How to Handle Your Child Knocking out a Tooth

In life, accidents happen. Your child may have been enjoying a game of basketball with the neighborhood kids and out of nowhere, the ball hits their mouth and a tooth falls out. It’s no one’s fault,, but how you handle the next steps is important to the overall outcome for your child. Whether it’s a baby tooth, a permanent tooth or whether or not your child has braces, handling the situation calmly is essential. Here are our tips on how to handle your child knocking out a tooth.

First Steps

It’s pretty common for children to be a bit distressed and surprised when they knock out a tooth, so be sure to comfort them and remain calm. Let them know accidents happen and that together, you’ll fix the situation. Even if your child loses a baby tooth, a phone call to your dentist is important. Control the bleeding by placing a piece of gauze in the hole where the tooth was and listen to your dentist’s instructions for your next steps. If it’s a permanent tooth, try to locate the tooth and place it in a container with milk. It may be able to be reattached. Placing it in milk will help to prevent the root from drying up.

Losing Baby Teeth

Although we consider losing baby teeth a completely normal part of life, it’s important that they fall out on their own time. A trauma that forces them out prematurely can cause the remaining teeth to move into the empty spot or become crooked . This, in turn, will not leave enough room for the permanent tooth to erupt properly. Seeing your dentist or orthodontist is crucial here, because they will be able to insert a spacer until the permanent tooth is ready to erupt. This will help to prevent the teeth around the empty spot from moving into that gap.

Losing Permanent Teeth

Time is of the essence when a permanent tooth has been knocked out, since the root will only survive for a short period of time. Waiting too long runs the risk of the nerve endings dying and the root drying up, making reinsertion no longer an option. You don’t want to wrap the tooth in a paper towel or submerge it in water. Instead use milk to keep the nerve endings from becoming dry and get to your dentist as soon as possible. Your dentist will attempt to reinsert the tooth and the waiting game begins. It may take a few weeks to know whether or not the tooth will reattach itself. If this proves unsuccessful, an implant or bridge may be recommended.

Key Tips to Remember

If your child has had a tooth knocked out, remember these key tips, so you can help to ensure your child stays calm and a successful solution is found:

  • Don’t panic
  • Comfort your child
  • Call your dentist (and orthodontist if your child has braces )
  • Stop the bleeding
  • Try to find the tooth (if it’s permanent)
  • Soak permanent tooth in milk
  • Listen to your dentist

Accidents happen at all points in life, so it’s important to reassure your child that they’re going to be fine and that sometimes, unfortunate things happen. Stay calm and they will be more likely to stay calm as well. Your dental professional will be there to help get your child back in tip-top shape in no time!

At Milnor Orthodontics, our experts are here to help you achieve a priceless smile. Call our office at (970) 230-3187 or visit milnororthodontics.com to learn more. We're located at 1103 S. Shields St. in Fort Collins, Colorado.