What To Do If Your Child Dislodges A Tooth At A Local Playground

Kids are prone to having little accidents, especially when playing outside. If your child dislodges a tooth while at play on a public playground, you may not know what to do to. In addition to alerting your dentist of the incident, here are a few steps to take when this type of dental emergency occurs:

Calm your little one.

Try to calm your child if the youngster is crying hysterically. As the child calms down, it will be easier to assess the damage that has occurred to the little one's mouth. Here are a few things to look for:

  • Is the tooth completely dislodged from the mouth? In some instances, the tooth may be dangling but still connected by a bit of living tissue.
  • Is the tooth still in the oral cavity? Even if the tooth is fully dislodged, it may still be inside of the child's mouth. To preserve the tooth, it is important to help keep your little one from swallowing it.
  • Are the gums intact at the extraction site? If there is little damage to the gums, the reinsertion of the tooth will likely be easier.

Retrieve the lost tooth.

If a tooth is dislodged at a public playground and is no longer in your child's mouth, you may need to clear the area around the incident to make the tooth's retrieval easier. Once the tooth has been retrieved, it will likely be covered by playground sand and debris, so it will need to be rinsed.

If you have a bottle of water handy, gently pour the liquid over the tooth to remove any dirt and grime. However, be sure to avoid rubbing the tooth or vigorously washing it, and avoid the use of any type of soap or hand sanitizer. Scrubbing the tooth or using a surfactant can destroy the living tissue that is still attached to it. 

If you don't have a water bottle available, try to locate a water fountain or the sink of a local restroom. 

Place the tooth back in the child's mouth.

After the tooth has been rinsed, place it in the pocket of your child's cheek until you reach the dental office. Inserting the tooth back into its socket for safe keeping is also appropriate, but this can be difficult with a child who is already upset. Additionally, the tooth can be preserved in a cup of milk, if one is available.

For more information about the steps to take if your child loses a tooth due to trauma, schedule a consultation with an emergency dentist in your local area.