My Child Lost a Tooth Playing Sports: What Are My Next Steps?
When your child is active and loves playing sports, you need to keep an eye on any injuries that occur. Football, basketball and any other sport can become a contact sport in the blink of an eye and even while coaches are nearby. It takes only a little force for a child to lose a tooth. Whether you are there when it happens or don’t find out until later, there are some steps you should take.
Find and Save the Tooth
If your child loses a permanent tooth, there is a chance that the dentist can save it. Timing in these situations is critical. Once you find the tooth, you need to take steps to preserve it until you can get to the dentist. Most drugstores sell kits that keep the tooth away from air and any contaminants, but if you can’t make it to the drugstore, you can use any type of small container to keep the tooth in until you get to a dentist. Be sure not to wipe or clean the tooth, leave that to your dentist.
Clean the Gums
Check your child’s mouth carefully for any bleeding. Depending on the severity of the impact, the gum may bleed for some time after the tooth falls out. Apply a small amount of pressure until the bleeding stops. If possible, have your child perform a gentle mouth rinse with salt-water to remove any minor loose debris.
Use Ice to Reduce Inflammation
Though you can give your child ibuprofen or a product designed to dampen the pain that children may feel, ice can work just as well. Fill a simple plastic bag with a handful of ice, wrap the bag in a pillowcase or towel and apply the wrapped bag directly to your child’s face. This will numb his/her mouth and reduce the pain, but will also reduce any inflammation that causes additional pain.
Making an appointment with your dentist is the most important thing you can do after your child loses a tooth. The sooner you can get in to see the dentist, the greater the chance is that the dentist can save your child’s tooth. In the case of a baby tooth, the dentist can check the socket for any debris that might keep it from healing properly, recommend what you can do to help your child heal at home and send you off with instructions for what to do to care for your child at home. Taking all these steps and seeing a dentist are the best things to do after your child loses a tooth in a sports injury.