What to do if my child breaks a tooth?

Currently, trauma to the teeth is the second cause of attention to the specialist in Pediatric Dentistry, after caries. Trauma to teeth is characterized by the fact that it is not governed by a single cause, nor does it follow a predictable pattern in terms of intensity or extent. Thus, these blows to the teeth can vary from simple enamel involvement to avulsion or tearing.

What are the main causes of dental trauma in the primary dentition?

In the primary dentition most accidents occur most frequently in the first three years of life. During this stage the motor development of the child carries the danger of an accidental mouth injury. However, the group most at risk of suffering major dental injuries are school children between 6 and 12 years of age. The cause is mainly the practice of sports or games.

The time elapsed is essential in dental trauma, for the prognosis and type of treatment. Ideally, any trauma should be treated within the first hour after the blow.

What should parents, teachers or caregivers do when a child’s tooth is broken?

It is important to follow the indications in image 1 (“what to do if it breaks”) if a child breaks a tooth. First of all, look for the broken piece of tooth. If you find it, check if it fits into the tooth that has not fallen out, to see if it can be glued back together. If it can be glued, it is necessary to go as soon as possible to a specialist in Pediatric Dentistry and Odontology.

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If a tooth falls out due to a blow, follow the instructions in image 2 (“what to do if a tooth falls out due to a blow”). In the same way, first look for the tooth that has fallen out, taking care to grasp it by the crown. It should be washed with water and then either put back in place or placed in a glass, covered with saline solution or milk. The attention of a dentist within two hours, maximum, is essential. It is a special situation if the accident occurs in the street. In such a case, and if it is an older child, it is recommended to place the tooth between the cheek and the molars, while going urgently to the dentist.

Use of mouthguards to prevent dental trauma

The American Dental Association (ADA) states that more than 200,000 mouth injuries are prevented each year through the use of sports mouthguards. In addition, it is important to note that 10% of sports accidents involve the head and face.

Mouthguards serve to prevent accidental injuries to teeth, soft tissues (gums, cheeks, lips and tongue) and dental arches.