Whether it’s on the playground or at soccer practice or sitting on the couch munching on candy, kids will somehow find a way to get hurt. But injuries to the teeth, like a chipped tooth or knocked-out tooth, can seem scarier than bumps and bruises. Don’t worry, chipped teeth and knocked-out teeth can be fixed! Although, it may take a trip to the dentist rather than a simple Band-Aid.

Chipped teeth are still a scary experience, though, for both you and your child. (Often, scarier for parents!) So, knowing what to do about a chipped tooth or knocked-out tooth will help ensure that your child’s teeth will be as good as new again, and also help you avoid some of the panic that sets in after you’ve seen the damage.

Is a Chipped Tooth an Emergency?

Sometimes, kids don’t even realize they’ve chipped a tooth until a parent notices, so it’s always important to stay calm. This can be fixed! You’ll want to contact your dentist as soon as possible to minimize the risk of permanent damage, but most of the time, you won’t need to immediately rush anywhere. Always have a chipped tooth looked at by a dentist, even a chipped baby tooth, because the root of the tooth could be fractured or there could be risk of infection. Your dentist will identify the extent of damage to the tooth and do whatever it takes to get your child’s smile back to normal!

Knocked-Out Baby Tooth or Permanent Tooth?

A knocked-out permanent tooth is probably going to cause a lot more panic than a knocked-out baby tooth, but it’s still important to know how to handle both situations. Knocked-out baby teeth are relatively straightforward: Don’t try to replant the baby tooth. Just contact your dentist and go from there.

But handling a knocked-out permanent tooth is a little more complicated because you should replant the tooth within five minutes, if possible. First, you’ll carefully rinse the tooth in cold water. Then, you’ll align the tooth and push it into the socket, holding it there for another 5 minutes. If you can’t replant the tooth, you should place it in a container with cold milk or your child’s saliva, so that it can still be replanted by your dentist.

How to Prevent Chipped or Knocked-Out Teeth

Ideally, you want to prevent a chipped tooth or knocked-out tooth altogether! Kids can turn just about anything into a hazard, but for sports where contact is part of the game, there are neuromuscular mouth guards that are designed to protect the teeth and eliminate stress on the jaw. Avoiding hard foods and candy – or at least not biting down on them – can also help prevent all kinds of dental emergencies.

If you’re looking for the right family dentist, whether it’s a chipped tooth, a cavity or just a check-up, come talk to Dr. Blaine McLaughlin and the team at Dental Touch Associates in Cedar Rapids.