Parents try to shield their children from harm, but accidents happen nonetheless. From falling off a bike to rough-and-tumble play, there always exists the possibility of a potential unexpected dental emergency like a knocked-out tooth. While a daunting prospect, knowing how to respond to such a situation is crucial. Today’s article aims to help you understand the necessary steps to handle this effectively, from first aid to emergency dental treatment.
Navigating the difference between a knocked out tooth and a loose tooth
The initial vital clarification must be drawn is the difference between a knocked-out tooth and a tooth that has naturally fallen out. A child losing a tooth naturally is a standard part of the growing process, where primary teeth make way for permanent teeth. There is usually minimal pain and bleeding involved in this process.
However, a knocked-out tooth, referred to as an avulsed tooth by children’s dentists, is an entirely different scenario. It usually occurs due to a significant impact, such as a fall or sports injury. The difference is that the tooth has been forcefully removed before its natural shedding time, which could damage the surrounding tissues, gums, and even the underlying permanent tooth. This kind of dental injury requires immediate attention and, in most cases, emergency dental treatment.
Help! My child knocked out their tooth!
When your child experiences a knocked-out tooth, the first step is to locate the tooth. It is recommended to handle it by the crown (the white part), avoiding the root to prevent further damage. Rinse it gently without scrubbing. If you are comfortable, you can attempt to place the tooth back in the socket. Do this without force. If this isn’t feasible, keep the tooth moist. It is recommended to submerge the tooth in a container of milk or a tooth-preservation product. Ask your children’s dentist if they have a product they can recommend in the event of such scenarios.
The next critical step is to rush your child to a children’s dentist for emergency dental treatment. Remember, time is of the essence: the faster the tooth is re-implanted, the higher the chances of its survival. While awaiting the dentist, apply a cold pack to the affected area to manage swelling and give your child over-the-counter pain relief medication based on the dentist’s advice.
The children’s dentist will assess the situation and decide the appropriate treatment plan. If the tooth was a baby tooth, the dentist might not re-implant it, as doing so could damage the growing permanent tooth. However, if it were a permanent tooth, the dentist would try to re-implant it, followed by splinting the tooth to adjacent teeth for stability. The treatment may also involve antibiotics to prevent infection, and your child may require additional follow-ups.
Prevention is often the best solution
Consider using mouthguards for kids to prevent such dental emergencies, especially if your child is involved in contact sports. These devices can substantially reduce the risk of tooth avulsion and other dental injuries. They work by distributing the force of an impact more evenly and absorbing the shock that could otherwise result in an injury.
Mouth guards for kids are readily available at sporting goods stores, but for the best fit and comfort, consider a custom-made mouth guard from your children’s dentist. They will tailor the mouth guard specifically to your child’s mouth, providing maximum protection.
In conclusion, while losing a tooth naturally is a normal part of growing up, your child’s knocked-out tooth is considered a dental emergency that requires immediate action and potentially an emergency dental treatment. It is crucial to act promptly, handle the tooth carefully, and seek immediate attention from a children’s dentist. Additionally, taking preventive measures such as using mouthguards for kids can mitigate the risk of such incidents. Preparation and knowledge are your best allies when navigating these unforeseen situations.
Are you faced with your child’s unexpected dental emergency? Contact Woodlawn Kids Dental today!