No parents want to see their child hurt. But as anyone who has a bouncing baby, tumbling toddler or active adolescent knows: Accidents happen, including dental accidents.
The best thing any parent can do in this situation is to be prepared. Start by familiarizing yourself with common dental injuries and know what to do in each scenario.
Learn what to do if your child…
“LOOSENS” A TOOTH.
If it’s a baby tooth: Primary teeth heal on their own or fall out naturally. Make sure to watch out for any unnatural protrusion, as that could be an indication of jaw trauma.
If it’s a permanent tooth: Have your child avoid playing with it and call your dentist, as they may have to splint or realign the tooth.
BREAKS A PIECE OF TOOTH
If it’s a baby tooth: When it comes to broken teeth, the principles are the same for baby and adult teeth. Broken teeth may not hurt, but they can cause injury to the mouth and tongue and are susceptible to cavities. Schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.
If it’s a permanent tooth: See above.
KNOCKS OUT A TOOTH.
If it’s a baby tooth: Find the tooth and keep it moist. Although baby teeth are meant to fall out, call your dentist anyway. They may not implant the tooth again, but they need to see that the entire tooth fell out.
If it’s a permanent tooth: It’s crucial you see a dentist as soon as possible. Don’t touch the tooth’s roots and keep it moist by placing it in milk or a tooth preservation product. This will increase the likelihood of your dentist being able to re-implant it.
Pro-Tip: Not all injuries can be avoided, but some dental traumas can be prevented with routine care and mouthguard use.