A common misconception is that “baby teeth don’t matter” because they get replaced by permanent adult teeth. However, they do matter! Healthy baby teeth pave the way for healthy adult teeth in the future. As a parent, by ensuring that your child’s teeth are healthy and well cared for it can really make a huge difference in their lives.

With that being said, it is understood that accidents can happen! Especially with toddlers and their teeth. At the age of two, your child may be more likely to get injuries from everyday play or from a fall and these injuries may impact the teeth. For example, your child may fall or accidentally run into something and it may look like the tooth is “breaking.”

It is important to look for signs of bleeding, pain, swelling of lips or jaw and the inability to open or close the jaw. These can be telling signs of a mouth injury. Inspect their mouth to see if there are any sharp areas or rough edges on the tooth surfaces and make note of this. If you find that your child displays any of these symptoms it would be best to call the dentist immediately. If your child seems to show these signs with an additional shortness of breath, take your child to the nearest emergency department without hesitation.

If after calling the dentist and they recommend that you bring your child in for an evaluation, your child will most likely need an x-ray taken of the tooth that appears to be “breaking”. With the x-ray, the dentist can properly assess the accurate measures that need to be taken in order to decide what needs to be done. If the tooth seems to be doing okay and is, in fact, not broken, all that may be needed is a close watch kept on the specific tooth.

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If your child has a tooth that appears to be “breaking” try to remain calm and refrain from worrying, as any additional stress may not benefit the situation. Instead call a dentist immediately or if your child is displaying signs of shortness of breath take him or her to the closest emergency department.

At Little Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, we offer emergency dental appointments for our patients. We understand that accidents happen and we encourage you to call our office at 703-348-2813 immediately in the event that an injury to your child’s mouth as occurred or if a tooth appears to be breaking.