Seventy-five percent of all broken, lost, loosened, or chipped teeth occur in children under 15 years of age.  Luckily, recent advances in dentistry make it more likely that these teeth can be repaired or saved.    However, for the best results, parents must act quickly.  Even if no visible tooth damage has occurred, when a child falls or receives a hit to the mouth, soft tissue inside the tooth may be damaged.

Here are some quick tips for dealing with a tooth that has been chipped or knocked out:

  • Have your dentist’s number readily available. Add your dentist’s office as a contact in your cell phone.
  • Try to find all parts of the tooth.
  • Handle the tooth by the top, not the root.
  • Gently rinse the tooth root if it is dirty.
  • Apply sterile gauze to stop any bleeding.
  • Reinsert the tooth if possible.  If not, store the tooth in a cup of water or milk
  • See the dentist as soon as possible.  The sooner a dentist can return the tooth to its socket, the greater chance the tooth has of being saved.
  • If braces or wires have broken, cover the sharp edges with gauze, cotton, or gum, but do not try to remove any wires that are stuck in the gums, cheek, or tongue.
  • Apply a cold compress to the outside of the mouth to reduce swelling and discomfort.