child with missing teeth

My Child Knocked Out a Tooth! Now What?

Team Dental Trauma, Pediatric Dentistry

Every year, millions of people lose a tooth due to an injury or accident. If your child gets a tooth knocked out while they're playing, it can be a scary moment. But, don't panic. Acting quickly will help to save the tooth and preserve your child's smile. Here's what to do if your child's tooth gets knocked out.

Look In Your Child's Mouth

The first thing to do is ask your child to open their mouth. Look in to see which tooth is missing. If it's a baby tooth, the dentist won't try to reimplant it. In this case, give your child a clean, damp washcloth and tell them to bite down on it. The cloth will help to absorb any blood and will reduce swelling.

When looking in your child's mouth, check to see if there are other injuries, too. Be sure to comfort your child and reassure them that things will be alright.

If the child knocked out a permanent tooth, there is a chance the tooth can be saved.

Look for the Tooth

Try to find the tooth. Once you find it, pick it up by the crown or chewing area, not the roots. You might need to rinse the tooth with water to remove dirt or dust from it. Don't use soap when rinsing the tooth.

If it's a permanent tooth, try to put it back into your child's mouth as quickly as possible. Gently push the tooth into the socket and have your child bite down on it. You can put a washcloth or paper towel between the teeth to absorb any blood. Comfort your child if they're crying and upset. Tell them to keep pressure on the tooth.

If you can't put the tooth back into the socket or you're worried your child will swallow it, put the tooth in a cup of whole milk. The tooth needs to stay moist at all times before you take it to the dentist. Don't use tap water, as it can damage the tooth roots.

Call the Dentist

Act quickly and call the dentist, or have someone else call the dentist to schedule an emergency appointment. You might need to find an emergency dentist in your area if your own doesn't offer emergency services. Bring your child in quickly, as a knocked-out tooth has the best chance of survival if treated within 60 minutes.

Once you get to the dentist's office, they'll securely attach the tooth to the socket and will splint it to the neighboring teeth. Your child will most likely have to wear the splint on their teeth for several weeks.

How to Protect Your Child's Teeth

There are several ways to protect your child's teeth and prevent future tooth knock-outs. If your child plays a sport, such as soccer or baseball, make sure they always wear a mouthguard during practices and games. Ideally, the mouthguard should custom fit your child's mouth. Your dentist can create a mold for your child during their next check-up.

Good oral hygiene also helps to protect the teeth, by keeping them strong and minimizing the risk of decay and cavities. Regular dental check-ups and brushing and flossing at home improve the health of your children's teeth and help them avoid serious injury and other oral health problems.

Learn More About Solutions to Knocked Out Teeth in Suffolk County, NY

If you’d like to schedule an appointment for a consultation to learn more about your child’s orthodontic treatment options, contact us today.