Children lose a lot of teeth as part of the natural cycle of growth and development. These teeth are lost on a regular schedule once adult teeth are ready to emerge.
But sometimes, kids can lose teeth for other reasons, such as from falls, sports accidents, or other trauma. In these cases, it’s important to know what steps to take and to take those steps as quickly as possible.
At Dental Arts of Hoboken in Hoboken, New Jersey, Michael Moawad, DMD, and Jessica Listwa, DMD, offer comprehensive pediatric dental care, including treating children who have had teeth knocked out. In this post, our team offers some simple steps to take if your child loses a tooth unintentionally.
Take care in handling the tooth
If a tooth gets knocked out, there is a possibility that the tooth can be reattached. However, in order for the tooth to be reattached, the roots must be left unharmed.
The tooth roots are very susceptible to damage, so when handling the tooth, touch only the crown — which is the upper, visible part — and don’t touch the root end. Even brief contact with the roots could damage or contaminate the tissue, which could prevent the tooth from being reattached.
Rinse the tooth gently
Gently rinse the tooth with cool water to dislodge dirt and debris. Don’t scrub the tooth or swish it in water, and don’t use a forceful stream of water to clean it. Doing so could damage the roots.
Store the tooth properly
If you can, place the tooth carefully back into its socket, since the socket is the natural environment for the tooth. Once the tooth is back in its socket, have the child bite gently on a piece of clean gauze to stabilize the tooth while you seek treatment.
If you can’t place the tooth back in its socket, place it gently between your child’s cheek and gum. If you’re not able to do that, store it in a glass of milk or a small container of saliva. Don’t use tap water, since it might contain chlorine or other chemicals that could damage the tooth roots.
Manage pain and bleeding
Tooth injuries can be accompanied by other types of injuries, too. Stem any significant bleeding to your child’s cheek or lips by applying gentle pressure with gauze or a clean cloth. Your child can gently rinse if needed, and you can give over-the-counter pediatric pain medicine to help with pain and swelling.
Seek emergency treatment
Regardless of whether it’s a baby tooth or a permanent adult tooth, any knocked-out tooth requires immediate dental care. Call the office or come in right away. If it’s after hours, head to your nearest emergency room. Quick action could allow your provider to save the tooth, prevent other complications, and treat any additional injuries.
Having a tooth knocked out can be a scary experience for a child, but knowing what steps to take can help your child get the right care as quickly as possible. To learn how we can help your child enjoy their healthiest smiles, call 201-429-3641 or request an appointment online with the team at Dental Arts of Hoboken today.