Having one of your child's teeth crack or chip can be a stressful experience to go through. Your child may cry constantly due to the pain, and the stress of this situation combined with the urgency of getting your child to the dentist can make it easy to overlook a few simple tips for these situations. By following these three pieces of advice, you may be able to help limit the damage and help the dentist when treating the tooth.
Clean the Mouth
When a tooth becomes cracked, bacteria and other harmful substances can reach the sensitive interior tissue of the tooth. If this occurs, the tooth may develop a painful infection that could result in the tooth needing to be extracted. To help keep bacteria out of the cracked tooth, you should immediately clean your child's mouth. When performing this step, you should not use of a toothbrush, as this could be exceedingly painful to the child. Rather, gently rinse the mouth with plain, room temperature water to remove as much bacteria as possible.
Preserve the Tooth Fragment
Many people may not be aware of the fact that it is often possible for a dentist to reattach a tooth fragment or even an entire tooth. However, you will need to have the presence of mind to preserve the tooth or fragment until you reach the dentist. When doing this, you should put the tooth fragment in a plastic bag with a small sprinkling of water. By keeping the tooth wet, you may be able to keep the tissue alive so that it can be placed back in the mouth. This simple step may eliminate the need for an expensive crown.
Control the Swelling
After suffering a trauma to one of the teeth, it can be common for the tissue in the jaw and mouth to start to swell. This is not only painful, but it can also complicate the treatment of the damaged tooth. If your child's mouth swells excessively, they may struggle to open it wide enough for the dentist to do the repair. To help control the swelling, you should place an ice pack where the swelling is the worst. This will not completely stop the swelling, but it can greatly reduce its severity. Placing an ice pack directly on the skin can be somewhat uncomfortable, so you should wrap the ice pack in a thin cloth. This will help to limit the shock of placing something extremely cold directly on the skin.
For more tips on what to do immediately after your child chips a tooth, talk to a dentist like Kyle J Frisinger DMD.