Childhood is a time of bumps and bruises, especially as children are still mastering that whole business of coordinating body movements. Sometimes, a fall that catches a table or edge or a ball to the face can knock out a baby tooth. You may be wondering what to do in the event that a baby tooth falls out. After all, the permanent tooth will come in later, right? Here’s some more info on the subject.
When a knocked out tooth is a bigger deal.
- If your child’s baby canines (the pointy ones) haven’t come in yet, missing teeth could make their jaw smaller, thus making it harder for the permanent teeth to come in correctly later.
- If the baby incisors (the front four teeth) are lost before your child has developed proper speech, your child may have trouble talking correctly until the permanent teeth come in.
- Lost baby incisors can lead to damage to the permanent tooth, but it depends on your child’s age. if they’re knocked out before the age of two, there’s a 95% chance the permanent teeth will be affected. If it’s after age five, it drops down to an 18% chance.
What pediatric dentistry can do.
When a baby tooth is lost, the dentist can re-implant the tooth under certain circumstances. Time is of the essence, however, if this is the route you’re going to take. The appointment should happen as soon as possible, as most teeth cannot be re-implanted after a couple hours have passed. Once you’ve made the appointment, it’s important to keep the tooth moist. It the tooth is dirty from being outside of the mouth, gently rinse it with water, but do not use soap. Keep the tooth in a salt water solution and get to the dentist as quickly as possible.
If you do want to have the dentist re-implant the tooth, sometimes, the dentist can shorten the roots of the tooth to help prevent damage to the developing permanent tooth. If your child is very young and would have to wait a few years for the permanent tooth to come in, then re-implantation of the knocked out tooth is a good idea. If your child has lost a tooth prematurely due to an accident, give us a call right away.