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How to Save a Knocked Out Tooth

By Jill Hamilton on June 17, 2014 in Kid's Health


6.17 save a knocked out tooth

It's great that kids finally get to play outside on warm summer days. But with play comes the possibility your child will get injured. It can happen in an instant – running by the pool, falling off a bike or getting hit with a baseball. All three of these activities can lead to a knocked-out tooth.

Losing a tooth is scary and can be painful. But with the right actions, your dentist may be able to save your child's tooth if you act quickly. It's important to get your child to the dentist within 30 minutes, if possible.

Here's what you need to do:

  • Find the knocked-out tooth and pick it up by the top part (or crown), not by the root.
  • Wash it gently with salt water or milk. Try to avoid tap water because it contains chlorine, a substance that can damage the root. Don't scrub the tooth.
  • Keep the tooth moist until you can get to the dentist. To do that, put it gently back into the tooth socket or place it between his cheek and lower gum. If those measures don't work, place the tooth into a cup of milk (not water).

Your dentist will place the tooth back into the socket and stabilize it with a splint. The tooth will be monitored and may require additional treatment in the future.

Knocked-out teeth can be prevented. Make sure your children wear helmets, mouthguards and other protective gear when they play contact sports. Teach them about the importance of getting immediate help if they have a dental emergency.