Any type of oral facial trauma in a child will require a careful assessment of the injury. If your child does suffer a facial injury then we recommend you contact our dental office as soon as you can for emergency dental care and an emergency appointment if required. If it is outside of our normal office hours then please contact your nearest emergency room so they can assess the injury and decide if emergency oral surgery is required. This is particularly important if your child has a facial or mouth wound that is bleeding heavily.
Treatment of an Avulsed Tooth
One of the most common childhood injuries (Dental Sports Injuries) is a knocked out or avulsed tooth. This may happen if they’ve been playing sports without a suitable mouthguard, or can simply be one of those childhood mishaps that happen when they’re playing with friends. We will treat this type of injury quite differently depending on whether the knocked out tooth is permanent or primary. If the tooth is a primary or milk tooth then it will not be replanted in the mouth. This is because there is the possibility of damaging the adult tooth underneath. It’s quite a different story if the knocked out tooth is permanent and we do treat this as something requiring dental emergency treatment.
What to Do If Your Child Knocks out a Tooth
It can be quite scary for children to lose a tooth so the most important thing to do first of all is to try to keep them calm. The next thing you need to do is to find the tooth and pick it up by the crown which is the part you can normally see in the mouth. Take care not to touch the tooth root and if the tooth is dirty then wash it under cold running water before trying to reposition it in the mouth. If you manage to reinsert it, get your child to bite down on a clean handkerchief or tissue and come and see us as soon as you can. If you can’t reinsert the tooth then store it in a glass of milk or a little salt water or even saliva. It’s also possible for your child to store the tooth on the inside of the mouth in their cheek but this does mean there is the risk they could swallow it, particularly if it is a young child who is quite distressed at the time. Wherever possible, avoid storing the tooth in water. The next thing to do is to come to see us or another pediatric dentist as soon as possible. There is a tiny window of opportunity to try to insert a tooth, normally between half an hour to an hour.