Accidents happen, especially to teeth, which are largely taken for granted. Whether it was biting down on a bone during a meal, or a spill on the playground, chips, knocked out teeth or a dislodged tooth can cause your child a world of hurt and embarrassment. It’s okay. At World of Smiles, we offer urgent, emergency and trauma care to our Beaumont, Texas neighbors. The quicker a trauma is treated, the more likely you’ll get optimal results. That’s why we prioritize seeing trauma patients.
However, it’s also a good idea to know what you can do in case of an emergency. Something as seemingly minor as how you store a knocked out tooth can make the difference between saving it and losing it. Untreated, even a “chip” can be an invitation for cavities and tooth decay. How well you clean your teeth is largely dependent on how easy it is to clean them, and a chip that’s not painful can be a beast to keep clean. No matter how minor the trauma, call World of Smiles right away to ensure your child’s teeth and mouth are in the best of shape.
A Chip off the Old Tooth
Dental chips are the most common trauma. If the chip is major, save all the pieces if possible and rinse them (and your child’s mouth!) with warm water. If they are bleeding, apply gentle pressure to the wound with gauze, then switch to a cold compress on the way to see your dentist. It may be possible to restore the pieces via cosmetic dentistry, which is always preferable to manmade materials.
A dislodged tooth is a more serious issue. It may be only partially dislodged (a loose tooth) and if this is the case, keep it in the socket. Dislodged teeth can happen for a number of reasons, such as blunt force trauma or severe decay that’s finally loosened the tooth out of the socket. Either way, keeping it in place is the best thing you can do.
What to Do In Dental Emergencies
If a tooth gets completely knocked out, do your best to find it—but don’t be so hasty. Always handle teeth by the crown and never by the root. If it’s dirty, rinse it with water but never scrub it. There may be tiny tissue fragments that your dentist will need in order to restore it, if that’s an option. Time is of the essence, because most knocked out teeth can only be put back into place if you see your dentist within an hour.
If you can, place the tooth back in the socket in the “correct” position—but don’t force it. If that’s not possible, save it in milk with a dash of water and a pinch of salt.