What Should I Do If My Child Knocks Out a Tooth?

Kids love to explore, play, and roughhouse. While you certainly take steps to make sure your kids are safe, they could end up knocking out a tooth. If this happens, it will understandably be unnerving. However, if you follow the right steps, you can minimize the damage. 

Knocking out a Baby Tooth

Your kids should lose their baby teeth eventually, usually between the ages of six and 12, but they will fall out easily by getting loose. If a baby tooth gets knocked out before it’s ready, it could cause problems later on.As soon as it happens, the only real thing to be worried about is stopping the bleeding, which you can do by having your child bite down on sterile gauze. 

Don’t make any attempt to re-attach the tooth since this could cause damage to the underlying tooth. Instead, make an appointment with your dentist. They can install a temporary placeholder tooth to prevent the surrounding teeth from moving into the gap while waiting for the adult tooth to erupt. 

Knocking out a Permanent Tooth

If your child knocks out an adult tooth, you’ll want to act quickly to try to save the tooth. In this scenario, you’ll also want to stop the bleeding with a piece of gauze. When picking up the lost tooth, be sure not to touch it by the root. Rinse off any dust or dirt with milk, or cold water if no milk is available. Then, gently try to reinsert the tooth in its place. If the tooth won’t go back in the socket easily, place it in a small container with milk or saltwater. Don’t dry off the tooth, as this will reduce the chances of the tooth being able to reattach. 

Make your way to the dentist as soon as you can, within 30 minutes if possible. The dentist may be able to splint the knocked-out tooth to the neighboring tooth, which will allow the ligaments and bone tissue to bond together again. If reattaching the tooth is unsuccessful, your child can get an implant to replace it. If your child’s teeth were crowded, your dentist may also recommend seeing an orthodontist to determine if the remaining teeth can be shifted to close the gap.

If Your Child Knocks out a Tooth and Has Braces

If a tooth gets knocked out while your child has braces, you should also make a follow-up appointment with your orthodontist as soon as possible to assess any damage to the braces and get your child’s treatment back on track. If an implant is required, treatment should be completed before the implant is placed to get the surrounding teeth in the right positions first. 

To learn more about what to do if teeth are knocked out or about getting orthodontic treatment after a tooth is knocked out, contact Smith Orthodontics today!