My child has a broken tooth, what can I do?

Having a child is an absolutely extraordinary personal and life experience, marked by numerous events in the life of the parents and the child itself, in constant development and evolution.

Part of this constant change and growth is the relationship and knowledge of their own health, in many cases relatively simple in the first years of life and, in others, punctuated by incidents such as the fracture of a temporary tooth due to a fall, which we address in this entry.

A tooth fracture, depending on how it occurs, can lead to malformations, problems in the eruption of teeth, or 'blockages' of permanent teeth, so it is important to have a protocol in place to respond when such an incident occurs, so as not to aggravate them.

In the Region of Murcia There are several professionals who can deal with this type of emergency and, when faced with questions such as "what do I do if my child has a broken tooth" or "what happens if my daughter has hit her palette", they have the answers and the knowledge to resolve your needs in the best possible way.


Tooth fracture secondary to trauma: no tooth crown visible
Tooth fracture secondary to trauma: no tooth crown visible

The first minutes after the fracture

  1. Blows with dental fractures are often accompanied by injuries to soft tissues, such as the lips or braces, which cause abundant bleeding that should not alarm us, since this fact, in itself, is not a serious problem.
  2. In any case, the following should be done wash the affected area with water drinking.
  3. Subsequently, we must compress it with gauzein order to stop the bleeding.
  4. In case of locate the fractured piece of toothIf it is not possible, it is advisable (but not essential) to place it in a container (a tupperware, a glass...) immersed in saline solution or milk as soon as possible.
  5. Subsequently, parents should find the contact telephone number of a paediatric dentistThe patient should preferably be taken for consultation on the same day of the traumatism, so that he/she can assess the situation.


The paediatric dentist shall make a diagnosis supported by periapical radiographs.
The paediatric dentist shall make a diagnosis supported by periapical radiographs.

The visit to the paediatric dentist

The protocols developed by the Spanish Society of Paediatric Dentistry (SEOP) and the International Association of Dental Traumatology (IADT) set out the following factors to be taken into account in treatment:

  • Degree of cooperation.
  • Time of permanence in the mouth.
  • Interferences in occlusion.

It is important to bear in mind that this assessment of the patient is independent of each case, and must be carried out by a qualified professional with experience in the field, who will assess the case, propose the appropriate plan of action and the guidelines to be followed.


Image of an extracted upper central temporal incisor after a traumatic injury
Image of an extracted upper central temporal incisor after a traumatic injury

The return home

One of the most important aspects after the visit to the paediatric dentist is the hygiene of the affected area, which will ensure good healing of the tissues, a factor that depends to a large extent on the parents.

Therefore, for the removal of plaque and food debris it is convenient:

- brushing teeth with a soft toothbrush after every meal

- application of chlorhexidine gel at 0.1% concentration, 30 minutes after each brushing, with a cotton swab (like ear buds) once or twice a day for seven days

- in the case of lip involvement it is often helpful to use cocoa or petroleum jelly to prevent the lips from drying out, which would be uncomfortable for the child.

- with regard to the dummy and the bottle, it would be advisable to withdraw them, as far as possible, for 10-15 days, provided that the patient's diet allows it, which will depend to a large extent on their age.


Prognosis of a fractured tooth

After a fracture, which in some cases will be easily restorable and in others will require more complex treatment, parents should be aware that abscesses, fistulas or changes in the colour of the tooth may appear some time after the trauma.

The latter, which is also applicable to neighbouring teeth (which often suffer the impact even if they are not fractured), is something that should bring us back to the paediatric dentist's office to assess the need, or not, for further treatment.