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Sierra Soleimani
November 23, 2015

Dental Emergency: Will you know what to do?


Accidents can happen to anyone in any situation. Teeth are generally very strong, but they do have a breaking point. When a dental injury occurs, it should never go ignored. Knowing what to do in a dental emergency and acting fast, could save your players' smiles from permanent damage. Check out these basic dental emergency tips to learn what to do if a tooth is knocked out or damaged.

Knocked-out BABY Tooth

A knocked out baby tooth looks a lot worse than it actually is. It can be a painful experience for any child, but the truth is: a baby tooth cannot be re-implanted and it will not cause damage to the permanent tooth underneath.  Go to the emergency room if you notice injury to the gums, lips, or face. You can ease the pain with the following tips:

  • Apply pressure and a wet piece of gauze to the space. If the child is old enough to follow directions, ask them to gently bite down on the gauze. 

  • Suck on ice pop to reduce swelling

  • Save the missing tooth and call the dentist. The tooth cannot be re-implanted but the dentist may want to examine it. 

Chipped Permanent Tooth

If you discover you have a chipped tooth, don't panic! There are many things a dentist can do to fix it. Follow these practices and your teeth will be back to shape in no time:

  • Collect missing pieces

  • Rinse mouth with warm water

  • Call dentist to schedule visit

Knocked-out Permanent Tooth

A knocked out permanent tooth that is re-implanted within 30 minutes has a 50% higher chance for success. Immediately after incident you should go to the emergency room or dentist following these steps:

  • Find the tooth

  • Hold the tooth by the crown, not the root

  • Place the tooth is a salt balanced solution. If you don't have a solution, put the tooth in a glass of milk or your child's saliva. Do not put the tooth in water long term. 

  • Have your child bite down on gauze to reduce bleeding and relieve pain.  

Many dental injuries can be prevented, especially if it's sports related. According to the American Academy for Pediatric Dentistry, up to 39% of of dental injuries occur while playing sports. This can be prevented by being prepared and wearing a mouthguard properly. 


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