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What You Should Do If Your Child Knocks Out a Tooth

December 14, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — boylesdentistry @ 1:03 pm
two children playing basketball

As your child plays their favorite sport, you naturally worry about their safety. Unfortunately, injuries often come with being active, but then, during a game, they are hit in the face and a tooth comes out!

Once you establish that your child is otherwise all right, you can shift your attention to their smile. Is the knocked-out tooth a primary or permanent one? What should you do in this dental emergency? Keep reading to learn the steps you should take!

No Matter What

Regardless of the type of tooth your child loses in an injury, your first move should be to call your dentist’s office. In addition to giving you specific advice for your situation, they can prepare for you and your child to come in immediately for an emergency exam and potential treatment.

For a Knocked-Out Baby Tooth

As your child gets older, baby teeth naturally come out to make way for permanent teeth, which have longer roots and are meant to last the rest of their lifetime; however, knocking out a primary tooth can still be traumatic for your child’s smile.

Their baby teeth serve as place holders for permanent ones still developing within the jaw. As a result, if one comes out too early, it can throw off alignment, possibly increasing the need for orthodontic care later on.

Unlike a permanent tooth, when a baby tooth is lost prematurely, it is usually not put back in a child’s mouth. Instead, your dentist may place an appliance that maintains that space to provide the best possible alignment for future permanent teeth.

For a Knocked-Out Permanent Tooth

Time is precious when a permanent tooth is knocked out of your child’s mouth. Unfortunately, there is a limited time in which it can be successfully reinserted. After an hour, the chances of putting it back within the arch drop significantly. As a result, you need to go to your dentist’s office within that timeframe.

Because the hope is to save and re-implant the tooth, you need to keep it clean and moist. When you handle the tooth, don’t touch the root. Pick it up by the crown, or the portion of the tooth that is usually visible. Gently rinse it with clean water and either put it in a container of milk or in between your child’s gums and cheek until you get to the dentist’s office.

If you aren’t able to get to the dentist in time to save the permanent tooth, you can discuss replacement with a dental implant.

Having to deal with an injury of any kind can be stressful, especially because it’s your child, but a knocked-out tooth doesn’t have to leave a gap in their smile forever. You can take the proper steps, and your dentist can help them recover as quickly as possible.

About the Practice

At Boyles General Dentistry & Implant Center, we are happy to serve patients of all ages, including children. Dr. Franklin Boyles has helped generations of families in Midland for about 40 years, and Dr. Stephen Boyles is proud to work alongside his father in providing care for emergency patients. If you or your child suffers from a dental emergency, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team through our Contact Us page or by calling our office at 432-685-7011.

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