If your child injures their permanent tooth, the way you handle the situation can determine the extent of permanent injury there is to the tooth and even whether or not your dentist is going to be able to save it. This article covers some of the different types of dental injuries your child may incur and explains what you should do in each situation.
Your child knocks one of their teeth loose
If your child hits their mouth in a way that causes a tooth to come loose, you want to treat their pain by giving them an over-the-counter pain reducer and gently placing an ice pack on the outside of their mouth where the affected tooth is.
You want to have your child be extremely careful not to touch the tooth. This means, they don't want to move it with their finger or tongue. They should also stick to eating foods that require very little chewing such as soups, mashed potatoes, pudding and yogurt.
Making a sucking motion with their mouth will cause pressure to be put on the loose tooth and cause it to move. For this reason, you want to make sure they don't drink from straws or eat a Popsicle.
Get your child in to see the dentist as soon as you can. If their regular dentist won't be able to see them for a while, you may want to take them to an emergency dentist so you can increase the chances of having the tooth saved.
Your child chips a tooth
If your child gets a small chip in their tooth, you don't need to worry about finding the chip since the dentist can't do anything with it anyway. If it is a larger chip, then you should take it with you to the dentist.
Get your child in to the dentist quickly so they can repair the tooth. A chip in a tooth makes your child more susceptible to cavities and the sharp edges can cut their tongue. The dentist may be able to repair the tooth easily by putting a bonding composite on it. Or, they may choose to put a porcelain veneer or a crown on it.
Your child knocks out one of their teeth
If your child knocks out one of their permanent teeth you need to act as fast as you possibly can. You want to pick the tooth up by the crown and rinse it off. It's best for you to have them rinse the tooth off in their own saliva since this is the tooth's natural environment. You also want to care for their pain with over-the-counter pain reliever and an ice pack.
If you are able to put the tooth back into their socket, then you should do so. If not, then the best way for them to carry it is in their mouth until you can get them to the dentist, if they are old enough to do this without swallowing it. If they are still too young to carry the tooth in their mouth, you can have them spit in a small baggie of milk and carry the tooth in it. If their regular dentist isn't available, take them in to the nearest one that can get them in right away. If you're looking for a children's dentist in your area.