Big tumbles happen, especially for children under 7-8 years old. It’s scary, and there may be a lot of blood, but stay calm.
If your child knocked a tooth loose, here’s what to do:
1) You probably do not need to go to the emergency room! Call your pediatric dentist instead.
Go to the emergency room if you child has sustained a head or neck injury, if they are acting dizzy, or if they need stitches. Otherwise, most pediatric dentists have an emergency line that you’re welcome to call.
Tell the pediatric dentist what happened and describe any cuts or abrasions that you see.
2) Remember that crying is the proper response for your child to be having.
In this case, crying is a good and natural thing. If they are not crying, tell your pediatric dentist that when you call.
We understand that your child being upset and crying loudly can be nerve-wracking, but it can actually be more of a concern if your child seems to be injured badly and is not crying. That could be an indication of concussion or other serious injury. In those cases, visiting your pediatric doctor or urgent care is your first step.
3) The pediatric dentist will ask you some more questions to see if the tooth or teeth can be saved or not.
Tooth trauma can range from a small chip to breaking the tooth to the tooth coming all the way out. Each of those traumatic scenarios are treated differently.
- If it was an adult (permanent) tooth that came all the way out, put the tooth in milk immediately. If it was a baby (primary) tooth that came out, you do not need to worry about saving the tooth. You will need to see the dentist within 30 minutes to save a permanent tooth.
- If a baby tooth came all the way out, the pediatric dentist will take an X-ray. This is to make sure that the underlying adult teeth have not been damaged.
- If no immediate repairs need to be made, you will be instructed to let the tooth rest. If the child is calm and the tooth was chipped or cracked, the dentist will make an appointment to do a repair at a later time. When there is minor trauma to a tooth, the best thing to do is to leave it alone and let it heal. Like other sprains and injuries, it can take about six weeks for that tooth to get back to the way it’s supposed to be. In these cases, we wait six weeks before we do anything, just to make sure that tooth was okay.
We understand that children love to be rough and tumble.
To give them a little extra trauma prevention, use the corner or drawer protectors. You can also use knob covers so that they can’t get into anything that they shouldn’t get into. In the bathtub, you can also put the little put a little cover over the faucet.
Lastly, remember that ice and children don’t mix well! Keep an extra eye out for your children when they are sledding or ice skating. Make sure that you keep the number of your pediatric dentist handy so that if anything should happen, you can give them a call quickly. You can even put your pediatric dentist on speed dial in the winter time!
Still curious? Dr. Joye goes into detail about how to handle dental trauma in the video below.
Dr. Joye does a Facebook Live twice a month at 5:30 pm. Follow us on Facebook to be notified when she goes live next!
You can find all of Dr. Joye’s video chats on our YouTube channel.
Have more questions about supporting your teen’s dental health? Give us a call anytime at 336-887-9277 (WARR) to ask questions or to schedule an appointment.