What Should I Do if My Child Loses a Permanent Tooth?
First and foremost, try and prevent this type of injury from occurring by encouraging the use of a mouth guard when engaging in any contact activities. If your child does have a tooth avulsed (knocked out), find the tooth, and if it’s clean, gently place the tooth back into the mouth where it fell out. Be careful that your child doesn’t swallow the tooth! The first hour after a tooth is lost is the most critical. If at all possible, your first phone call should be to your child’s pediatric dentist.
If there is debris on the tooth, hold the tooth by the crown and remove the large debris, then rinse under cold water without scrubbing (very important not to scrub, this disrupts the living tissue). Now attempt to place the tooth back in the socket and hold there with light pressure or by biting on something soft like gauze while you are in transit to the pediatric dentist office.
If the tooth cannot be placed back into the socket, store it in a sterile saline solution or in milk until you arrive at the dentist office. If no milk or saline solution is available, store the tooth in the cheek or under the tongue while in transit (be careful not to swallow). DO NOT STORE THE TOOTH IN WATER. Although this seems counterintuitive, water will in fact dry out the living cells on the tooth via osmotic pressure. Once you have reached your dental professionals office, they will often splint the tooth to the other teeth while it stabilizes over the next few weeks.