My child hurt their tooth…what do I do?

Any time a child hurts a tooth it can be scary for both the child and parent.  Usually when an accident occurs, it is at the park or playing or headerduring sports. Having young children, I often get questions about normal teeth development or what to do in an accident when baby teeth are injured. February is Children’s Dental Health Month, so I am inspired to write this.

What to do if your child has a dental injury?  For example, lets say your child is playing on the playground and falls face first into the slide. Tears and screaming ensue and then you notice your child is bleeding from the mouth. Here is a quick run down of what you can do to help.

First, CALM YOURSELF! A calm parent leads to a calm child!

Second, assess the situation. Sit the child down and try to get a visual of the area in question. See if you can tell whether a tooth has been knocked out or chipped; Or maybe it is the lip or gum that was injured and not the tooth.  Once you have figured that out, call your dentist and let them know there has been an accident and that your child’s tooth has been injured.

The following steps can help guide you for what to do depending on your child’s situation:

Knocked out Tooth

Baby Teeth

    • Contact a pediatric dentist as soon as possible. Quick action can lessen a child’s discomfort and prevent infection.
    • Rinse the mouth with water and apply cold compresses to reduce swelling.
    • Spend time comforting the child rather than looking for the tooth. Remember, baby teeth should not be replanted because of potential damage to developing permanent teeth.

Permanent Teeth

    • Find the tooth. Rinse it gently in cool water. (Do not scrub it or use soap.) 
    • Replace the tooth in the socket and hold it there with clean gauze or a wash cloth.
    • If you cannot put the tooth back in the socket, place the tooth in a clean container, preferably with cold milk.
    • Take the child and the tooth to a pediatric dental office immediately. (Call the emergency number if it is after hours.)

Broken or Chipped Tooth

  • Contact a dentist immediately. Fast action can save the tooth, prevent infection, and reduce the need for extensive dental treatment.chipped tooth
  • Rinse the mouth with water and apply cold compresses to reduce swelling.
  • If a parent can find the broken tooth fragment, it is important to take it to the dentist.

Hopefully you never have a need to follow these steps, but if you do have a dental emergency, this should be helpful. Personally, I know how scary it can be for a child to have an injury to any part of their face. My youngest son fell on a chair and knocked his front tooth out of alignment when he was 2. It bled for a couple days and was loose for a couple weeks after that, then the gums firmed up. He is 4 now and just has a little bit of gum recession.

If you have had an emergency and are not sure where to go, there are many great pediatric dentists in the area. Pediatric dentists are great for kids under age 9 or 10 who are very afraid or have behavior challenges in regular life situations. If your child is not scared of the dentist you have more options. At Blue Apple Dental Group, we are a family dental practice and welcome children of all ages. We believe it is important to establish a relationship of trust and give a child a good experience at the dentist at a young age. When there are emergencies or the need for fillings, the child will have a much easier time.

Interested in a general check up with a dentist for your child? Call today at (707) 795-4523 for a Children’s Happy Visit.Our Happy Visit is $65 for kids 10 and under. It includes a teeth cleaning, xrays, exam, and fluoride treatment….and a toy from the prize box of course!

Take care of those chompers!


Family dental care and cosmetic dentistry and dental implants.

Blue Apple Dental Group
6230 State Farm Drive, Rohnert Park, CA 94928
(707) 795-4523