What to Do if Your Child Has a Tooth Knocked Out

Face it--children can be clumsy. Whether they are into sports or they move around at what feels like a million miles a minute, children are always falling over or banging into things, and losing a tooth during childhood is a real possibility. If this happens to your child, it is important to stay calm, even though the situation will obviously be distressing to both you and your little one. If you're able to stay calm, your child will also be less inclined to panic. This way, you can act quickly and hopefully save the tooth. Read on for what steps to take if your child has a bump and loses a tooth.

Retrieve and preserve the tooth

First, ascertain what kind of tooth has been lost. If it is an adult tooth, gently clean it with water, making sure you are holding it by the crown and not the root. Do not use any soap, and be sure not to scrub. Then, if possible, have your child place the tooth back in the socket from where it fell, and hold it in place with a piece of gauze or other clean fabric. If you're unable to clean or reposition the tooth, or if the tooth is a baby tooth, simply put it in a clean container instead, and cover it with milk (or warm water if milk is not available) until you are able to visit a dentist. Keeping the tooth in a moist environment increases the chances of it being successfully reattached by your dentist.

Do not try and reposition a baby tooth in the socket as it could cause damage to the adult tooth underneath.

Make an appointment with the dentist ASAP

It's important to make an appointment to see your child's dentist as soon as possible after his or her accident. If your regular dentist isn't open or you're not close by and if the tooth is an adult tooth in need of reimplantation, find the number of an emergency dentist in the area you are in. The dentist will work to reimplant the tooth if it is an adult tooth. If it is a baby tooth, the dentist won't reattach it as, again, it could cause damage to the permanent tooth underneath. 

Throughout this experience, keep talking to your child and explain what is happening so that he or she can remain as calm as possible. Explain that if you are quick and calm, there is a good chance the tooth will be saved. If it's a baby tooth, it's a good time to talk about how the tooth fairy is soon to make a visit!