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How to Respond If Your Child Has Knocked Out a Tooth

April 4, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — drcartwright @ 8:48 pm

When your child is gleeful about the new gap in their grin and excitedly awaiting a visit from the Tooth Fairy, it doesn’t get much cuter than that. But what if your child knocked out a tooth unexpectedly? While this can be scary for your youngster in the moment, it can be stressful for you too. Like anything that happens without being anticipated, it’s always better to have a plan. Keep reading to find out from an orthodontist in McMurray what you should do immediately after the tooth loss as well as learn how your child’s emergency dentist can restore their smile to a pain-free state.

What Are Actions to Take ASAP When a Child’s Tooth Is Knocked Out?

It can be a traumatic time for your child, so try to be comforting and empathetic. You’ll want to find the tooth since there is a good chance it can be reimplanted within 60 minutes of the accident. When you locate the tooth, be sure to:

  • Hold the tooth by the crown and avoid touching the roots.
  • If the tooth is dirty, briefly clean it in a bowl of lukewarm tap water. It’s vital for reattachment to keep the root’s surface cells alive.
  • Attempt to insert the tooth back into the socket. If it doesn’t slide in easily, don’t force it. Instead, have your child bite down on a paper towel or gauze until they arrive at the emergency dentist’s office.
  • If their tooth won’t insert into the socket, store it in their cheek, a small container of saliva, or a glass of cold milk.
  • Get to their dentist’s office as soon as possible. If the office is closed, then go to your local emergency room.

What Can an Emergency Dentist Do for a Child’s Dislodged Tooth?

If a permanent tooth has been cleanly knocked out, there’s a good chance your child’s dentist can reattach it. This process, which uses a thin metal or plastic wire, is actually a simple one. A knocked-out baby tooth, however, will most likely require a space maintainer. This metal appliance is inserted in the lost tooth location to help keep that area open so the permanent tooth underneath it can adequately emerge.

When the tooth cannot be reattached, usually the dentist will recommend a dental bridge. A bridge replaces missing teeth with artificial ones by “bridging the gap” where the tooth used to be. There are removable bridges that can be detached and cleaned or fixed bridges that can only be removed by your child’s dentist.

You want to protect them, but sometimes accidents happen. If your child knocked out a tooth, comfort them, try to have the tooth reattached as soon as possible with help from their dentist, and consult their orthodontist in McMurray about how to keep any preexisting treatments continuing without disruption. 

About the Author

Dr. Gary Cartwright has been selected by his peers as a Pittsburgh Magazine Top Dentist every year since 2016. He has been practicing orthodontics for nearly three decades since receiving his dental doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh and then his orthodontic degree from Stoney Brook University. While your child should see their pediatric dentist for a knocked-out tooth, Dr. Cartwright can help with an array of orthodontic emergencies like a loose bracket, poking wire, a broken retainer, or soft tissue cuts. You can schedule a same-day emergency appointment on his website or by calling (724) 942-5130.

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