Gaiduchik Orthodontics

My Child Has a Cracked Tooth: Can You Help?

Apr 01, 2023
My Child Has a Cracked Tooth: Can You Help?
Your teeth are harder than your bones, but that doesn’t mean they’re invincible. Cracks happen even when you’re wearing braces, and they need immediate attention. Here’s what you need to know.

Your tooth enamel is mostly mineral — 97% hydroxyapatite, a form of calcium, to be exact — making them the strongest part of your body, including your bones. But they’re not strong enough to withstand severe force, whether from biting or trauma, even if you wear braces. If you experience trauma, the first thing to figure out is what constitutes a dental emergency.

A knocked-out tooth clearly qualifies, and a chipped tooth is a close second, but what if your child cracks a tooth while wearing braces? 

Don’t brush off tooth cracks — they’re one of the most devious types of tooth damage because they may not be visible, so you don’t realize the problem exists, or the crack may seem minor, so you don’t seek help. Either way, the crack is an open invitation to bacteria, and as they enter the breach in the enamel and set up shop within, infection and decay set in. Plus, cracks grow deeper inside the tooth, eventually reaching the root. 

Dr. Andrey Gaiduchik has seen it all when it comes to tooth trauma during orthodontic treatment, and parents often ask him whether their child can undergo orthodontic treatment despite a cracked tooth and what to do if a crack occurs during orthodontic treatment. 

Of course, each case is different, but here is a practical guide from Gaiduchik Orthodontics in Carmichael, California, to help you know your options with cracked teeth and children’s orthodontic treatments.

Preventing cracked teeth

The old adage is true: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Avoiding dental emergencies is always better than repairing them afterward, whether you wear braces or not. But accidents happen, and teeth can sustain damage despite our best efforts.

However, wearing a mouthguard can significantly improve your chances of avoiding cracked, chipped, or broken teeth. Consider a mouthguard an essential part of your uniform and gear if you play contact sports.

Teeth grinding or bruxism is another culprit behind cracked teeth, so a night guard is a must if you grind at night. 

Chewing on taffy or hard candy, ice, nuts, and hard objects can also crack your teeth, and avoiding them can save your teeth.

Will a cracked tooth disqualify me from orthodontics?

Yes and no. Dr. Gaiduchik aims to improve your oral health with orthodontic treatment, whether you choose traditional metal braces, self-ligating braces, clear braces, or clear aligners. Part of his commitment to your oral health means that your teeth must be strong and healthy before your orthodontic treatment begins.

Dr. Gaiduchik works closely with your dentist to resolve cavities, infections, chips, and cracks before starting orthodontic treatment.

If you have a repaired cracked tooth, let Dr. Gaiduchik know so he can ensure the restoration remains intact.

The bottom line is that you can undergo orthodontic treatment even with dental restorations.

What happens if I crack a tooth while wearing braces?

If you see or suspect a cracked tooth, it requires immediate care. If it’s painful, add a dab of dental wax to prevent hot and cold foods and drinks from irritating the sensitive nerve. If your braces are damaged, place the wax on the exposed brackets or wires to prevent them from poking your cheek, lips, and tongue. 

Next, schedule an appointment with Dr. Gaiduchik right away. He can assess the damage and determine the best course of action. He may be able to repair a minor crack even with your braces in place, or he may need to remove them while your dentist fixes the problem. 

Don’t wait for your orthodontic treatment to end to address your cracked tooth; contact Gaiduchik Orthodontics online or by phone to consult with Dr. Gaiduchik.