Parenting involves comforting your children through the bumps and bruises that are normal in an active life. If your child accidentally knocks out a permanent tooth, it’s important both to take immediate steps to reassure your child and locate the tooth. At Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics of Virginia, we want you to know exactly what to do if this happens to your family.
Remain Calm and Reassure Your Child
It’s natural for your child to panic from the trauma and pain of losing a tooth. Calmly reassure your child and apply ice for any facial swelling. You can give him/her an over-the-counter pain reliever, but not one with aspirin because it may aggravate any bleeding.
Quickly Locate the Lost Tooth and Call Your Child’s Dentist
A tooth that is not immediately visible may be stuck inside your child’s mouth, becoming a choking risk. Contact your child’s dentist without delay to report the situation. Ideally, you’ll meet your dentist within 30 minutes; but it’s possible to save your child’s tooth even if it has been “lost” for 60 minutes or longer.
Protect the Tooth
It’s best to handle the tooth with care — holding it only by the crown, or chewing surface — and replace it in the gum socket as quickly as possible. Do not touch the root section of the tooth and do not scrape or rub it. The periodontal ligament tissue remaining on the tooth helps to attach it to the jaw. Use only plain water to rinse dirt from the tooth.
Reinsert the Tooth
Gently replace the tooth in the socket without force. If your child’s gum is bleeding heavily, place a small piece of gauze over the tooth and have your child bite down on it carefully. A low amount of pressure causes the bleeding to stop. If the tooth refuses to stay in place, place it in a container of milk on the way to the dentist’s office to constantly keep it moist. Do not force a broken tooth back into the socket.
Options to Restore a Gapless Smile
You child’s dentist has options when the tooth will not immediately reattach. A splint will hold it to other teeth while new connective ligaments and tissues grow. Otherwise, the dentist can implant a tooth or create a bridge to restore your child’s perfect smile.
At Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics of Virginia, our pediatric dentists are trained and experienced in sports dentistry, which is the prevention and treatment of dental injuries and related oral diseases. Knocked-out or chipped teeth are common in active children, and our pediatric dental experts will know what to do to restore your child’s tooth.
We recommend obtaining a mouthguard for your child if he or she plays sports, likes to ride bikes or skateboards or is accident-prone. Please contact us at (804) 739-0963 or complete our online form to schedule a pediatric dentistry appointment. Our warm, caring, skilled pediatric dental team will take care of your child’s needs.