Dental injury

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Updated: 1/14/2003 1:29 pm Published: 1/14/2003 1:29 pm

If a permanent tooth that has been knocked out can be reimplanted within a half-hour of the injury, there's a 90 percent chance the tooth will survive. If it's more than two hours, there's only a five percent chance. If a child has lost a permanent tooth, find it and rinse it off without touching its roots. Gently reinsert the tooth in the proper direction and have the child hold it in place. When this isn't possible, put the tooth in a glass of milk. Go directly to a dentist or emergency room. When a tooth isn't completely knocked out, such as when a child has fallen on his face or been hit in the mouth, control bleeding with direct pressure and ice. Reposition the tooth, if possible, and seek dental care immediately. Control bleeding by direct pressure on the tooth socket with a sterile dressing or clean cloth, which the child can bite on to hold in place. A dentist also should be contacted if a tooth becomes chipped. Keep in mind that if a child has a tooth injury, there may be additional injuries to the head or face, so medical care also may be required. Children involved in sports that can result in tooth injuries-- such as hockey, inline skating, or skateboarding-- should wear mouth guards for protection.

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