If your child comes running to you with a knocked-out front tooth, it’s important not to panic. At Discovery Dental in Eagle River, AK, Dr. Chad Winthrop has more than 15 years of experience taking care of kids’ smiles — and educating parents about what they can do to prevent permanent damage to their children’s teeth.
Children and adults have more than 5 million teeth knocked out each year, according to the American Association of Endodontists, but proper action can increase the likelihood of saving the tooth. If the knocked-out tooth is a baby tooth, it’s not that serious. Have your child rinse their mouth, apply a cold compress to reduce swelling and stop bleeding, and make an appointment with the dentist in the coming weeks.
If the knocked-out tooth is a permanent tooth, Dr. Winthrop recommends you take quick action with the following five steps:
- Retrieve The Tooth: When you find the knocked-out tooth, pick it up by the crown to minimize injury to the root.
Rinse The Tooth: If the tooth is dirty, rinse it with water. Do not use soap or chemicals, scrub the roots, dry the tooth, or wrap it in a tissue or cloth.
Reposition The Tooth: The sooner you place the tooth back in the socket, the greater the likelihood it can be saved. If your child is old enough, carefully push the tooth into the socket and have them gently hold it in place.
Soak The Tooth: If the tooth cannot be placed back in the socket, it is vital to keep it moist. Put it in a cup of milk, which has a pH level similar to saliva’s, or purchase an emergency tooth preservation kit. However, avoid soaking it in tap water because the root surface cells will not survive.
Go To A Dental Clinic: For the greatest chance of saving the tooth, get to a dentist office within 30 minutes, and bring the tooth with you. If it takes longer for you to see a family dentist, it’s still possible the tooth can be saved.
Losing teeth is a normal part of childhood. If you follow these steps, Dr. Winthrop can reattach the lost permanent tooth or provide a cosmetic solution. For more information about the best family dentist in Eagle River, AK, call Discovery Dental at (907) 622-5437, or visit their website to find out more about the practice and services.