IF YOUR CHILD HAS A LIFE-THREATENING OR SEVERE INJURY, CALL 911 OR GO DIRECTLY TO THE NEAREST HOSPITAL EMERGENCY ROOM.
It is not uncommon for children to have accidents and injure their teeth. It is imperative that parents are able to make the correct decisions if/when these accidents occur. The first thing to remember in these situations is to take a deep breathe, stay calm and access the injury.
KNOCKED OUT TOOTH ( Permanent tooth)
If your child completely knocks out a PERMANENT tooth, it is important to see a dentist as soon as possible. Retrieve the tooth by touching it by the crown only, and place the tooth back into it's socket (making sure it's in the proper orientation), and apply gentle, sustained pressure to the area for five minutes. If it has been on the ground, gently rinse it off, do not scrape or scrub the tooth. If it's not possible to reimplant the tooth, and your child is old enough, have them put the tooth in their cheek. If they are too young to keep it in their cheek safely, place it in a plastic bag with their saliva or keep it in a glass of milk ( not water) until you arrive at the dentist. Keeping the tooth wet is very important for reimplantation. If this injury happens at school, ask the school nurse if they have Sav-A-Tooth Solution. Pediatrician-approved pain reliever for any discomfort.
KNOCKED OUT TOOTH ( Baby tooth)
If your child completely knocks out a BABY tooth, we don't reimplant them. Our goal is to not cause any damage to the developing permanent tooth. Have them rinse their mouth and gently bite on a wash cloth to help control the bleeding. Give them pain medications if they are feeling any discomfort. Call our office to schedule an appointment and t
ry to find the lost tooth with you for the appointment if possible. If the tooth fairy is not extra generous, may be we will be :) for tooth loss.
If your child has an injury and you notice that their tooth is crooked or not aligned, they may have had the tooth displaced. A displaced tooth is still in the socket, but out of position. If this type of injury happens especially to a permanent tooth, it is important to schedule a visit to our office to make sure the tooth isn’t at risk of being permanently damaged.
CHIPPED OR BROKEN TOOTH
The crown is the visible and the most vulnerable part of the tooth. In the event of a crown fracture, a dental radiograph can be taken to determine the extent of the injury. If the chip or break is extending into the nerve, then your child might need a referral to a root canal specialist (endodontist). Try to locate any pieces of the tooth that have come off, as it may be possible to reattach them to the crown with tooth-colored bonding material.
When your child has a long standing untreated tooth decay, it can sometimes cause dental abscess. It is basically collection of pus which is formed when your body is trying to fight against the bacteria and losing it's battle. It appears as swollen pimple on the gums. Unfortunately removing the offending tooth "extraction" is the treatment of the choice. Antibiotics are usually not recommended if the infection is localized and your child has no other symptoms.
When your child has a long standing untreated tooth decay, it can sometimes lead to facial swelling or swelling of their jaws. Please call our office immediately. However if you notice high fever, difficulty breathing/swallowing, swelling growing rapidly reaching to their eye, you may need to take your child to a nearest emergency room or call 911 as this is a medical emergency and your child might need IV antibiotics and close supervision till the swelling subsides.