Did your child knock out a tooth?

We all know one of the most terrible situations is our child knocking out tooth. But it usually is severe when knocking out a permanent tooth. So, First thing you should find out is, if it is baby teeth or permanent teeth. Because the management is accordingly different.

If it is baby teeth:

If a baby tooth is knocked out, first try to locate it, to be sure your child hasn’t inhaled it and do not attempt to re-implant the tooth. The next thing to do is, call your dentist as soon as possible to get your child checked. They should be taken to the dental clinic and a radiograph should be taken to check the surrounding teeth and erupted permanent teeth. But in most cases no treatment will be necessary. Sometimes a space maintainer will be need to be placed to prevent the adjacent teeth from shifting and closing the space that the permanent tooth will need to erupt into.

If you cannot locate the tooth and think your child may have inhaled it, call their paediatrician or go to the emergency room.

If it is permanent teeth:

If your child has knocked out a permanent tooth, he or she needs to be taken to the dentist immediately.

Here are few steps to manage a permanent tooth that has been knocked out:

  • Find the tooth, and pick it up by the crown not the root.

  • Rinse the tooth gently and briefly (10 seconds) with cold tap water

  • Do not scrub the tooth; do not clean the tooth with soap, alcohol, mouthwash or any other chemical

  • Do not wrap the tooth in tissue, cloth or plastic

  • Do not allow the tooth to dry

  • Try to place the tooth back into socket with gentle finger pressure (Best chance of saving the tooth).
  • If you are not comfortable with this, that is OK. Getting to a dentist as soon as possible is crucial to give the tooth the best prognosis.

  • If you are unable to place the tooth back into its socket, keep the tooth in the following liquids listed in order of preference:
    • Hanks Balanced Salt Solution (Save-A-Tooth®)
    • Milk: preferably cold and low fat (tooth may be kept in milk up to 3 hours)
    • Cold tap water or inside the child’s mouth (last resort – living cells on tooth may completely die within 1 hour)


The sooner the tooth is placed back in the socket, the better chance the tooth has of surviving long term.