Holy heck! Your child broke a tooth – now what? Head-to-head-combat, elbow-to-the-face, tasty-toy-syndrome, or face-plant onto the sidewalk/floor are some of the common ways your kids mess up their teeth. As a parent, you’re no doubt familiar with at least one of these scenarios, and are constantly in fear of the rest. So, what can you do to a) prevent such instances from occurring and b) ensure your child’s tooth emergency is handled in the correct manner? It’s simpler than you think!
- Preventing Chipped Teeth: If you’ve got a child involved in sports, even the backyard variety, you should consider buying a custom mouthguard. With the cost of fixing traumatized teeth weighing in at 10 times the cost of a mouthguard, you should be able to see the benefits quite clearly. Research also suggests mouthguards can help prevent concussions – one of the goals of that helmet you likely paid a handsome sum for last season. Another surprise? An increasing number of tooth-related traumas are caused by something you probably never give any thought to … bike riding. Mouthguards today are pretty cool, with team logos and all sorts of other neat branding going on, so consider one during your child’s next dental visit.
- What to Do When Your Child Chips a Tooth: First, save any remnants that can be found, and have your child rinse their mouth and the pieces with warm water. If there is bleeding, gauze can be used to enforce clotting, or a tea bag if you have access to one. A cold compress can also be used on the cheeks to keep down swelling. Get thee to a dentist.
- What to Do When a Tooth Is Knocked Out: Believe it or not, you can actually place a knocked out tooth right back into the jaw if you're in a pinch. To do so, rinse off the tooth with warm water (do not scrub it!), holding it by the crown and not the root. Then, be sure the tooth is facing in the correct direction, and place it back in its proper place. If the tooth can't be reinserted, place it in a small container of milk or water with a pinch of salt, and get to a dentist as soon as possible. In order to save a knocked-out tooth, it should be replaced back in its socket in under an hour. Get thee to a dentist.
- Your Options Once You're at the Dentist: Once you’ve arrived at the dentist, you should know there are a host of solutions you can employ to fix your child’s tooth. From simple bonding, to veneers, to crowns, the options are endless, and designed to fit every budget and cosmetic concern. Speak with your dentist about all of the options available to you, paying specific attention to questions related to longevity, appearance (present and long-term), materials used, how much tooth needs to be sacrificed, and mouth-feel. Cost obviously plays into such issues, but it shouldn’t be your only concern. And don’t forget to ask your child’s opinion as well. After all, it is their mouth!