Once school is out, kids are spending more active time at home or outdoors. Active children always seem to be injuring themselves in one way or another. Most of the time, the injury is minor, like a bruise or a scrape. However, sometimes the child needs to see a doctor or a dentist, such as in the case of a broken or loose tooth.
It’s important to know what to do if someone’s tooth gets broken, chipped or knocked out in case there’s an accident on vacation, at kids’ sports events or at home. Pediatric dentists are especially trained in the management and case of tooth trauma on young teeth.
Here is a brief guideline offered by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry of the types of trauma children’s teeth can incur, and how you as a parent can help minimize the damage and long term effects.
Knocked Out Tooth
If a child’s tooth becomes knocked out, the sooner you contact your pediatric dentist, the better. Quick action can lessen a child’s discomfort, prevent infection, and perhaps save the tooth. Call us even if the injury occurs after regular dental office hours.
For baby teeth, rinse the child’s mouth out with water and apply a cold compress to reduce swelling. Do not spend time looking for the tooth, as baby teeth cannot be replanted.
For permanent teeth, find the tooth and gently rinse it in cold water. DO NOT scrub the tooth or use soap or let it dry out outside the mouth. Handling it only by the crown (don’t touch the root surface), replace the tooth in the socket and have the child hold it there in place with a clean washcloth or gauze as you travel to the dentist. DO NOT place the tooth in water; if you need to carry the tooth, put it into a container with cold milk or the child’s saliva.
Chipped or Broken Tooth
If your child’s tooth has broken due to a fall, sports injury or accident, rinse the mouth and apply a cold compress to reduce swelling and discomfort, then contact your pediatric dentist. Find the broken tooth fragment and take it along with you to the dentist; having it may reduce the need for extensive dental treatment.
Dislodged or Luxated Tooth
A child’s tooth may be pushed sideways or shoved up into the gum tissue or bone. Your pediatric dentist can determine what action to take, based on the severity level.
Other Times to Seek Emergency Treatment
There are other instances in which a child should seek immediate treatment. They include: pain or tenderness, sensitivity to hot or cold, swallowing a tooth, bleeding that doesn’t stop, jaw pain when opening or closing the mouth, any object stuck into the cheek, tongue, mouth or throat, and large cuts or punctures on the face or mouth.
In addition, if your child spikes a fever, has neck stiffness or pain, can’t open their mouth, is drooling, or has slurred speech, contact your pediatric dentist immediately.
Smile Wonders is Trained for Trauma
At Smile Wonders, we know that the adrenaline rushes whenever your child is injured. But since Dr. Rishita and all our staff are especially trained in pediatric traumas, you can relax knowing your child is in good hands. Our soothing environment and friendly demeanor will help calm the situation so we can fix the problem as quickly as possible. If tooth trauma occurs, call us immediately at 571-350-3663, day or night.