Steps to Take When a Tooth Is Knocked Out

Steps to Take When a Tooth Is Knocked Out

Children participate in a variety of activities, and sometimes accidents can happen. Occasionally, injuries, trauma, and accidents during active play or athletics can cause your child’s tooth to get knocked out.

If your child loses a baby tooth earlier than expected or has a permanent tooth knocked out, it’s important to stay calm but also act quickly. With prompt action and help from our dentists at Cherry Family Dental in San Jose, California, your child’s tooth has a higher chance of being saved.

What to do when your child’s tooth gets knocked out

Having your child’s tooth knocked out is a dental emergency, even if the tooth is a baby tooth. If your child’s tooth is knocked out, take these steps to ensure a healthy outcome for your child.

Calm your child and address any bleeding

When your child’s tooth is knocked out, the first thing to do is calm your child down and provide reassurance that you will support them through this. If your child’s gum is bleeding, use sterile gauze to clean it and have your child bite down on the gauze to help stop the bleeding.

Find and attempt to reinsert the tooth

Gather all the pieces of your child’s tooth, grabbing it by the crown rather than the root, and make sure no pieces are embedded in your child’s mouth. If your child’s tooth is a permanent tooth, and the tooth is intact, you can attempt to reinsert it by pushing it back into your child’s tooth socket.

Prior to attempting to reinsert the tooth, clean the tooth with milk if it’s dirty. You can help keep the tooth inserted by having your child continue to bite down on gauze placed around the tooth.

Place a non-insertable tooth in milk or saliva

If your child’s tooth won’t go back in the socket or your child is uncooperative, you can store the tooth in milk, your saliva, or your child’s saliva until you get to Cherry Family Dental or emergency services.

Seek immediate dental care

Once you’ve taken these initial steps, call Cherry Family Dental immediately, as a tooth being knocked out is an emergency that needs to be dealt with quickly. If our office is closed, take your child to the emergency room for immediate assistance.

Treatment options for a knocked-out tooth

Our team's treatment plan for your child depends on the severity of the injury, how long the tooth has been outside of your child’s mouth, and whether the tooth is a baby or permanent tooth. 

For baby teeth, we are more likely not to attempt to reinsert the tooth and instead assess the overall health of your child’s gums and surrounding teeth and recommend treatment if there’s any trauma. We also make sure there’s space for your child’s permanent tooth to grow in properly when it’s ready.

If your child has a permanent tooth knocked out, we attempt to reattach your child’s tooth, a procedure that has a higher rate of success the more quickly it’s done. If the tooth fails to reattach, we will suggest other solutions.

When your child’s tooth gets knocked out, knowing what to do, acting fast, and getting prompt dental care are the best steps you can take. Call Cherry Family Dental at 408-265-9640 for an immediate emergency appointment if your child’s tooth gets knocked out.

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