What to Do If a Tooth Is Knocked Out

By October 29, 2018Blog, FAQ's

Tooth displacement is most common in kids age 7–10, due to the elasticity of the bone at this age. If your child’s tooth is knocked out or broken, it’s very important to seek immediate care from a dentist within a 2 hour time period. So be sure to call a dentist right away! In the meantime, there are a few things you can do to help save the tooth.

If a Tooth Is Knocked Out…

If your child has a permanent tooth knocked out, follow these steps to save the tooth:

  1. Find the tooth.
  2. Hold it by the crown (the white part), not by the root (the yellow part).
  3. Put it back in place immediately, if possible. If the tooth is contaminated, rinse shortly with cold tap water, then put it back in its place.
  4. Hold the tooth in place. Bite on a handkerchief to hold it in position.
  5. If you’re not able to put the tooth back in, place it in a cup of milk or saline. Or, place the tooth in the child’s mouth—between the cheeks and gums.
  6. Go to the dentist immediately!

If a Tooth Is Broken…

If your child’s permanent tooth is broken, your dentist may be able to glue it back on. Here’s what to do:

  1. Find the piece of tooth.
  2. If contaminated, rinse shortly with cold tap water.
  3. Go to the dentist immediately!

Here’s a handy poster that illustrates the above instructions on what to do if a tooth is knocked out or broken:

What to Do If a Tooth Is Knocked Out or Broken

Plus, there’s an app for that! Click here to download a free Dental Trauma First Aid App.

Why It’s Important to Save the Tooth

There are several advantages to saving your natural tooth vs. getting an implant. A natural tooth limits the need for ongoing dental work and provides the best cosmetic results. It maintains:

  • Natural appearance
  • Efficient chewing
  • Normal biting force, so you can continue to eat all your favorite foods

To prevent tooth injury, remember to always wear a mouthguard when playing sports—especially if you wear braces. At Dougherty Orthodontics, we provide orthodontic mouthguards for our patients in braces.

Have questions? Think your child may need braces? Contact us today to schedule your free consultation with St. Louis orthodontist, Dr. Dougherty.