What to do if a child accidentally loses a tooth

Everyone knows that children have accidents. However, when a child has an accident that affects their teeth, and their smile, you may feel panicked about what treatment may be available. Should your child be unfortunate to have an accident involving their teeth it is important that you take them to your dentist straight away so that their teeth can be examined and given the appropriate treatment. An x-ray may be needed.

  • Small chips to permanent or baby teeth can usually be smoothed down, or build back up with tooth coloured filling material if this is more appropriate.
  • A tooth knocked out of position repositioned by a dentist, or a parent with the dentists supervision.
  • A nerve exposed by injury needs immediate treatment. The nerve may need removal and the tooth restored appropriately.

Yet, immediately after a child has had an accident that involves one of their permanent teeth being knocked out, do not panic, but act quickly and can carry out the following steps as preventative measures:

  • Only hold the tooth by the crown – this is the visible part that is seen in the mouth. Do not hold the tooth by the root.
  • If the tooth is clean, hold by the crown, and with the tooth the right way around place into the socket. If this is done immediately after the accident, then it should be painless.
  • Should the tooth be dirty, rinse in milk or cool water and then place into the socket.
  • Ask the child to bite gently on a handkerchief to hold the tooth in place.
  • Go to the dentist immediately for further advice.
  • Never clean the tooth in a disinfectant or scrub.

However, should the tooth not go back in then:

  • Place the tooth in a cup of milk. Should milk not be readily available then the tooth can be placed in the mouth between the gums and cheek.
  • Do not let the tooth become dry.
  • Go to the dentist immediately or your local hospital casualty department to be seen by the dentist on duty

If your child has an accident involving the loss of a baby tooth then DO NOT attempt to place it back in the socket.

Once at the dentist, you will be advised of the best treatment available for your child to ensure that their smile is restored to its former glory!

Please feel free to print this and/or share this with your friends – or give to grandparents or carers.