My Child Chipped Their Tooth. Is It A Dental Emergency?

It's a parent’s nightmare - your child comes running to you, tears streaming down their face, holding a piece of what used to be their perfect little tooth. The question that immediately comes to mind is, "Is this a dental emergency?"

What Constitutes A Dental Emergency?

When it comes to pediatric dentistry, not all tooth injuries are created equal. Some may require immediate attention from a pediatric emergency dentist, while others can wait until your child's next scheduled appointment. A chipped tooth, depending on the severity and the pain your child is experiencing, can fall into either category. 

Understanding The Severity Of A Chipped Tooth

A small chip that doesn't cause pain may not be an emergency, but it's still important to get it checked out. Sharp edges can cut your child's tongue or cheek, and the tooth could be weaker and more susceptible to further damage. On the other hand, a large chip that exposes the nerve inside the tooth is a definite emergency. This can cause severe pain and increases the risk of infection.

Immediate Steps To Take If Your Child Chips A Tooth

If your child chips a tooth, try to find the broken piece and store it in milk or saliva, as it may be possible to reattach it. Rinse your child's mouth gently with warm water and apply a cold compress to reduce swelling if the injury is due to a fall or blow to the face. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help with discomfort, but avoid applying numbing gels or creams as they can worsen the pain in some cases.

When To Seek Help From A Pediatric Emergency Dentist

If your child is in pain, has a large chip, or has damaged a front tooth, it's time to seek help from a pediatric emergency dentist. Even if the chip seems minor, it's always a good idea to get it checked out. Your child's dentist can smooth sharp edges, assess the risk of further damage, and provide treatment options.

Preventive Measures To Protect Your Child's Teeth

While accidents can happen, there are steps you can take to minimize the risk of dental injuries for your child. Encourage them to wear a mouthguard during sports or physical activities, as this can significantly reduce the chance of chipped or broken teeth. Additionally, teach your child the importance of good oral hygiene and avoiding habits like chewing on hard objects, which can weaken teeth and make them more susceptible to damage.

Proudly Serving Columbia & Eldersburg With Immediate Care

At Tiny Tooth Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Su Kim understands the worry and fear that comes with your child experiencing a dental emergency. With years of experience as a pediatric emergency dentist in Columbia and Eldersburg, Dr. Kim is equipped to handle your child's chipped tooth swiftly and compassionately. Don't wait for a small chip to become a big problem. Call us today at (443) 832-6111 to request an appointment. Your child's smile is our top priority.

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