will be applied to make sure that the rest of the teeth stay in place while the permanent teeth are still waiting to come in. At times, the dentist may be able to re-implant the tooth, but this is not a common solution as the secondary teeth are still developing beneath the gums.
If a Tooth Is Broken
If your child has broken a portion of their tooth, try first to make sure that they haven’t swallowed the broken portion, as it can be a choking hazard. The next step is making an appointment with the dentist to have the tooth filed and smoothed because many broken teeth leave sharp edges. In some instances, the remaining portion of the tooth may need to be completely removed. In the meantime, use a cold, damp cloth to reduce any swelling to your child’s mouth.
Tooth injuries can be scary for both parent and child, but it’s lucky that they have brand new teeth on the way no matte what. With a trip to the dentist to make sure everything will still be fine with the secondary adult teeth, a broken or lost tooth is usually just an excuse for an early visit from the tooth fairy.