What to do if…your child knocks a tooth

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While wearing a properly fitted mouthguard during sports may protect your child against dental injuries, accidents can still happen during play. The following tips outline what to do if your child knocks a tooth out, and how to reduce the likelihood of any long-term damage.

If a tooth is knocked out, the following steps should be taken:

  • Timing is crucial however, remain calm, find the tooth, handle it by the crown only and ensure the tooth is clean. (The crown is the smooth, white part of the tooth normally visible in the mouth.)
  • If the root of the tooth is dirty (the root is the non crown part of the tooth), and the patient is calm and conscious, the person who has had the tooth knocked out can gently suck the tooth clean. Alternatively, rinse the tooth in milk or, only very, very briefly in water. (UHT milk is also effective and given its extended storage life can make a very useful addition to your first aid kit or sports bag.)
  • Immediately replace the tooth in the socket, making sure it is facing the right way around. Hold the tooth in place or have the person who had the tooth knocked out bite gently on gauze or a soft cloth. Contact us immediately to continue treatment. The tooth has the best chance of survival if treatment performed by a dentist is started within 30 minutes of the injury occurring.
  • If you are unable to replant the tooth or not confident doing so, keep the tooth moist by putting the tooth in a cup of milk or place it in the mouth of the person who had it knocked out, next to the inside of that person’s cheek, and:

Call us immediately 07 3426 5777 – Time is Critical.

If a tooth is knocked, but not knocked out, the following steps should be taken:

  • Locate any pieces of a broken tooth if possible and keep these pieces moist. They can sometimes be reattached.
  • Call us immediately to assess the extent of the injury even if the injury does not appear obvious – sometimes the damage is hidden under the surface.