A kid showing his toothIf a baby knocks out his tooth, he can grow another one. If an older child knocks out a permanent tooth, it’s important to act fast to save the tooth and avoid future dental surgeries.

Five million people in the U.S. knock their teeth out every year, most commonly from sports such as wrestling and hockey. These types of sports require precision and speed and have a higher rate of accidents. Mouth guards can reduce the risks of dental injury, but they don’t eliminate the possibility. If your child is into sports, you must know what to do in case of emergency.

Here’s a checklist to guide you:

Check if the child is conscious and doesn’t have a head injury.

Rinse the child’s mouth with clean water.

Place the displaced tooth root down into the socket and get him to bite down on a piece of gauze to hold the tooth in place.

The tooth should not be cleaned unless it has dirt on it (and then it should only be rinsed lightly with water).

If the tooth cannot be placed back into the socket, the child may be able to hold it in his mouth between the cheek and gums. This location creates a hospitable environment for the tooth, which may preserve the life of the periodontal ligament cells and prevent the root from dying off

If the child can’t hold the tooth in his mouth, the next best thing is to put it in a glass of milk.

Visit a dentist for emergency dental care – ideally within half an hour of the accident.

What Can a Dentist Do?

A local family dentist in Spanish Fork can treat the child. If the tooth is whole and not too much time has elapsed, the dentist may be able to re-implant it using a special splint to hold it in place. It may then regenerate after a few weeks. If it doesn’t, or if the tooth is broken to pieces, it is not viable to try and reattach it and a bridge and crown may be offered instead.

Knocking a tooth out is common, but dentists may be able to reattach it and safeguard your child’s smile. You just have to act immediately.