Kids are whirlwinds of energy, constantly bouncing off walls, tripping over their own feet, or running around like crazy. Sooner or later they’re gonna break a tooth, but don’t worry – it’s not the end of the world.
Rule Number One: Don’t Panic!
Keep yourself calm. Chipped or broken teeth is a very common occurrence when it comes to kids, and it’s actually quite easily fixed by your family dentist. Kids very often take emotional cues from their parents, so if you immediately react with panic or fear, your child will immediately pick up on it. This is going to make everything else you have to do that much more difficult, so do yourself a favor and take a deep, calming breath before jumping into action.
Make Sure Your Child Isn’t in Any Pain
Your kid is probably shocked at the fact that they’ve broken a tooth. They might also be in pain from whatever incident caused the trauma, so after you’ve ensured there are no other major injuries, take some steps to minimize any of the pain they might be experiencing. Rinsing your child’s mouth out with clean water is a must, as is applying a cold compress to the outside of the mouth to reduce any swelling if any. Sit your kid down somewhere quiet and comfortable – as much to keep them out of any more trouble as to ensure they’re not in any pain – and ensure that you’ll do your best to take care of them.
Call the Dentist Right Away
Once you’ve got your child’s health, safety, and comfort secured, it’s time to make the call. Pick up the phone and dial your family dentist immediately for further instructions, as the experts will have all the answers you’ll need for dealing with chipped, broken, or knocked-out teeth. In some instances, depending on whether your child lost or damaged a baby tooth or if the trauma occurred to an adult tooth, your dentist will tell you to bring your kid in for some immediate work; otherwise, they may suggest a “sooner the better” appointment to evaluate the damage and work up a treatment plan from there.
Prepare for the Future
Once the crisis is over and you’ve gotten your marching orders from your family dentist, it’s time to return to business as usual. This might take some time, depending on the damage done to your child’s tooth and how much time and effort it will take to repair the damage, but once things have returned to normal it’s time to take some steps to prepare for a future repeat performance. Take steps to include your dentist’s number in your phone’s contact list, if it’s not there already. Also, consider including one of many “save a tooth” emergency products in your home first aid kit or the one you keep in your car. You might never need it, but it’s better to have it just in case!
Enter the Teachable Moment
Kids are natural daredevils. Even the biggest shrinking violet can get up to no good time and again, and injuries from rambunctious roughhousing or overly enthusiastic play are all too common. However, this doesn’t mean that, after everything is said and done, you can’t take the opportunity to talk to your kid (calmly) about how they broke their tooth, the possibly not-so-great decisions they made that led up to the incident, and how to avoid repeating the incident in the future. There’s no guarantee that your kids will listen – plenty of children operate on the “in one ear, out the other” method of active listening – but they’re more likely to get something positive out of the experience.