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What should I do if my baby falls and hits a tooth?
If your baby is pulling himself up while holding onto the furniture or learning to take his first steps, he's bound to fall on his face sooner or later. Occasionally he may hit a tooth.
First you'll want to make sure that your baby has no other injuries (to his face or head, for example) that need emergency treatment. If he does, call 911.
If his gums start to bleed, apply pressure with a piece of wet gauze for few minutes (or until the bleeding stops). A frozen juice pop can limit the swelling and has the added benefit of taking your child's mind off the pain. Call the doctor immediately if you see anything unusual with your baby's gums or teeth over the next week, or if you notice any signs of infection, such as fever or swelling and tenderness.
Should I take my baby to the dentist if he hits a tooth?
If your baby's teeth and gums look just fine and he doesn't seem to be in any pain, he should be okay without a dental check.
If the tooth is chipped or cracked and your baby seems to be in pain, you should take him to the dentist right away, as part of the nerve may be exposed. You should also take your baby to the dentist if the tooth is very loose. She may decide to pull it so that your baby won't choke on it if it falls out on its own. Also have the dentist take a look at a tooth that seems out of place. She can evaluate whether it needs to be repositioned.
If the tooth is chipped but it doesn't seem to be bothering your baby, schedule an appointment for the dentist to evaluate whether there are underlying cracks or other damage you can't see. She can also repair the tooth by filing it or patching it with bonding material, if you decide it's important for cosmetic reasons.
What should I do if my child knocks out one of his baby teeth?
Baby teeth are important because they help your child eat and learn to speak and because they hold a spot in your baby's mouth for his permanent teeth to come in properly. Still, if a baby tooth gets knocked out, it's usually not a problem because a permanent tooth will eventually grow in its place. See the dentist just in case to make sure that no underlying teeth were damaged and that the permanent tooth will have enough space to grow in properly without the baby tooth holding its spot.
How can I keep my baby from hurting his teeth?
You can't completely prevent accidents, but you can help a lot by childproofing your home so that the number and severity of your baby's falls are minimized. You'll want to secure rugs and close off stairways, for example. Always buckle your baby up properly in his car seat. Also try to teach your child not to walk or run with hard objects (like a lollipop or a toothbrush) in his mouth.