Broken Children’s Teeth Emergency
If you have children, you know accidents happen. If your child has had an accident that has affected their mouth or teeth, there are different situations to know and to watch out for.
In the event of a fracture (broken tooth), it is necessary to look for pulpal involvement. This is characterized by very intense pain ("toothache") and requires appropriate care: rinse with a topical anesthetic such as lidocaine gel, then achieve hemostasis by compression and plan a specialist consultation very quickly, at the latest within 24-48 hours.
In the absence of pulpal involvement, a specialist consultation within 24-48 hours is desirable, especially for permanent teeth, limiting the time to 1 week maximum for baby teeth. If your child’s tooth is broken, look for any broken fragments and put them in a moist environment (milk or water will work).
Complete Loss of a Tooth (expulsion)
In the event of a completely lost baby tooth, there is no particular measure, except to look for the tooth to verify that it is indeed a complete loss (and not an impaction, or even a inhalation/ ingestion of the tooth). Above all, it should not be reimplanted. However, a consultation with your dentist should happen in the days following a completely lost tooth.
In the event of a lost permanent tooth, it is an emergency, and you should see your dentist right away. It is necessary to reimplant it as soon as possible. The less time the tooth spends out of the mouth, the more chances for success you will have in re-implanting the tooth.
In the event of a sunken tooth, a soft diet is recommended for 1 week, with a dentist consultation within 24-48 hours (maximum 1 week) for a baby tooth and imperatively within 24 hours for a permanent tooth.
If the impaction concerns a baby tooth, there is a risk for a negative impact on the permanent tooth that will grow in its place. During the dentist consultation, an X-ray will be made as well as a verification of the external and internal bone structure, so make sure the reason the tooth is impacted.
If the impaction concerns a permanent tooth, the dentist will monitor the vitality of the tooth to check that the root construction is completed in good conditions.
A mobile baby tooth that is not in its place risks being inhaled by the child. In this specific case, it is better to completely remove the baby tooth, and your dentist will be able to help you with this. If the baby tooth is extremely mobile, the dentist will most likely remove it directly with a compress by holding the tooth by the root and twisting to extract it. Conversely, for a permanent tooth, reduction/reimplantation will most likely be attempted.
If the tooth is in its place and is not fractured, a soft diet for 1 week and an emergency consultation (ideally within a week) are sufficient, whether it is a baby tooth or a permanent tooth. If the tooth is mobile and painful, it is called subluxation; if it is simply pain on percussion, it is called a contusion.
Regardless of which of the above situations your child encounters, we recommend you see a dentist as soon as your child injures their teeth. The sooner that a dentist is able to intervene, the more chances they have for a positive outcome of the injury.