What to Do When Your Child Knocks Out a Tooth

Handling Dental Emergencies

By Emily Cortes, D.D.S. March 6, 2017

What should I do if my child’s baby tooth is knocked out?

If your child has any dental trauma, you should contact your pediatric dentist as soon as possible. If the tooth is completely out, do not try and put it back in place. An accident that damages a baby tooth could also harm the permanent tooth.

What do I do if my child’s permanent tooth is knocked out?

If a permanent tooth has been knocked out, the tooth should be put back in place as soon as possible. When handling the tooth, you should hold the tooth by the crown not the root.  Gently clean the tooth, if it looks dirty (do not scrub). If possible, gently insert and hold the tooth in the socket. Take your child to the dentist as quickly as you can. Be sure to take the tooth and any tooth pieces you can find.

What if a tooth is chipped or fractured tooth?

Rinse the mouth with warm water to keep the area clean. Use a cold compress on the face to help reduce swelling. Look for the broken tooth piece, bring it with you to the dentist. Wrap the tooth piece in some wet gauze if possible.

What if my child bites her tongue or lip?

Clean the area gently with a cloth and place a cold compress to help reduce swelling. Hold pressure on the wound until the bleeding stops. If bleeding persists, take your child to an emergency center or to the dentist.

Dental trauma cannot always be prevented but there are ways to greatly reduce injury. First, have your child wear a mouthguard when playing sports. Second, child proof your home to prevent falls and electrical injuries. Third, always use a car seat for young children and require seat belts for everyone in the car.

For more answers about frequently asked questions, visit the Prairie Pediatric Dentistry website at

Dr. Emily Cortes, D.D.S., provides pediatric oral health at Prairie Pediatric Dentistry located at 15230 W. 87th Street Parkway in Lenexa, KS. Dr. Emily is a Diplomate, American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. She is a member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, American Dental Association, Kansas Dental Association and the Fifth District Dental Society. She can be reached at or 913.871.5771