Children have a lot of energy to burn, and they tend to engage in rough play that, although healthy, can result in damaged or lost teeth. Depending on your child’s age, the affected tooth may be a baby or a permanent tooth.
If your child has lost a tooth, and it didn’t just fall out on its own as a result of an adult tooth erupting below, it’s crucial that you as a parent know what to do. When your child loses a baby tooth, you may think there’s no reason to worry, but it is essential to schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible to verify the entire tooth was lost leaving no fragments in the gum line. Remnants of a broken tooth can cause pain and infection.
If your child loses a permanent tooth, your pediatric dentistry practitioner will either consider reattaching the tooth or a cosmetic solution.
Let’s take an extensive look at what you should do when your child loses a tooth.
Helping Your Child
Since injuring a tooth can be painful, the first step is to comfort your child and make sure that he or she is okay. Then, place a piece of sterile gauze over the gap and have your child hold it in place.
Next, attempt to find the tooth, in the case of adult teeth, your dentist may be able to reattach it. When you handle the tooth, be careful not to touch the root. If the tooth is dirty, rinse it with milk, but don’t scrub it as you may remove tissue. After rinsing the tooth, place it in a sterile container with a saltwater solution or milk.
Don’t allow the tooth to dry out as it can make reattachment difficult. Call a dental healthcare provider that specializes in dentistry for children and schedule an appointment as soon as possible. The dentist will X-ray your child’s mouth and examine the socket to check for injuries.
If you can’t find the tooth, there’s a chance it’s lodged in somewhere in your child’s mouth. After a thorough examination, your dentist will make a suitable recommendation on what to do next.
Consequences of Losing a Tooth
You may think that losing a baby tooth is not a big deal as it was bound to happen anyway. If your child loses a tooth prematurely as the result of an accident or injury, however, it can damage the permanent tooth located in your child’s gum or lead to other teeth crowding the vacant socket.
To solve this problem, your dentist may insert a spacer in the socket to keep other teeth away until the permanent tooth grows out.
If your child loses a permanent tooth, it can be reinserted into the socket. After a few weeks, the tooth root may reattach to the socket. Your dentist may splint the loose tooth to the one next to it to aid the process.
If the permanent tooth incurred damage and is not able to reattach to the socket, your dentist may recommend an implant or bridge, which is a permanent solution to eliminate dental problems typically associated with tooth loss.
When your child loses a tooth, it can be worrying, but if you keep the tooth clean and contact your dentist as soon as possible, you can rest assured that your child will be okay.