What to Do When Your Child’s Tooth Gets Knocked Out

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EEEK! You got a tooth knocked out!?

Moms, around this time you may be having fun putting together a beautiful holiday meal while your little one is running about somewhere in the distance. Regardless of the season, there’s one scary dental detail you may not have thought about: your child knocking out a tooth! It may be helpful to remember these key tips if your child runs into something while the stuffing is being prepared on the stovetop :

1. Is your child bleeding from anywhere inside their mouth? Is their lip cut? Are their gums

If yes, rinse and wipe them off so you can see where the bleeding is coming from
and how severe it is.

2. Determine: Has a baby tooth been knocked out? Most kids lose their upper front four
baby teeth by the age of 8-9. To tell the difference, permanent teeth are larger and
more yellow in color than baby teeth.

If yes, don’t try putting the baby tooth back in. Simply apply pressure to the
bleeding area. If the bleeding doesn’t stop within a couple of minutes, bring
them in to see me! They may need stitches in their gums and to be examined for
a bone fracture. A medical doctor may also need to stitch their lip.

3. This is definitely a permanent tooth. What should I do?

There are many different ways a tooth can be dislodged or broken and timing is

i. If the tooth is completely out of the mouth with a whole root, pick up the
tooth by the crown (the lighter colored end that you normally see).
Gently and very briefly rinse the tooth with milk or water: just enough to
remove any dirt or grass. Try not to touch the root surface or remove any
tissue that’s still attached! Replace the tooth back in the socket as soon
as possible, but do not force it in. Hold it in place for several minutes.
Your child needs to be seen in the dental office as soon as possible!

ii. If the tooth can’t be put back in place because it feels like something’s in
the way, place the tooth in a cup or Ziploc bag of milk. If milk isn’t
around, bottled water followed by tap water are the next best things.

As a reminder, time is of the essence when it comes to a dental emergency, such as getting a
tooth knocked out! Usually the sooner the tooth gets treated, the better the long-term life of
the damaged tooth. If your child does have an emergency, please call our office at 813-264-
6000 immediately for assistance.

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