When you think of a kid losing one of their permanent teeth, you most likely think of fights as the reason. However, sports injuries, bike accidents, car accidents, and normal hard play are far more often the reason. Accidents are bound to happen and sometimes there isn’t anything you can do to stop them, but knowing what to do to save a tooth can come in real handy. Even if it turns out it’s your neighbor’s kid or some relative, it’s good first aid knowledge to know. Here are the best tips on saving a child’s knocked out permanent tooth.
Acting fast is the key to saving the tooth
The important thing is to read the instructions several times on how to save the tooth so that you remember it and take immediate action. You won’t have time to do a Google search or look up the instructions in your file cabinet, you have to move quickly. Usually, people will be in a panic, that doesn’t help either, be calm, get busy.
The worst thing that can happen is your child runs all the way home from the playground without the tooth. Then when you go back, you can’t find it and it ends up being too late. It might be a good time to tell everyone in the family how important it is to find the tooth immediately and bring it home with you. Carry the tooth by the top, or crown, and never touch the roots with your fingers.
Once at home, place the tooth in a salt water dampened the cloth, call your dental emergency room and hit the road. If you don’t have salt water, use milk, saliva, or even put the tooth in your own mouth. Pure water, however, is bad for the tooth, avoid that if possible. Some well-meaning parents will put the tooth in pure water, don’t panic, go to the dental emergency room anyway.
If possible, you can try to re-insert the tooth
Sometimes you’ll be able to see the gaping hole where the tooth was and if possible, plug it right back in. Press on the tooth until it is level with the surrounding teeth as it was previously. Then have your kid bite down on a soft clean cloth while you still head to the dentist. By biting down, the tooth shouldn’t be able to slip back out.
It’s important to remember that you should go to the dentist no matter what. There are several possibilities that would require his expertise even if you can’t find the missing tooth. The first problem would be if the tooth is really pushed back up into the gums and not missing at all. The other problems are similar, sometimes the tooth is actually broken off with the roots still in place. Sometimes that’s good but most of the time it means they’ll have to be extracted before any work is done. Either way, it’s important that the remaining pieces of the tooth have not been forced into other parts of the gums.
Now that you know how to handle the situation, you’re ready for whatever comes your way. When kids play rough sports or just play rough, it might be a good idea to get them helmets or mouth guards to protect their valuable smiles. There are a wide variety of different protections available online with a quick search.
Lastly, it is very important to call a dentist and have your child checked to aid any major damage in your child’s teeth. If you are located in Arlington, Virginia, be prepared and save the number (703) 243-8288 for Cherrydale Family Dental.
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