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Your Child Loses a Tooth! What Do You Do?

August 24, 2021

First aid lesson time! Have you ever thought about what you would do it your child lost his or her tooth?

If it is a baby tooth, there's no need to replace it. On the other hand, f it is a permanent tooth, it's considered a dental emergency! Permanent teeth have the best chance of being saved when replaced within 15 minutes. It's  important to act quickly.

Dental injuries in preschool and school-age kids generally happen from accidental falls, while dental injuries in teenagers are often sports-related. If you are seeing signs of head or other injuries after an accident or fall, call your child's doctor immediately.

What to do if your baby, toddler, or young child injures his/her baby teeth or gums:

  1. If it is bleeding, apply pressure with a piece of cold, wet gauze. If they can and are old enough to understand, ask him or her to bite down on the gauze.
  2. Ice pops can be used to suck on to reduce swelling and an ice-pack wrapped in a washcloth can be held against the cheek.
  3. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen can be given as needed for pain.
  4. Call us or your child's dentist.
  5. Monitor things like swelling of the gums, prolonged pain, fever, change in color of the tooth.

What to do it a permanent tooth is chipped or broken:

  1. Collect all pieces of the tooth you can.
  2. Rinse out the mouth with warm water.
  3. Call us or your child's dentist to schedule a visit.

What to do if a Permanent Tooth falls out:

Immediately call us or your child's dentist for an emergency appointment or go to the emergency room after following these steps:  

  1. Locate the tooth. Call a dentist immediately or go to the closest emergency room. If you aren't sure if it's a permanent tooth, baby teeth have smooth edges.
  2. Be sure to handle the tooth at the crown (the "chewing" end of the tooth) — not the root.
  3. Place the tooth in a balanced salt solution (like Save-A-Tooth), if you have it. If not, place the tooth in a saline solution, a container of milk, or your child's saliva. You also can place the tooth between your lower lip and gum. Important: Don't store it in tap water.
  4. For older kids/teens you can try placing the tooth back in the socket without touching the root and ask your child to bite down on gauze to keep it steady.
  5. If the tooth is stored in a container (rather than back in the socket), have your child bite down on a gauze pad or handkerchief to relieve bleeding and pain.

Always be thinking about prevention.

Make sure kids wear mouth guards and protective gear for contact sports, helmets while biking, skateboarding, inline skating, etc. To prevent falls, always consider childproofing your house.

If you have any questions for us, feel free to contact us directly or ask the next time you come in for your appointment.