Sometimes accidents happen and as a parent I’m sure you are all too familiar with situations that require a Band-Aid and situations that don’t. But what happens if your child knocks out a tooth, do you know what to do?
First things first, remain calm.
During a traumatic experience a parent may feel panic start to set in, do your best to stay calm. This will help your child to remain calm as well. Next you need to assess the situation and make sure your child is ok (i.e. is there any blood? Where is it coming from? Broken bones? Concussion?). Next is to call your child’s dental provider. Always keep the number readily available. After making the call, do your best to get to the dentist within an hour.
If the lost tooth is a primary (baby) tooth the doctor will do an exam and most likely an x-ray to see the whole traumatized area. In most situations not much will be done when a primary tooth is knocked out because the tooth will eventually come out any way. However, the teeth surrounding the lost tooth will need to be evaluated for trauma. Depending on the age of your child and the area of which the tooth was lost a space maintainer will be recommended. This will prevent shifting and keep the space open for the adult tooth to erupt correctly.
If the tooth that has been knocked out is a permanent tooth the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry suggests holding it by the crown instead of the root and try to re insert the tooth back into the socket. If this is not possible and the child is too anxious to attempt this place the tooth in a glass of milk and get to the dentist as soon as possible.
A pediatric dentist will most likely be able to save your child’s tooth, so the quicker you can get to one the better. Ideally reinserting of the tooth in less than 60 minutes will give the best prognosis. Of course, prevention is always better. This means if your child engages in sports getting them fitted at the dentist for a proper mouthgaurd is best. This not only protects the teeth, it protects the soft tissue around the teeth from trauma or injury.
Sometimes accidents happen that are out of your control so having the knowledge to take action is crucial. Having all of your child’s emergency contacts saved to your phone will also be extremely helpful.
What if it happens away from home?
In case you are out of town a very important thing to do is provide your child’s care taker with the dental provider information. In case an emergency happens while under their care they will need to know who to call if they cannot reach you, thus giving them a permission slip to treat your child will be critical as it will be needed. Also instructing the care giver or writing it down for them will be helpful so they know what action needs to be taken if a dental emergency takes place.
Having a set plan for emergencies will be helpful if one ever arises. If you need more advice or information please feel free to contact our office.