(or when the child falls on his head)
Research has shown that if the tooth is reimplanted in 15-30 minutes there is a 90% chance of preserving the tooth for the rest of the child's life.
The prognosis of the reimplantation of an avulsed tooth depends on the condition of the tooth, the way it is preserved and transported and how much time is left outside of the mouth .
The child has fallen down and hurt himself. What do I do?
First of all, we try to calm the child (and ourself!). We try to find out how badly the child is injured. We check if it bleeds through the mouth or the nose, feels dizzy, nauseaous or tends to faint and if it has memory of speaking problems. In these cases, the first thing to do is to have a medical evaluation to rule out more serious injuries.
The tooth is on the floor. What do I do?
Pick up the tooth from its crown (be careful, not from the root). Don't clean it with your fingers or gauzes. If you have any saline you can rinse it gently. The best thing to do is to reimplant the tooth as quick as possible. If you cannot do that, put the tooth in the proper transportation medium and rush to the dentist.
Which is the best transportation medium?
The best transportation media for a knocked out tooth are:
- Full fat cold milk
- Saline water
- Saliva (tell the child to keep it in his mouth)
- Water (if non of the above exists)
The tooth is in the proper transportation medium. What now?
Rush to the dentist as quick as possible. Don't forget: the sooner the tooth is reimplanted, the more chance there is to keep the tooth. If the tooth is reimplanted during the first 2 hours, there is a great chance of success.
Can we reimplant baby teeth?
Baby teeth (children, deciduous) are not reimplanted. If you are not sure if the tooth is a permanent one or a baby tooth, don't try to reimplant it. The best thing to do is to go to the dentist.
A piece of the tooth has chipped. Should I go to the dentist?
Yes! The best thing to do is to keep the broken out part. There is a possibility it could be bonded back to its original place. Especially in situations where the gums or the tooth bleed, speedy treatment increases the chance of success. Remember that even if no tooth has been knocked out or broken, the child should see the dentist for a thorough oral examination to rule out other injuries.
What can I do to protect the teeth?
Especially if the child engages in physical sports, an athletic mouthguard should be made and worn during the physical activities. The mouthguard (bite, splint) is a plastic fabrication that goes between the teeth and acts like a splinting cushion in case of a collision. Something like the mouthguards boxers wear, only much thinner!