For Baby Teeth

  • Pacify your child.
  • Note down the time of injury.
  • Look around the site of accident for any tooth fragments or knocked out teeth.
  • Gently clean your child’s face with a warm moist towel and assess the injury.
  • Bring your child to see a dentist as soon as possible.
  • DO NOT put back the BABY tooth.

For Permanent Teeth

The management is similar to children with baby teeth. However, below are some additional points to note for permanent teeth:

1.Look around the site of accident for any tooth fragments and bring the fragments to the dentist. Your dentist may be able to re-attach the fragments.

2.If your child’s PERMANENT tooth is completely knocked out:

  • Look around the site of accident for the knocked out tooth.
  • Hold it firmly by the crown (the top part) without touching the root (the pointed end), and gently rinse the tooth under low pressure running water.
  • Gently replant the tooth back; root first into the socket (position where it was knocked out from) and have your child bite or secure the tooth in the socket with a clean tissue or cloth.
  • If you are unable to put the tooth back into the socket, the next best option is to place the tooth in a clean cup of cold fresh milk.
  • Seek dental treatment immediately. The tooth if planted back into the socket within 1 hour of the injury has a higher chance of long term success.

Other important things to note

If your child feels nauseous, vomits, becomes disorientated, or loses consciousness, you must bring him to see a doctor immediately. Abrasions, deep cuts or painful wounds on your child’s face may require immediate medical attention so that they do not bleed, get infected or scar.

What to do after an injury?

The immediate management depends on the type and extent of the injury sustained, and whether it is a baby or a permanent tooth. During the healing stage, it is important to keep the injured area clean. Brushing the teeth with a soft bristled toothbrush, rinsing with or gently dabbing the gums and surrounding soft tissue with a gauze soaked with antiseptic mouthwash such as Chlorhexidine Gluconate 0.1% is recommended for 1-2 weeks. Your dentist will advise you on the need for painkillers and antibiotics for the injury.

Your child should avoid biting with the injured teeth, and should take softer foods for the next few weeks. He/she should also avoid playing contact sports in the short term. To prevent the risk of a similar incident in the future, you should have your child wear a mouth-guard when engaging in contact sports.

Article contributed by Dr Tong HJ, Updated 10th Aug 2015