Clearwater Family Dental
Phone: 519-332-3000
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What to Do When Your Child Knocks Out a Tooth

Smiling boy shows lost deciduous teeth

Sports and games offer healthy activities for children. Not only are they a fun form of exercise, they also foster a sense of sportsmanship and teamwork amongst peers. However, children who are active in sports that require physical contact risk injury, including the possibility of losing a tooth or two. If you are a parent of an athletic child, it’s best to know what to do if a tooth gets knocked out.

What are Baby Teeth?

baby smiling

“Deciduous teeth,” more commonly known as baby teeth, play an important role in the development of your child’s mouth. These teeth hold place in the jaw to make room for the permanent teeth to grow in the right spaces. Even though baby teeth eventually fall out, it’s important that your child takes care of their temporary set. Injured or decayed baby teeth may damage the permanent teeth underneath.

What to Do When a Baby Tooth Is Knocked Out

white teeth

When baby teeth fall out before they’re ready, other teeth might try to take up the space. This means that the permanent tooth might not have enough room to grow. This leads to overcrowding, issues with tooth alignment, and problems with chewing. If a child knocks out a baby tooth, remember the following things:

  • Remain calm
    Comfort your child and explain to them that losing baby teeth is a part of growing up. If you remain calm, they will follow your lead.
  • Stop the bleeding
    Place sterilized gauze on the empty tooth socket and ask your child to bite down or hold it in place. An ice cream treat or popsicle might help as well; the cold will help to soothe the pain once bleeding has stopped.
  • Take your child to the dentist
    If your child’s baby tooth came out before it was ready, take your child to the dentist. The dentist may advise that a space maintainer be applied to keep other teeth from trying to fill the gap.

What to Do When a Permanent Tooth Is Knocked Out

This situation can be a bit more difficult, as a replacement tooth will not grow in
place. If this happens:

    Put the tooth in milk

    If you act on time, the tooth may be reattached. With clean hands, pick up the tooth by the crown without touching its roots. As much as possible, do not scrub or clean the tooth. Place the tooth in a clean container of milk (which has the same acidity of saliva) and bring it with you to the dentist.

    Go to the dentist immediately
    When dealing with a knocked out, permanent tooth, timing is vital. If you cannot reach your family dentist, a visit to the emergency room (or emergency dentist) is an available option.

If you act quickly, your child’s knocked out tooth may be reattached. Be aware that dental emergencies always require the attention of a dental professional.


If you are faced with a dental emergency, call Clearwater Family Dental at (519) 332-3000.


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