What Should Parents Do if Their Child Falls and Chips a Tooth?

What happens if a child chips a tooth

The sad truth is that as much as we might want to, we can’t wrap our kids in bubble wrap. We can’t lock them away, hoping they will never get hurt. Kids will be kids. Sometimes they bump into things, and sometimes, they trip and fall. In most cases, kids will get back up and shake it off. But occasionally, kids get injured when they are running or playing. In some of the more severe situations, kids can sustain oral trauma. Here is what happens if a child chips a tooth.

Help! My child chipped their tooth!

If your child has fallen and chipped a tooth, the first thing to remember is not to panic. While we know that your angst may be hard to control, keeping a calm head will help reassure your child and will help ensure you take the best next steps.

1. Assess the injury.

If your child is bleeding badly, it is possible that they tore their labial frenulum, the thin piece of tissue under their upper lip. If that’s all it is, and their teeth are fine, you don’t need to bring them to the dentist. This type of cut can heal on its own without sutures. In the least, offer your child a cold compress to help reduce swelling and provide them with a bit of TLC.

2. Check for cracked, broken, or chipped teeth.

Though you may suspect your child simply chipped a tooth, be sure to look a bit further for more visible dental injuries. If your child winces from pain when they bite down, or there are more visible injuries, you should take them to see the dentist that same day. If your dentist’s office has closed for the evening, make note of the emergency dentist near Omaha and follow the recommended steps.

3. Have your child rinse their mouth with warm water.

Rinsing with warm water can provide comfort to your child and will also rinse away blood or particles from the injury so you can better assess the situation. After your child has rinsed, apply a cool compress to the area to prevent swelling. If your child’s tooth’s nerve or pulp is exposed, avoid putting anything too hot or cold on the area until after you have seen the dentist. 

4. Save the tooth fragment (if applicable).

If your child lost their whole tooth or just a chip, the steps to locate it. If and when found, pick up the tooth by the crown (the chewing surface) and not the root. Your child’s pediatric dentist may be able to reattach the knocked-out tooth or chipped tooth fragment. If your child lost a fragment, gently rinse the tooth with water. Then, place it in a cup of milk or a small dish with your child’s saliva; this will increase the success rate for reattachment. Do not try to reinsert a baby tooth without dentist supervision. If possible, try to get to the dentist within the next 30 minutes.

5. Contact Pediatric Dental Specialists.

If you are in the Omaha area and your child has experienced a dental emergency, contact our office at (402) 397-3377. We offer emergency dental services and can help you ascertain the next best steps to care for your child. Calling your dentist is the best course of action if you are ever in doubt. If you cannot reach your dentist or us for any reason, or it is after business hours, take your child to the nearest emergency room unless the chip is minor. 

It doesn’t matter if it’s a baby or a permanent tooth—in both cases, they need immediate care. While driving to the dentist, give your child a cold washcloth to bite down on to help relieve the discomfort. 

Call Pediatric Dental Specialists in Omaha if your child chips a tooth.

If your child has chipped their tooth or has been subject to some other form of dental trauma, we encourage you to call us so we can advise you on how to best help them. In some cases, such as with a torn labial frenulum, your child can recover at home with nothing more than a bruised ego. But we can help you determine if the situation is more serious and is a pediatric dental emergency.

If you and your family are new to the area and are looking for a pediatric dentist who is an expert in tooth restoration for kids, you’ve come to the right place. Request an appointment for your child’s next professional dental cleaning and oral examination today. We’re confident you’ll love our approach to pediatric dentistry.