When our children lose their baby teeth, it’s generally celebrated as a rite of passage (sometimes with a visit from the tooth fairy), and those little missing teeth are replaced with the adult teeth we hope they’ll have for the rest of their life. But what should you do if your child’s adult tooth is knocked out?
Replanting the Knocked-Out Tooth
You may feel panicked at seeing your child missing a tooth, but remaining calm is important. Replanting the knocked-out tooth is possible if you are cautious and attentive. The first steps are:
- Find the tooth and pick it up by the crown. Important: Do not touch the root; doing so can damage the ligaments that connect the tooth to the gums.
- Rinse the tooth gently with cool water to remove dirt or debris, and carefully place it on a sanitized, clean surface.
- Do not wipe the tooth clean (this can cause damage)
- If the tooth is clean and healthy, it can be replanted, but you must move swiftly and carefully.
Contact An Emergency Oral Surgeon
Immediately contact an oral surgeon or dental professional to schedule an emergency appointment. If you don’t know who to call in the San Francisco area, reach out to SF Oral Surgery, and we will schedule an emergency visit to replant the tooth and guide you and your child in preparing for the visit.
Storing the Knocked-Out Tooth:
The tooth should be kept moist while waiting for your emergency appointment. Place the tooth in a clean container and add milk. Some pharmacies sell over-the-counter tooth storage containers specifically for this purpose. Do not use tap water, saline solution, or dry the tooth.
Keep The Emergency Appointment
The more time it takes to have the appointment, the less likely the tooth can be safely and effectively added back into the smile. Ensure you’re on time for your appointment and listen carefully to your oral surgeon’s instructions.
Following Postoperative Instructions
After replanting the tooth, it is important to follow all postoperative instructions. This includes avoiding chewing or biting with the replanted tooth for a period of time, maintaining good oral hygiene, taking any medications as prescribed, and attending any follow-up appointments.
Don’t Panic When Your Child’s Adult Tooth is Knocked Out
A knocked-out adult tooth can be a scary situation for both parents and children. However, the tooth can often be successfully replanted with calm, quick action, and proper care. Contact an emergency oral surgeon or dental professional immediately, store the tooth in a clean container with saline or salt water, and follow all postoperative instructions. At SF Oral Surgery, we offer emergency services and are here to help with anything you need.