How many times a day does a toddler take a tumble? It certainly varies a lot, depending on the child and the situation, but it has been estimated that the average two-year-old will fall down roughly 38 times per day. With all these frequent falls, it can seem like a miracle that a toddler doesn't chip a tooth more often. But this is a reasonably common dental injury at this age, and is something the staff at your local pediatric dental clinic are used to dealing with. Of course, some chipped teeth are more serious than others.
See a Dentist
Any chipped tooth should be assessed by a dentist, regardless of the patient's age. It may be difficult for you to judge the severity of the problem beyond a visual inspection accompanied by any distress or pain the injury seems to be causing. And of course, a toddler lacks the language skills to describe the effects of the injury in any detail.
Repairs May Not Be Needed
Minor chips, only affecting the tooth's surface enamel may not even require any repairs. Your child's dentist will carefully inspect the chip to look for sharp edges, which may irritate your child's tongue or oral mucosa (the lining of their mouth). If necessary, these edges can be smoothed out.
If the chip has breached the enamel and has uncovered the dentin beneath (which forms the majority of the tooth's structure), then action will definitely be needed. Exposed dentin makes the tooth far more vulnerable to decay, and the tooth's nerve can even be affected—with the chip allowing bacterial contamination of the tooth's inner sections. You'll obviously want to spare your child from needing a root canal. These repairs aren't complicated.
Repairing a Chipped Tooth
Your child's dentist will simply replace the missing fragment of the tooth, using a tooth-colored dental resin (the same substance used to fill a cavity). It integrates with the tooth, and the chip is gone. The resin basically becomes a synthetic replacement for the missing dental enamel.
Even though your child's dentist may be happy to inform you that the chip isn't especially serious, and doesn't even require treatment, you can't know this for sure until the tooth has been inspected. A chipped tooth always needs to be checked, so it's wise to take a look at your toddler's teeth when they take a tumble that may have resulted in some dental damage.
If you are concerned about your toddler's teeth, you should consider visiting a pediatric dental clinic in your area.Share