If your child’s tooth is knocked out, a pediatric dentist can help you choose the right plan of action to minimize long-lasting effects on your child’s smile and dental health. Regardless of whether they unexpectedly lose a baby tooth or a permanent tooth, it is important to visit a dentist as soon as possible. The dentist can ensure that your child receives a full assessment of damage and appropriate care.
If there are other apparent external injuries like severe bleeding, you may need to visit the doctor or emergency room. Otherwise, your child’s dentist should be able to help you decide on the next steps.
What to do when a tooth gets knocked out
The first thing to do is to locate the tooth to ensure that it does not become a choking hazard. Pick it up by the crown, the biting surface of the tooth. Be sure not to touch the roots at all to increase the chances of it being reattached successfully. If your child is old enough to carefully hold the tooth in place, try to reinsert the tooth to preserve it on your way to the dental office. Otherwise, use gauze or a clean cloth to apply pressure to the gap left by the tooth. This will slow the bleeding. See your child’s pediatric dentist as soon as possible.
How to preserve the tooth
If your child is unable to hold the tooth in place, storing the tooth in saliva is another good way to preserve its condition. Have your child spit into a small cup and hold the tooth until it is submerged. If your child is unable to produce enough saliva, a parent’s saliva or milk can be used for short-term storage. If the tooth is dirty from touching the ground, use water to clean it without touching the roots.
What to do if the knocked-out tooth is a baby tooth
If a baby tooth is knocked out, it likely will not be considered an emergency, especially if their permanent teeth are close to growing in. Your child’s pediatric dentist will likely not reattach the tooth. That said, it is important to bring the tooth to the dental appointment as the dentist may want to examine it.
Why is a visit to the dentist important?
If your child has a tooth knocked out, regardless of whether it is a baby or adult tooth, it is always important to visit a pediatric dentist. The dentist may need to take x-rays to see if anything below the gum line was damaged. If your child loses an adult tooth, the dentist will likely want to try to reattach it. A dentist will also need to look at your child’s mouth if they lost a baby tooth. Your child may need to be fitted with a spacer to preserve the space for their future permanent tooth.
Has your child lost a tooth?
No matter how a child’s tooth came out of their mouth, it is crucial to visit a pediatric dentist as soon as possible. Appropriate advice and treatment can ensure your child's continued oral health. If your child has lost a tooth unexpectedly, call our office to see if they need treatment.
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