Little chipmunks — cute. Tortilla chips and salsa — delicious. But a chipped tooth, well, that's not ideal. Especially if it's your child who chipped their tooth. But fear not, a chipped tooth isn't uncommon for toddlers as they grow up and learn to play independently. If this sounds like your little one, relax and read on. We've got your child and their tooth covered.
How To Deal With Your Child's Chipped Tooth
While the dental or medical care that your child may need is essential, it's not their first requirement when they chip a tooth. When the child realises what has happened, they often start to worry. Being calm and supportive will help your child mimic your reaction. If there's pain, you will of course need to book a dental appointment for treatment. But first try to soothe your child's feelings and not make them feel self-conscious about the chip. Remember, your reaction often dictates how they'll react.
Do Your Research
When you make your dental appointment, it's good to know what to expect. With your average chipped tooth, you're looking at a few options.
- This path is only for the tiniest chips; the dentist can file the tooth down until it's smooth and has the natural feel of your child's other teeth.
- Probably the most common, simple, and inexpensive route for a chipped tooth is bonding. This process consists of applying or bonding a composite resin to your tooth's surface to fill in the chip area. A shade is picked to match the natural colour of your tooth. A single tooth chip should take one visit, most likely under an hour, while multiple teeth could take numerous appointments.
- A more expensive and permanent option for larger chips is veneers. Instead of filling in the chipped area, veneers are resin or porcelain coverings affixed to the front of the chipped tooth. They're excellent for damaged teeth and as a cosmetic treatment for a whiter smile.
Chat with your dentist to discuss the best option for your child.
Make It a Teachable Moment
Similar to saving their tooth for the tooth fairy, you could encourage your child to take care of the chipped portion of their tooth. The United States Cleveland Clinic suggests storing the tooth in cold milk to help preserve its vitality. By doing this, it could allow the dentist to possibly reattach it. It also allows your child to turn a possible tough situation into a positive one by having them take responsibility for looking after the tooth and almost treating it like a trophy.
Hopefully, your child never has to endure a chipped tooth. But knowing your treatment options and involving your child in caring for the tooth can make the experience a growing moment in their childhood and oral care.