Three Things You Shouldn’t Do When Your Child’s Tooth Is Knocked Out

If your child plays high-risk sports like baseball or basketball, they may lose one of their baby teeth during a game. When a baby tooth is knocked out in a sporting accident, don't do any of these three things.

Not looking for the tooth

When a tooth is knocked out during a sports game, it can be hard to find. However, it's important to search the grass to find your child's missing tooth. Finding the tooth is essential because it confirms that the tooth has left their mouth and wasn't accidentally inhaled. Kids can easily inhale foreign objects like knocked out teeth, and this can lead to problems like lung infections.

If you can't find the tooth, your child's doctor may want to take an x-ray of their chest to see if the tooth is in their lungs. If the tooth is found, it can be removed with long forceps. If the tooth isn't in their lungs, you can breathe a sigh of relief.

Try to replant the tooth

If one of your child's teeth is knocked out during a sports game, your first instinct may be to try to put it back in place. While adult teeth can sometimes be replanted, the same isn't true for baby teeth, and you should never try to put a knocked out baby tooth back into the socket.

Replanting a baby tooth can cause damage to the permanent tooth that is waiting underneath the gums. The replanted tooth can lead to an infection, and this infection can spread to the permanent tooth and damage it. The permanent tooth may also not erupt on time if a baby tooth is replanted above it. For these reasons, dentists don't recommend replanting baby teeth.

Not taking them to a dentist

Since your child's baby tooth would have eventually fallen out on its own, you may not be concerned that it was knocked out early. However, having a tooth dislodged by a baseball or hockey puck is a lot different than having it fall out when it's ready. The force of the blow could have damaged the permanent tooth underneath, so it's a good idea to have your child's dentist examine them.

Their dentist will also check for other oral injuries that could have occurred during the accident. For example, their gums may have been damaged when the tooth was knocked out. Their dentist can clean and treat any injured tissues to help your child heal properly.

If your young child loses one of their baby teeth, take them to a kids dentist in your area.