My friend's daughter had a bad spill on her bike, and one of her front teeth was knocked out. My friend said she had a tooth preservation kit handy, and that helped save her daughter's tooth. I've never seen these kits — what are they and should all parents have one?
Active kids do run the risk of losing a tooth in a fall. Safety precautions (like wearing mouthguards and protective gear for contact sports and helmets while biking, skateboarding, and inline skating) can help protect them. But some mishaps are inevitable.
Kids who lose a baby tooth won't need it replaced. But when an older child or teen loses a permanent tooth, it's a dental emergency. Permanent teeth have the best chance of survival if replaced within 15 minutes.
Whenever possible, a knocked-out tooth should be reimplanted immediately. For older kids and teens, try placing the tooth back in the socket without touching the root. Have your child bite down on gauze to help keep it in place.
For a younger child or if the tooth can't be reimplanted, having an emergency tooth preservation kit on hand can really pay off. These kits, recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA), contain a sterile balanced salt solution (BSS), which is ideal for preserving a tooth until the injured person gets to a dentist.
If a tooth preservation kit (or a container filled with BSS) isn't available, a knocked-out tooth can be put in a container of milk or your child's saliva for transport. You also can place the tooth between your lower lip and gum. Do not store it in tap water.
Whatever method is used, prompt medical attention is needed when a tooth is dislodged. Call your dentist right away or go to a nearby emergency room that has a dental service.
Reviewed by: Steven Dowshen, MD
Date reviewed: April 2014
|American Dental Association (ADA) The ADA provides information for dental patients and consumers.|
|First Aid: Teeth Injuries If your child loses a baby tooth, there's no need to replace it. But if a permanent tooth is dislodged, it's a dental emergency. Here's what to do.|
|Dealing With a Knocked-Out Tooth A knocked-out tooth is a dental emergency. Find out what to do by reading this printable instruction sheet.|
|First-Aid Kit A well-stocked first-aid kit, kept in easy reach, is a necessity in every home. Learn where you should keep a kit and what to put in it.|
|Going to the Dentist What happens when you go to the dentist? Find out in this article for kids.|
|Keeping Your Child's Teeth Healthy Here are the basics about how to care for your child's teeth - and when.|
|Your Teeth There's much more to a tooth than meets the eye. This article for kids gives you the inside story.|
|Taking Care of Your Teeth There's a lot more to taking care of your teeth than breath mints and mouth sprays. Read this article to learn the facts on flossing, how to give plaque the brush-off, and much more.|
|Going to the Orthodontist An orthodontist prevents and treats mouth, teeth, and jaw problems using braces, retainers, and other devices.|
|Taking Care of Your Teeth The healthier your teeth are, the happier you look. That's why it's important to take great care of your teeth by brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist. Learn more.|
|A to Z: Tooth Injury, Primary A primary tooth injury is an injury or damage to a child's primary (or "baby") tooth.|
|A to Z: Tooth Injury, Secondary Secondary tooth injuries are injuries or damage to secondary or permanent teeth (also called "adult" teeth).|
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