Accidents Will Happen: Handling Your Child's Knocked-Out Tooth

When a tooth is lost due to an accident, it should be considered a dental emergency. When it happens to a child, though, it can also be traumatic. Children can react with surprise and sadness when they lose a tooth unexpectedly. Read on to find out how parents can deal with the sudden loss of a tooth.

Call Your Dentist

It sometimes seems that emergencies happen only on the weekend. No matter when it occurs, though, phone your dentist and see about being seen on an emergency basis. While you are waiting, you can take some steps to make your child feel better and hopefully preserve the tooth too.

Keep Things Calm and Light

If you are upset about the loss of the tooth, your child will be extremely upset about it. Try to remain calm so you don't transmit your anxiety to your child. Engage your child in efforts to preserve the tooth (with your guidance). That might distract them for a bit.

Preserving the Tooth

The key is to be gentle with the tooth and not to disturb any root material that may still be attached to it. Though it might seem natural to wash the tooth off if it's dirty, be very careful when you do so. Wash it carefully with warm (not hot) water. Don't use soap and let it air dry.

If you judge your child to be old enough to hold the tooth in their mouth without swallowing it, place the tooth gently back into the missing tooth area. In many cases, it will remain there until you can see the dentist. However, remove the tooth for eating and sleeping. If that won't work, you can place the tooth in some warm water or milk. You can also purchase tooth-preserving kits at most pharmacies. These come with a tooth carrier for the tooth to keep it safe.

Soothing Your Child

If your child experienced a blow to the mouth, go at once to an emergency room. Your child could have a fracture or break in the cheek or jaw area. If your child is experiencing bleeding, that can make them feel nauseous and even more upset. Allow them to rinse often with warm water to get rid of the taste of the blood. A cold compress can also be placed on the outside of the mouth if your child will tolerate it. You can also use a small piece of gauze over the empty tooth socket. Have your child bite down gently and the bleeding should stop soon.

Your child's tooth, if viable, can be replaced in the mouth and secured till it becomes more stable. Speak to an emergency dental clinic to find out more.