A chipped tooth is undoubtedly a reason to call your pediatric dentist. However, as concerning as a chipped tooth is, it is a relatively common dental problem for children. Whether your child took a tumble into a table or decided it would be fun to bite something they shouldn’t, a chipped tooth is almost as common as a cavity. Here, we cover the common causes of chipped teeth, how your pediatric dentist can fix a chipped tooth, and why your dentist may recommend leaving the tooth as it is.
Common Causes of Pediatric Chipped Teeth
Some common causes of chipped or cracked teeth include biting down on solid objects or tough foods. They can also be a result of facial trauma like bumping into furniture or taking a tumble off a playset. Dental chips and cracks can span in severity and appearance. They can be as visible as breaking a chunk off your front teeth to as minor as a small crack in your molar. However, any tooth chipping or cracking is cause for concern and a dental visit, no matter how old the patient.
If your child chips a tooth, try to find it and make sure they avoid swallowing the tooth portion. Wrap the tooth part in wet gauze to help preserve it until you can visit your dentist. Next, have your child rinse their mouth with warm salt water to prevent infection and to clean out any bleeding or swelling. Finally, you can use a cold compress on your child’s face to help keep down the swelling and to help with the pain. Be sure to schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible, and check if your pediatric dentist schedules emergency dental appointments.
Methods of Fixing Chipped Teeth
Pediatric dentists can repair chipped teeth in a variety of ways. Sometimes, your pediatric dentist may use the same materials used in filings to repair the chip or crack after cleaning the area. In addition, they may use a dental bonding agent to reattach the chipped portion of the tooth, or they may recommend a dental veneer to maintain the appearance of your child’s teeth. In general, fillings cost between $100 to $300, depending on the dentist, your insurance, and the severity of the damage. Your pediatric dentist may recommend extraction for more severe tooth breakages, especially if the tooth is shattered entirely. However, these kinds of tooth breakages are rare.
Sometimes, your dentist may recommend not doing anything about a chipped tooth. For example, if the chip is small, surface level, or does not structurally impact the tooth, your pediatric dentist may advise you to leave it as it is. This is usually the case for pediatric patients who haven’t lost their baby teeth, as repairing a slight chip in a tooth that will fall out shortly may not be necessary. However, you should always take your child to see a dentist if they chip a tooth to ensure no hairline chips you cannot see, which could lead to infection later.