One of the most fulfilling parts of being the parent of a baby is watching them explore the world around them. Unfortunately, this natural curiosity is what usually leads to any number of scrapes and bruises. If your inquisitive little baby suffers from a chipped tooth, you might not know what to do first. From making sure no further damage is caused to working with your dentist to find a solution that won't impact your little one's dental health, here are a few tips to help you survive your baby's first chipped tooth:

How to Immediately Care For Your Baby's Chipped Tooth

Before you tend to your baby's tooth, make sure they don't have any more serious injuries that would require a trip to the emergency room. Once you've determined your baby is okay, carefully open their mouth, examine the tooth and look for any remaining fragments of the tooth.

If left behind, small fragments of your baby's chipped tooth could cause further damage.

Once you've located the tooth fragment, place it inside a glass of milk. Your dentist will decide if the chipped fragment should be reattached with a special dental adhesive. Next, if there is any bleeding, carefully dab at the tooth with a piece of sterile gauze or, if none is available, a piece of paper towel.

If the tooth is chipped but your baby doesn't seem to be in any pain, Baby Center recommends contacting your dentist to determine if any further repairs are needed. However, if your baby is crying and appears to be in severe pain, if the chip is significant or if the tooth is loose, it's best to visit your dentist immediately.

The pain your baby is experiencing could be an exposed nerve, which means the problem is more serious and requires immediate attention.

While you're on the way to the dentist's office, give your baby a cool washcloth to suck on. This will help soothe them and stop any further bleeding. If your baby is in serious pain, contact your pediatrician and inquire about the use of an over the counter pain reliever.

Working With Your Dentist

When you arrive at the dentist's office, they will help you determine the correct course of treatment for your baby's chipped tooth. This treatment will depend on the severity of the chip and if there are any exposed nerves.

For example, if the tooth is only chipped in one corner or if the chip is very minor and there is only damage to the enamel, the dentist might suggest smoothing out the corner. Eliminating the jagged edge both looks better and prevents any further injury to your baby's gums or mouth.

If more than half of the chipped tooth is missing and the nerve isn't exposed, your dentist might suggest repairing the damage with a colored plastic filling. The application of the filling is painless because the dentist is only repairing the enamel, not the nerve.

The dentist might also decide to reattach the tooth fragment with a special adhesive, if you were able to save the chipped section and it is viable.

Finally, if the tooth is severely damaged or if the nerve is exposed, the dentist may suggest the extraction of the tooth and a subsequent root canal to repair any damage to the nerve. However, your dentist will only perform this procedure if the tooth is severely damaged or if there is a danger of an infection in the nerve tissue.

From immediately making sure there aren't any stray tooth fragments left in your baby's mouth to working with your dentist to determine the best course of treatment, dealing with your baby's first dental emergency can be scary. However, with some quick action and the help of your dentist, it's possible to quickly repair your curious baby's smile.

For more information on dealing with chipped or broken teeth, talk with a dentist from a clinic like Maplewood Dental Associates, PA and determine a course of treatment.