Select Region
Follow us!


How to Guide: Save Your Child's Tooth in a Dental Emergency


Fifty percent of children get a dental injury at some point. Here, our dental experts lay out a recipe for handling a variety of tooth-related emergencies.

 

child with big smileMary, what happened to you?" cried out Mary's mom. Her little one came to her with tears in her eyes and, surprisingly, a big tooth in her hand. The day Mary turned nine years old she and her friends were playing in the backyard when she fell. To Mary's mom, who was watching from afar, it was a fall like so many others. However, a quick evaluation of the situation made Mary's mom understand that it wasn't a baby tooth that her child was carrying in her hand.

Seeing her sweet daughter crying, bleeding, and in pain, Mary knew she had to act quickly, since there were only a few minutes to save the knocked-out adult tooth. Obtaining dental care within 30 minutes can be the difference between saving or losing a tooth.

Injuries in children's teeth can be very distressing, and a seemingly insignificant small stone can be a child's worst enemy. When Mary fell, she hit a stone with her mouth and a tooth flew out.

The greatest incidence of trauma to the primary dentition (baby teeth) occurs at 2 to 3 years of age, when motor coordination is developing. Injuries to primary teeth usually result from falls and collisions as the child learns to walk and run. The most common injuries to permanent teeth (adult teeth) occur secondary to falls, followed by traffic accidents, violence, and sports.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the International Association of Dental Traumatology recommend guidelines for management of traumatic dental injuries. Your dentist is aware of the treatment required. However, you - mom and dad - are the first-aid for your kid's teeth.

Always remember: Don't panic. Then, confirm that you are only dealing with a dental injury. If so, identify whether the traumatized tooth is a baby or an adult tooth, and what kind of dental trauma your child has suffered. In order for you to act as an "expert," follow the "Save-a-Tooth Recipe" below.

 

Save-A-Tooth Recipe

Findings
Recipe
Tooth fracture: Loss of a piece of tooth  Help your child to rinse out with warm water. Use a cold cloth or ice pack to reduce swelling. If possible, find the tooth fragment. Visit your dentist as soon as possible. 
Root fracture: a crown fragment attached to the gingiva is mobile. Help your child to rinse out with cold water. Keep an ice pack over the lip and mouth to reduce swelling. Visit your dentist as soon as possible.
Concussion: the tooth is tender to touch or tapping without mobility, displacement, or bleeding.  See above recipe for root fracture
Subluxation: the tooth is tender to touch or tapping and has increased mobility but it is not displaced. Bleeding around the tooth may be noted.   See above recipe for root fracture
Intrusive luxation: the tooth appears to be shortened (in severe cases, it may appear missing). It is not mobile or tender to touch.   See above recipe for root fracture
Lateral luxation: a tooth is displaced laterally and may be locked firmly into this new position. 

Help your child to rinse out with cold water. Keep an ice pack over the lip and mouth to reduce swelling.

Try to reposition the tooth back to its normal position using gentle finger pressure. Gently hold the tooth in position.

Visit your dentist as soon as possible. 

Extrusive luxation: the tooth appears elongated and is excessively mobile.  See above recipe for lateral luxation 
Avulsion: the tooth is completely knocked out of the dental socket.

A baby tooth should never be replanted. Replant an adult tooth as soon as possible. Do not touch the root of the tooth; handle it by the crown only. Rinse the tooth only if there is dirt covering it. Do not scrub or scrape it.

Replant the tooth into the socket slowly with digital pressure and hold it in position.
If you are unable to replant the tooth, place it in a transportation media such as cold milk, saliva, physiologic saline, or water.

The tooth should never be allowed to dry, which will compromise its survival.

Visit your dentist within 60 minutes. 

 

Dr. Catarina Ferreira, clinical director, and Dr. Mani Alikhani, provide comprehensive orthodontic care for all ages at House of Orthodontia in the Cobble Hill section of Brooklyn.


More Health Articles:

3 Tips to Have a Safe and Social Summer This Year

This summer is shaping up to be full of social opportunities, but how do we keep kids safe—especially when they're not eligible for the COVID vaccine?


Latest News:

The Top 17 Public Pools for Families in NYC, Westchester, and Long Island

These are the top family-friendly public pools in NYC, Brooklyn, Queens, Westchester, and Long Island. Plus, how to keep everyone safe post-COVID.


Family Activities:

Annual Toy Drive

Child Care Council of Westchester Nov. 01, 2022 - Dec. 12, 2022

Donate a new, unwrapped toy for children 12 years and under! Gift Suggestions: Rattles/Baby Toys ...



Have a Laugh:

Best Memes of the Week for Parents

Here are the funniest parenting memes from Instagram, Facebook, and Reddit this week.

Featured Listings:

Whitestone Lanes

Whitestone Lanes

Flushing, NY For more than 55 years, Whitestone Lanes has been family owned and operated. We offer bowling leagues for adults and children of all ages. Starting Sa...

Friends Academy

Friends Academy

Locust Valley, NY Strong Minds, Kind Hearts. Friends Academy is a premier private school committed to the guiding principles of Peace, Integrity, Community Equality and...

Therapy and Learning Center

Therapy and Learning Center

TLC provides expert instruction in pre-academics, fundamentals of reading, writing, and arithmetic, along with core knowledge in health, science, and ...

The École

The École

Flatiron, Manhattan, NY The École, formerly École Internationale de New York, is an intimate and independent French-American N-8 school located in New York’s vibrant Flatiron...