Do I Need an Emergency Dentist for Knocked Out Baby Teeth?

child at emergency dentist


Losing a tooth is an important rite of passage for children, but it’s important to visit our emergency dentist for knocked out teeth. Kids frequently lose teeth from rough play, sports, and accidents like falls. Many parents mistakenly believe that lost baby teeth aren’t anything to worry about, but your child may need dental care. Let’s talk about what to do if your child has a knocked out tooth.

Visit Our Emergency Dentist for a Knocked Out Tooth

child missing tooth needs emergency dentist
Any time your child knocks out a tooth, whether a baby tooth or a permanent tooth, it’s important to see an emergency dentist.

If your child has a knocked out tooth, it’s best to call our dentist to determine what to do. In many cases you will need to visit our emergency dentist for dental care. 

Lost teeth from an injury can cause pain and bleeding in the mouth. To help your child until you can make it to the dentist office, you can apply cold compresses and have them bite down on a clean washcloth or piece of gauze. What you do with the lost tooth depends on whether it is a permanent or baby tooth. 

My Kid Lost a Permanent Tooth

If your child lost a tooth, it’s important to know whether it was a permanent tooth or a baby tooth. Baby teeth tend to be smoother, while permanent teeth typically have rougher edges. If your child lost a permanent tooth, our dentist in Katy, TX may be able to reattach it. Here’s how to handle a lost permanent tooth:

  1. Find the missing tooth.
  2. Avoid touching the root. Tough only the part you chew with. 
  3. If dirty, lightly rinse off dirt with running water for a few seconds. 
  4. Place the tooth back in the socket, if possible, and hold in place by biting down on a piece of gauze. 
  5. If you’re unable to replace the tooth in the socket, place it in a clean container full of milk or saliva. 
  6. Get to your emergency dentist as soon as possible.

The dentist may be able to reattach a lost permanent tooth if you act quickly. In these cases, typically we need to splint the tooth to surrounding teeth. Over time, the ligaments that hold the tooth to the jaw may grow back. If reattachment isn’t possible, we may explore other options like dental implants

My Child Lost a Baby Tooth

If your child lost a baby tooth, it’s still important to visit your dentist as soon as possible. When you lose a tooth from impact or trauma, the jaw, surrounding teeth, or the permanent tooth underneath may also be damaged. Our dentist can perform an exam to look for signs of other damage or trauma. 

When a baby tooth gets knocked out, it can still be helpful to find the tooth and bring it with you. In most cases dentists don’t recommend reattaching baby teeth, so there’s no need to keep the tooth moist. We also don’t recommend trying to place the tooth back in the socket, as you could damage the permanent tooth underneath. 

What Will the Emergency Dentist Do for a Knocked Out Baby Tooth?

In addition to performing an exam to confirm that your child’s teeth, jaw, and gums are okay after a knocked out tooth, the dentist may also recommend other treatments for the missing tooth. While permanent teeth will grow in eventually, a missing baby tooth can cause issues for your child’s dental development. 

Our Dentist in Katy, TX May Recommend Watchful Waiting

In some cases, our pediatric dentist in Katy may recommend simply leaving the area alone and watching it closely. Generally, this is if the dentist suspects that the permanent tooth is likely to grow in fairly quickly. We may recommend checking regularly for signs of overcrowding or the other teeth moving to determine if we need to address the gap left behind.

Our Emergency Dentist May Recommend a Space Maintainer

In other cases, our emergency dentist may recommend other treatments after a knocked out baby tooth, such as space maintainers. While baby teeth are meant to fall out eventually, it can cause problems when your child loses them too early. In many cases, the teeth around the area will begin to shift and close in on the gap, which doesn’t leave enough room for the permanent tooth to grow in properly. This can lead to orthodontic issues later. A dental space maintainer can help prevent these issues if your child has a knocked out baby tooth. Our dentist may recommend permanent or removable space maintainers. 

Removable Space Maintainers

If your child is older and their permanent teeth are likely on their way in pretty soon, then our dentist may recommend a removable space maintainer. These look similar to retainers that you can put in and take out to keep space where they lost their tooth. Your child will likely need to use the maintainer until the permanent tooth starts to come in.

Permanent Space Maintainers

Permanent space maintainers are longer-term solutions for keeping proper space for a prematurely lost baby tooth. These are dental appliances cemented to the surrounding teeth. The maintainer stays in place until the permanent tooth starts to grow in and then the dentist can remove it to allow for normal permanent tooth growth. 

Tips from Our Emergency Dentist to Prevent Knocked Out Teeth

While parents often wish they could prevent every accident or injury for their children, it’s often not possible. Injuries that can knock out teeth are sometimes unavoidable. However, we do have a few tips that can help reduce the risk of this happening. 

For children who play sports, wearing a mouth guard can help cushion the teeth in case of injury to the mouth. Make sure the mouth guard fits properly and allows your child to breathe freely. Encourage  your child to wear their mouth guard any time they participate in contact sports. 

In addition, teach your children not to walk around with objects in their mouths, such as toothbrushes. Should they trip or run into something, hard objects can injure the mouth and teeth.

Also, teach your child to avoid biting or chewing on hard foods, such as ice and hard candy. These can also lead to prematurely lost baby teeth.

Should We See an Emergency Dentist for a Loose Baby Tooth?

Maybe your child’s tooth didn’t completely fall out after an injury, but you notice it’s now loose. If this is the case, it’s still better to be safe than sorry and visit our emergency dentist. If an injury to the mouth was hard enough to loosen a tooth, then it could have also injured your child’s jaw or the other teeth. Our dentist can give your child a checkup to make sure there’s no other injuries or dental issues.

Dentist in Katy, TX: Quality Dentistry from The ToothBooth

Our team at The ToothBooth provides quality dental care for patients of all ages! Our dentist, Dr. Taha, DDS is an experienced dentist offering general, cosmetic, and specialty dental services. We also offer fast care outside of office hours, including Saturdays, for dental emergencies. Call us now at (832) 437-0841 to schedule an appointment!