When a tooth is damaged, emergency dental care is necessary. If a child is older than 5 to 6 years, it is likely to be a permanent tooth. A permanent adult tooth can often be saved if first aid measures are taken and the tooth is handled with care. The delicate tissue that covers the root must be protected to ensure a successful reimplantation and prevent any infections .If a child is between 4 and 5 years old or younger, it is likely to be a baby or a primary tooth. Baby teeth can be injured after a fall and turn gray. Treatment is not always necessary, but it is better to consult a dentist once. Losing baby teeth is a natural process in a child's development. A knocked-out 'baby tooth' should not be replaced.
If a baby tooth is knocked out:
- If there is bleeding, put cold water on a piece of gauze and apply pressure to the site of the injury.
- Offer the child an ice cube to suck to reduce swelling.
- Call your dentist for advice. They probably want to see the child to assess the need for a realignment, or the removal of a very loose tooth.
If a permanent tooth is knocked out:
- Hold the tooth by the crown, not the root
- Rinse the tooth immediately with saline or milk but avoid scrubbing any material off the tooth.
- If the casualty will cooperate, replace the tooth gently in its socket.
- Give the casualty a gauze pad to gently bite down on to help reduce any bleeding.
- If the tooth cannot be re-inserted, put it in milk or ask the casualty to hold the tooth inside their mouth in their cheek.
- Seek emergency dental advice.