With your little one getting used to walking, jumping, running or even nibbling into their favourite snacks, a chipped baby tooth is quite the possibility. And not exactly good news.
While it is natural to have toddlers lose their teeth, your baby’s tooth is precious and shouldn’t come off just so easily. Which is why as parents, it is your responsibility to help your little one learn proper dental hygiene. Especially, since the National Dental Centre Singapore has found that 40% of preschool children in Singapore experience tooth decay.
But before you panic from finding your little tot’s front tooth broken, first figure out why it may have happened. Most of the time it isn’t anything serious unless your child is in pain. If this has just happened to your little bub, read on to know what you can do about it.
Risks of A Chipped Baby Tooth
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Toddlers can be highly energetic when they’re excited and at this stage, they’re also prone to being very clumsy with their developing limbs as they have just gotten around learning how to walk. And seeing as how fragile their teeth are, it can take only one slip up for them to hit any hard surface around the house.
However, that is the only way they can lose their teeth. Other risks involving a chipped baby tooth may include:
Biting down too hard on their food. Your child may be excited about their fresh growing teeth and the fact that they can now chew on their meals. But this could also be a result of teething where they would curiously bite onto hard objects or furniture that may harm their teeth.
Tripping and falling. While your baby’s entire body is at risk of clumsy moments, it can take one fall against a wall or the edge of a table for them to chip a tooth.
Discolouration. The blunt force that caused the chipped tooth can turn the area brown, black, red or grey. While usually temporary, the Dentistry for Children & Adolescents recommends bringing your toddler to the dentist for signs of infection or necrosis if the tooth remains black or grey.
What You Can Do About It
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Whether the condition of your child’s chipped tooth is serious or not, the best judgement you’re going to get is from a dentist. When the situation arises, it’s wise that you immediately schedule an appointment for your toddler, lest it gets worse.
Seeing your child with a chip on their tooth can be shocking such as any injury that they can have. But a chipped tooth can be treated and you can ensure that your child and their little teeth remain alright by:
1. Staying calm. If you panic, this would only make your little one scared. It’s important that you also don’t let your child feel self-conscious about their chipped tooth.
2. Check for any pain or blood. Despite not being able to vocalise what they’re feeling, your child may cry if they’re feeling any pain in their gums.
3. Contact your dentist. Let your dentist know of any important information regarding the incident and listen attentively to any instructions they may give about what you can do before your appointment.
4. Rinsing your child’s mouth and applying a cold compress. Keep their mouths clean and check for any teeth fragments that you can show the dentist. A cold compress can also help in reducing any swelling.
5. Keep a lookout for any further pain or damage. When your toddler is still experiencing pain after your dentist appointment, ask a health professional about the correct dosage of pain relievers. You should also regularly check the chipped area and gums as damages can appear later on.
Why A Chipped Tooth Should Get Immediate Treatment
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Despite being a usual occurrence, a child with a chipped tooth should still be brought to the dentist immediately for treatment to avoid microscopic cracks of the chip to let in bacteria that may lead to a dental abscess. This condition occurs when a dental cavity or injury remains untreated.
To keep your child from experiencing abscess and other serious conditions with their chipped tooth, here are the symptoms you should look out for:
Feeling pain in their nose, neck, cheek or lips. If your child is complaining about pain around their face, you should check for redness or pus in the gum area around their chipped tooth.
Swelling on their front lip, neck or jaw. When an infection spreads, this could cause swelling in your child, especially when the tooth is already abscessed.
High fever. A serious infection could result in a fever for toddlers.
Unexplained bleeding from their mouths. You might find blood coming from your child’s mouth despite no injury. This could be a result of the abscesses bleeding.
Chewing differently from normal. If your toddler seems to be uncomfortable while chewing and uses only one side of their mouth instead of the front, as well as avoids any hot and cold foods, this could also be a sign of an abscess developing.
It’s important to seek dental help when spotting any of these signs. Taking your child to regular dental appointments can help in preventing any serious infections or diseases. Also ensure that you teach your child proper dental hygiene to help them keep their teeth healthy and strong.