Dental Emergency: What to Do When Your Child Knocks Out a Tooth
Your children are running around the living room while you are busy preparing dinner. And then you suddenly hear a whimper which quickly turns into full-on bawling. One of your kids walks up to you, blood dripping from his mouth, a knocked-out tooth cupped in his tiny hands.
The last thing that you need to do in a dental emergency is to lose composure and panic. Remember, your child is looking to you for comfort. Plus, with prompt action, a tooth that has been knocked out can still be repaired.
According to estimates by experts, a knocked-out tooth is one of the leading dental emergencies. When a baby tooth is knocked out and you do nothing about it, your child may face a host of dental problems over the short and long term. For one, the space left behind by the knocked-out tooth can lead to the crowding of the remaining teeth. This leaves little room for the permanent tooth to emerge. You can end up spending on a space maintainer to prevent this problem until the permanent tooth has emerged. Your child may also need to wear braces later in life.
Here’s what to do when your kid knocks out a tooth.
The first thing that you need to do is to find the knocked-out tooth. When you do find it, avoid holding it by its root. This is the part of the tooth which should not be handled whenever possible. Instead, pick up the tooth by the crown. Afterwards, rinse it with plain water. Do not use any product in washing it and do not pat it dry.
After rinsing the tooth, try replacing it in its original position. This increases the chance of the tooth surviving. Your child can support the tooth using his fingers or he can simply bite down to hold it into place.
If it is not possible to replace the tooth into its socket, your child can simply place the tooth inside his mouth next to his cheek. You can also place the tooth in a container filled with milk. Or, if you have an emergency tooth preservation kit, you can use that. Do not place the tooth in a container filled with water.
You need to go to the dentist within 30 minutes. Upon arrival, tell the receptionist about the incident and the staff will immediately attend to your child. Pediatric dentists use a variety of techniques to put a knocked-out tooth back into place. The most common of which is splinting the tooth using plastic or metal wires.
Regardless of the treatment plan, you should do your best to get to your local pediatric dentist as soon as possible.