Mackenzie’s chipped baby tooth experience

Infant chipped front tooth

My husband yelled out from the bathroom “Brenda!  Mackenzie has a chipped tooth!”

I ran in and as Kenzie enjoyed her nice warm bath I saw in her smile that she did indeed have nearly half of a front tooth missing!  

What the fudgesicle!?  When did this happen? I had no idea; he had no idea.  

His only thought was maybe she chipped it on a toy playing on the floor because that was the only time he remembered her crying during the evening. Moira and I were outside at that time attempting (poorly) to fly her Frozen kite (or as Moi calls it “Elsa! Anna! Elsa! Anna!”).

We grabbed a bright flashlight after Mackenzie’s bath and looked everywhere for the other part of her tooth.  Nowhere to be found.

Then comes the really sucky part.  I nurse her and…




It’s like being stabbed with tiny little knives on my breast.  I literally looked to make sure my nipple was intact and there was no blood when I delatched her.  

Mackenzie tried her go-to self soothing technique when I set her in her crib, which is sucking her ring and pointer finger as if she is rocking out with her pinkie and pointer finger pointing upwards, and she immediately withdrew her hand and wailed. I’m sure she felt the same stabby sensation as my very delicate breast tissue.  

This was NOT OK.

And it was Saturday night.  Great, no pediatric dentist is open on Sunday!  But after all my incessant Googling I discovered that some are “on-call.”  

So on Sunday afternoon I phone the one that I deem worthy after all my research into local pediatric dentists.  And I speak to one of the three dentists directly. She seems totally unconcerned that her tooth is chipped. I remind myself this is probably a common occurrence for a pediatric dentist.  

She is very kind and puts me at ease and asks me to text a picture over.  She texts me back with a scheduled appointment for the next day at 10am. I feel relieved but also worried about what they will need to do to fix her tooth… why didn’t I inquire more about treatment options when I had her on the phone?!

Will they need to put her under anesthesia?  I mean, how will an 11 month old stay still to repair her tooth?  Will they want to crown it? OMGs do they want to put a silver crown on her front tooth?!  I need to stop Googling.

Walt stays home from work in the morning to watch Moira so that I can focus all my attention on Mackenzie at the dentist appointment.  

After we check-in, the nurse says the doctor wants x-rays to make sure that the root of her tooth isn’t damaged.  I sit on the stool with Mackenzie on my lap and they put xray blankets over both of us. I then have to hold this awkward rectangle piece in her mouth while they rush out of the room to snap the photo.  

The first time fails bc Mackenzie is resisting this object being held in her mouth.  The second time is fortunately a success and there is no damage. Phew.

Sitting in the private exam room the nurse turns on Little Baby Bum nursery rhymes on Netflix on this cool ceiling TV.  Mackenzie is more interested in playing the “stand up and sit back down” game over and over with me. I’m kinda fascinated with the ceiling TV option – why can’t adult dentists have those too?!?!  I’m all for watching some Bones while getting my semi-annual dental cleaning!

When the dentist comes in she touches the tooth and says they are going to just file down the sharp spots.  They don’t normally try to fix a tooth when kids are this young. I ask “so she’ll just have a chipped tooth until it falls out at 6 or 7?”

Doctor says that the tooth should grow in a lot more so it probably won’t be as noticeable… but basically, yeah. (Luckily on video chat the following week, Grandmum said that she looks super cute with her chipped tooth).

The dentist grabs this little lap pad that reminds me of a changing table pad but more firm, and places it on my lap.  I sit Mackenzie on it facing me and wrap her legs around my hips. The dentist has the other half of the pad on her lap and we lie Mackenzie down.  I grab her hands and the assistant holds her head still.

I was CERTAIN she was going to resist like crazy.  There are no drugs for this procedure as all she is going to do is quickly file down the sharp spots on the tooth.  

Shockingly Mackenzie didn’t fight it.  She was so good during the filing part but then the machine squirted some water into her mouth and that made her freak out. I’m pretty sure it startled her.  But then it was over!

I nursed her for a few minutes to make sure her tooth was smooth – and it was.  And I’m sure she was happy to nurse because I had been kinda avoiding it or doing really really short sessions because it was extremely uncomfortable.  

And $238 later for this 30 second procedure and we were outta there.  I asked the receptionist why it cost so much and if our pediatric dental coverage was crap – she said we had good coverage but this procedure is never covered!  

For real?!  Ugh. What can you do… I’d say it was well worth it for both Mackenzie’s and my comfort.

Do you have any pediatric dental stories?? I’d love to know that I’m not alone in freaking out over something that wasn’t really a big deal. Please share below!

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11 Responses to “Mackenzie’s chipped baby tooth experience”

  • My daughter is 14 months old and she did the exact same thing last night, I am I pieces I know it sounds silly but I just can’t stop crying, I took her to the dentist, they don’t think there’s any permanent damage but they wasn’t particularly helpful in stating that the gaps she has in her teeth won’t get any smaller, she’s always going to have them, her teeth won’t grown down any more however my daughters teeth are exactly the same as yours can you reassure me at all did they grow down and the gap close slightly?
    She’s not bothered by it, it’s just me, I’m not vain but really has upset me, I think it’s because she’s only had them for a such a short while and feel like the worst mum ever.
    Thanks Becky x

    • Hi Becky, You are definitely NOT the worst mum ever! Your comment alone shows me how much you care for your sweet daughter. Sorry I’m just now seeing your comment so I wasn’t able to reply when you were feeling so sad. I hope you are feeling better now. Mackenzie is about to turn 2 and we don’t even notice her chip anymore, it’s just part of her adorable smile. I’d say just remember these are her baby teeth and she will get her adult teeth when she’s older. That’s how I comforted myself when it first happened to her. It’s upsetting for sure and it’s good to know that they aren’t the permanent teeth. How is she doing now? -Brenda

    • Oh and YES, her tooth did come down some more and the gap isn’t really there at all anymore and the chip is less noticeable. 🙂

  • I don’t know how old this post is but my 15 month old son chipped his tooth this afternoon and we are booked in to see the dentist tomorrow and I am so nervous. I needed to read this! X

    • Hi Gabrielle, how did it go with your son? I remember feeling nervous and freaked out as well. I hope all is well. xo

  • OMG thanks for sharing this! My 18 month old just chipped her front tooth in a similar fashion. It hurt me when nursing and seems to be bothering her as well. I called the on call dentist this evening and he said they’d likely file it down slightly. I feel at ease after reading your story. Thanks again for sharing!

    • Hi Desiree, I’m so glad my story could provide you some comfort. It was such a stressful situation at the time! How did it go for your daughter? Gosh, memories of nursing with that chipped tooth…eeeek!

  • Christine Carolan Reply

    Was searching for a similar story to my now almost 3 year old sons chipped tooth from over a year ago, and wanted to mention it’s almost identical!!! I thought to myself I have to bring him in ASAP- after colliding with his brother, and searching for the piece of tooth! It wasn’t covered, they did the extra, filed it down the same way, and I kept asking “so do we need to bond or cap that sucker?!” Lol but they wouldn’t recommend it because it’ll just crack right off anyway (probably)! Ahhh the struggles but they’re cute anyhow! Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Christine, yes, so cute! We don’t even notice that she has a chip in her tooth, it’s just part of her sweet face now. It will probably be weird when she does eventually lose the tooth and doesn’t have the chip anymore! Glad it all worked out with your son’s tooth as well.

  • I needed to read this so much!
    My 11 month old has just done this on a swing in the park. Right in front of me so I feel like the worst mother he could have wished for!
    I’m going to ring the dentist in the morning but this post has brought my heart some comfort.
    Hopefully that it’s not so noticeable in a years time!
    Your little one is lovely.

  • Oh my goodness.. thank you SO much for sharing this story! Our 13 month old broke her very new front baby tooth today during a mishap at the playground. It was dangling there for a few minutes while I calmed her and called an emergency dentist, then next minute when I checked it was gone!

    It looks almost identical to your picture! Being a Sunday, we have to wait until tomorrow for an appointment with our dentist.

    I was so devastated when it happened, my little girl was upset for a few minutes and nursed and then has been completely fine ever since.

    I’m devastated, the thought that I couldn’t protect her from breaking her very new front tooth kills me.

    Her brand new baby tooth is cracked for years to come and whilst I’m not a vain person is makes me so sad. I’m hopeful that given it’s so new that it will still come down a little and be less noticeable.

    Every time I look at it, the guilt is overwhelming and I want to cry.

    Thank you again for your post and to those who commented – it’s reassuring to know this happens and I’m not alone in my feelings! Xx

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