Can you fix a broken children’s tooth?
If a child breaks a tooth, you may think “Can it be repaired? Isn’t it going to fall out anyway?” and to some extent you are right. Children’s teeth fall out and are replaced with adult teeth, often in a transitional period between child and adolescent. Once the adult teeth have come in they will set and should last for the child’s life throughout adulthood. The conditions which cause broken and decayed teeth, with the exception of trauma or injury, can often be avoided with proper dental hygiene. Even though the child will lose their baby teeth, it is important to reinforce the habitual behaviors involved in dental hygiene from an early age.
Children’s teeth can, and should, be repaired depending on the nature of their decay. If the child has lost a tooth from trauma– like a fall off a swing or monkey bar– they should see a dentist as soon as possible. The dentist will take comprehensive x-rays to determine the extent of damage to the tooth, mouth, and jaw. They may recommend repairing or replacing the tooth. Replacing or repairing missing teeth has huge benefits for preventing gum disease, preventing more missing teeth, and better mental health.
What to do when a Children’s tooth breaks
Begin by taking a breath. The child will most likely be worked up, and it is important for you to stay calm. The tooth may have broken into pieces, have the child spit everything out of their mouth. You do not want sharp, thin, pieces of tooth floating around in saliva while the child is screaming or crying. In some dire cases, the child may accidentally inhale or swallow a shard of tooth, and this can impair the respiratory tract. In any event where a child expresses difficulty breathing, call and ambulance or 911 immediately.
Once the tooth or pieces of tooth are out of the mouth, collect them as best as you can. In the time being, a piece of paper or tissue will be fine to store. In some cases, the tooth may be repaired or reattached.
How are Children’s teeth replaced?
Repair will begin with assessment of the damage. If the tooth will be repaired they will choose between a filling or a crown. A filling can be used as a composite to bind healthy bone material to sturdy bonding material, they may require the tooth pieces you collected earlier. A crown replaces the entire tooth, and is attached to the root underneath. The dentist may also suggest not repairing the tooth, estimating that the damage is only superficial. In any even the child may be more susceptible to dental abscess after the breaking of a baby tooth. Be sure to discuss the symptoms of a dental abscess with the dentist, to monitor the child. Maintain regular checkups as the child develops to care for the teeth, or replacement teeth, as they enter adolescence. Starting children off with a strong dental hygiene routine, and a strong routine with their dental professional, helps to set them up for success as the grow up.