What to Do When Your Child Knocks Their Tooth Out

Posted on: 20 February 2018

Children are often in situations that might result in injury. From wrestling about with their mates to playing in youth sporting events to trip and falls, there may be quite a few situations in which your child could knock their tooth out. A sports guard—a rubber mouthpiece that can be customised for your child's mouth—can be helpful in preventing tooth loss in future. However, your child can't wear a sports guard around the clock. There may still be situations in which you have to deal with a knocked-out tooth, so here's what you need to do to handle the knocked-out tooth properly when it happens. 

Keep the Atmosphere Calm

If you're hysterical and wildly panicked, your child will rapidly work themselves into the very same state. Even though you might not feel it, act calm and tackle the situation with a self-assured air. Your child will realise that you have the problem well in hand, and they'll be much easier to deal with as a result. 

Secure the Tooth

The first thing to do is to get the tooth—there's actually a good chance it can be re-implanted if you act swiftly. Pick the tooth up by the crown, and then rinse it off lightly in cool or lukewarm (not hot) water. Don't scrub or rub the tooth—even if it appears to be dirty, a simple rinse is enough cleansing for now.

Keep the Tooth Safe

Whilst the ideal environment for a knocked-loose tooth is the socket that it recently left, that might not be possible with very young children. If your child is too young to reliably hold the tooth in place with their tongue whilst you're on the way to the emergency dentist, you can drop the tooth into a glass of milk. Use full cream milk only, as it has the crucial preservatives that will keep the tooth safe until the dentist can examine it. 

Get to the Dentist

Whilst dealing with a knocked-out tooth, you're also dealing with time constraint. You have only around half an hour to an hour to get to the dentist, as the tooth won't live outside its natural socket for very long. Phone ahead to inform your regular dentist that you've got an emergency and that you're bringing your child in straight away. If your regular pediatric dentist isn't able to work your child into the schedule immediately, ask for the name of the nearest emergency dentist and get there straight away.

If you follow the simple rules above when your child knocks their tooth out, the situation can be much less stressful than you might imagine. Responding immediately is key, so make sure that you put these tips into action as soon as the tooth is out.