Helpful Pediatric Dentistry Tips!

Managing Your Child’s Chipped Tooth

by Dr. Steve Whittemore, D.D.S. | Published September 30, 2016

Managing Your Child’s Chipped Tooth and Other Dental Emergencies

Toddlers are often bouncing off of walls with energy, which can lead to a chipped tooth and other dental injuries. Some children can also create the habit of aggressively grinding their teeth, leading to cavities from broken down enamel. From crunching hard candy to sports activities, dental emergencies do happen, and it’s good to be prepared if an accident occurs.

Chipped Tooth

If your child chips his or her tooth, whether it is a baby or an adult tooth, it’s very important that you contact your pediatric dentist as soon as possible. Your child’s dentist can help you determine the severity of the chip on the tooth, which helps you and your dentist decide the proper treatment for child, whether that be bonding of the tooth or surgery. The dentists at Pediatric Dentistry are on call 24/7 so you can call the office number any time, and they will be able to provide you with a temporary solution until you can get them into the dentist.

Dental Abscess

An abscess in the mouth usually starts as a cavity and frequently pops out of the gum like a pimple, often without causing pain or facial swelling in the early stages. A dental abscess should be treated immediately because it can spread to the gums and jaw and become extremely painful for your child.

The most common cause of a dental abscess is tooth decay that turns into a bacterial infection. Any tooth can get a dental abscess, but molars are the most common in children because they are harder to brush and can be affected by decay without any symptoms.

To prevent your child from getting a bacterial infection in their mouth, being proactive with dental health is the key. Always make sure your child is regularly brushing and flossing his or her teeth. It’s also good practice to limit sugary snacks, especially before bedtime.

Cut lips or gums

Children can get hit in the mouth while participating in sports, climbing, playing at recess, and other activities. Whether it be a bloody lip or a cut in the gums, the mouth has a rich blood supply, which may make the injury seem worse than it really is. If your child has a wound in their mouth, apply pressure with a clean cloth for several minutes to stop the bleeding and remove any dirt from the area. Rinse the mouth out with cold water.

If the bleeding does not stop after 5-10 minutes of direct pressure or blood is excessive, then you should call your doctor or visit your local urgent care center. If you are unsure whether or not your child needs to go to the doctor, you can always call and explain your situation, and the doctor will be able to give you advice on what to do next.

Jaw Injury

Jaw injuries can happen when a child has direct, intense impact to their jaw, whether that be from a fall, a car accident, contact sports, a physical fight and more. The most serious injury can be a jaw fracture. If your child has experienced intense impact to their jaw, you should take them to the emergency room, where the doctor can diagnose the fracture and its extremity by taking X-rays so they can assess the jaw line and determine if any further treatment is needed such as wires, elastic bands, or even surgery. You should also contact your dentist at Pediatric Dentist to let them know of the injury.

On-Call Pediatric Dentists for Dental Emergencies in Ankeny and Des Moines

Dr. Barsetti and Dr. Whittemore are always here to help your family when a dental emergency arises. Call the office phone number any time, and you will get answers from one of our dentists that can help you remain calm and provide you with next steps to whatever dental emergency you are experiencing.

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