Caring for a Knocked-Out Tooth
What do you do if your child’s permanent tooth gets knocked out? First, consider this an emergency situation. If your child’s head, face, or jaw were injured, immediately go to the hospital emergency room.1
If your child seems fine, call your dentist right away and explain the situation.2 You’ll need to get dental care as soon as possible. The faster you can get your child to the dentist, the greater the chances of reattaching the tooth.3
To protect the tooth before you reach the dentist’s office, follow these steps:
Holding the tooth at the top (not the root), rinse it gently in cool water. Do not scrub or use soap. If there is tissue attached to the root, leave it there.1, 2, 3
It is important to keep the tooth from drying out.3 If possible, gently place the tooth back into the gum socket and hold it there with a washcloth or gauze.1
If you can’t put the tooth back in place, the next best thing is to put it in a closed container of milk or saline solution (salt water).2, 3
To help prevent another emergency like this, there are steps you can take to protect your child’s mouth and teeth. TheAmerican Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children wear a mouth guard when playing sports that could cause a dental injury. In addition, always buckle young children securely into a car seat—and make it a rule that older kids must wear a seat belt whenever they ride in a car.1
1 “Emergency Care.”American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. www.aapd.org/publications/brochures/ecare.asp Accessed 2010.
2 “Dental Emergencies” American Dental Association.www.ada.org/370.aspx Accessed 2010.
3 “AGD Factsheet: Dental Emergencies.”Academy of General Dentistry. www.agd.org/public/OralHealthFacts/files/pdfgenerator.aspx?pdf=FS_DentalEmergencies_Oct07.pdf Accessed 2010.
Online Medical Reviewer:
Eakle, Stephan W., DDS
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