Things To Do For Toddlers Have Chipped Or Broken Teeth

Things To Do For Toddlers Have Chipped Or Broken Teeth 5.00/5 (100.00%) 2 votes

Many toddlers have chipped or broken teeth. Usually the tooth gets chipped or broken accidentally during play. Just about anything can cause a tooth injury: falling and landing face-first, running into something, being hit in the mouth by a toy, and so on.

Health Central

Unlike adult teeth, toddler teeth need not — and often cannot — be fixed. Even if a tooth is knocked out entirely, most dentists will leave a hole until the permanent tooth fills in the gap.

The reason for this is that young children do not need all of their teeth to maintain the shape and integrity of the jaw.

When an adult loses a tooth, the jaw shape will change over time. But when a child loses a tooth, the jaw almost always continues to grow normally despite the missing tooth, and eventually a perma­nent tooth will come in to fill its place.


What can I do?

Following a mouth injury, check to see whether your child has lost all or part of a tooth. If the tooth is chipped, look for the piece that has broken off to ensure that your child hasn’t swal­lowed or aspirated it. If your child is able to cooperate, have her rinse her mouth with lukewarm water, spitting out instead of swallowing the water.


If the entire tooth has been knocked out, you will want to take it with you to the dentist just in case it can be replaced. Find the tooth and rinse it off with saline solution or milk rather than tap water.

Don’t scrub the tooth, even if it has dirt on it. On your way to the dentist, travel with the tooth submerged in milk. If you don’t have any milk, tuck the tooth in your own mouth, between your cheek and gum.

Although this sounds crazy, if there is a chance that the dentist can reinsert the tooth, milk or saliva are the only two preservatives that can sustain it.

In the meantime, have your child hold a piece of wet gauze or a damp washcloth in her mouth at the site of the missing tooth. A toddler can be instructed to simply bite down on the towel.

If the injured area is bleeding, soak a washcloth or a piece of gauze in cold water and apply gentle pressure to the area. See if your child wants to suck on a Popsicle to help minimize swelling.


Health Care

When does my doctor need to be involved?

Call your dentist if your child has had a traumatic tooth injury. If you don’t have a dentist, call your doctor.


What tests need to be done, and what do the results mean?

Tests generally do not have to be done in the case of a broken tooth. Your dentist should be able to see everything simply by inspecting the mouth. In some cases, X rays are necessary at the dentist’s office.


What are the treatments?

The treatment depends on the amount of damage to the tooth and the surrounding gum.


A tooth that is loose presents a potential choking hazard. This is why many dentists will pull a loose tooth rather than wait to see what happens.


In a few cases, the space left by a missing tooth can cause the few shape to change. If this is a risk, your dentist may recom­mend a spacer. This device will help keep the rest of the teeth and the jaw in normal alignment.