What to do when your child chips or knocks out a tooth

If you haven’t had to deal with such a situation, you should be careful with your reaction. It is vital that you stay calm and don’t panic, even if your child bleeds, cries, or is in great pain.

In this kind of situations it is helpful to know the right steps to take to get the problem solved quickly:


What to do when your child chips or knocks out a toothIf your child chips a tooth…

  • Find the tooth fragment, clean it and keep it
  • Rinse out your child’s mouth with water
  • Place an ice bag or a cold compress on their face to contain the swelling
  • Seek attention from a dentist

If it is a baby tooth that has been damaged and the mouth health is not compromised, the dentist may decide to leave it be, as the damage will not be long-lasting, or to fix it to restore the appearance of a normal tooth and for the comfort of your child.


If your child knocks out a tooth…

  • Find the tooth, hold it by the crown, not the root, and place it in a cup of milk or saline
  • Rinse out your child’s mouth with water
  • Apply pressure to the site with gauze or a washcloth to contain the bleeding
  • Go to your dentist immediately. Replanting your child’s tooth within 30 minutes of injury greatly increases its chance for survival

Although a knocked-out tooth may be stressing for your child, staying calm and contacting your dentist quickly ensure you will find the best possible solution.


What if the knocked-out/chipped tooth is a baby tooth?

Losing a baby tooth might not seem serious, because it will be replaced by a permanent one, but a visit to the dentist is still required. The early loss of a baby tooth means that it can no longer do its job of chewing and guiding adult teeth into their normal position, increasing likelihood of orthodontic treatment being necessary.

A chipped tooth is more sensitive to bacteria and therefore more susceptible to cavities and other infections. There could be an opening that is invisible to the naked eye but still allows oral bacteria to enter the tooth’s sensitive inner core and cause an infection, so a visit to the dentist is also required.

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