When a tooth is knocked out, appropriate emergency medical and dental care is necessary. A permanent tooth can often be saved if prompt action is taken, and the tooth is handled carefully. The delicate tissue covering the root must be protected to ensure successful re-implantation. Baby teeth may become injured after a fall and turn gray in color. Treatment is not always necessary, but it is best to have the dentist examine the child as soon as possible.
Treatment of Tooth Injuries
When a baby or toddler injures gums or teeth:
- If there is bleeding, put cold water on a piece of gauze and apply pressure to the site.
- Offer the casualty an icy–pole or ice cube to suck, to reduce swelling.
- Call your dentist. He or she will probably want to see the child to assess the need for realignment, or removal of a very loose tooth.
- Hold the tooth by the crown (the top), not the root.
- Rinse the tooth immediately with saline solution or milk.
- Do not rub or scrub the tooth to remove dirt.
- If the casualty will co–operate, replace the tooth gently in its socket.
- Have the casualty bite down gently on a gauze pad to keep the tooth in place.
- If the tooth cannot be re–inserted, put it in milk – A good preservative because its chemical make-up is compatible with teeth.
- If milk is not available, the tooth can be placed in the casualty’s mouth between the teeth and cheek, if old enough not to swallow the tooth.
- Give the casualty a gauze pad or handkerchief to gently bite down on, which will help control bleeding and ease the pain.
- See a dentist right away, within 20 minutes if possible.
- Do not replace the tooth or place anything in the mouth of a drowsy or unconscious casualty.