Your child did everything right—wore a mouth guard, used a helmet, maybe even dressed head-to-toe in bubble wrap.
Tooth injuries can still occur, even with careful safety precautions. Here are a few tips about what to do in these situations. (Quick hint: a cold glass of dairy milk is the hero of the day).
One common injury is a cut or bitten tongue, lip or cheek. Apply ice to any bruised area and give us a call if bleeding does not stop after 15 minutes.
If a tooth is chipped or broken, rinse the mouth with water and apply a cold compress to the affected area. Identify the fractured tooth, if possible. Contact the dentist quickly to prevent infection and to repair the tooth.
Knocked Out Tooth
If a baby tooth is knocked out, rinse the mouth with lukewarm water and apply a cold compress. Do not reinsert the baby tooth into the socket, as this can cause damage to imminent permanent teeth. Visit us to determine if a space-preserver is necessary to prepare for the incoming permanent tooth. If the permanent tooth is not ready to come through, surrounding baby teeth are likely move to fill the empty space, which causes crowding.
If a permanent tooth is knocked out, gently rinse the tooth in cool water, reinsert it into the socket and hold it in place with clean gauze or a wash cloth. Make sure to handle the tooth by the crown, avoiding sensitive roots.
If the permanent tooth cannot be reinserted, place it in a clean container with cold milk and call for an emergency appointment. Milk helps maintain the balance of fluids within the tooth for up to an hour.
If milk is not available, have the child hold the tooth in their mouth between the gums and cheeks, or in a cup with their saliva. Saliva keeps teeth moist and prolongs life.
Do not store teeth in water, as it causes the roots to swell.
Call for help
In any situation, call the pediatric office for guidance. For emergencies outside of our normal business hours, call 775-359-3934 and the recording will direct you to an on-call dentist.