Up to 50% of kids would experience some form of oral/dental trauma growing up. It does not only happen to the older kids on their bikes or playing ball games, we see it often in toddlers as well. Such injuries may cause the tooth/teeth to come loose, to crack or break, or to be knocked out altogether.
In such cases, it’s best for the parents to remain calm as this would help the child to settle. A lot of times, there might be associated injuries to the rest of the body, the head or soft tissues such as the lip. It’s best such injuries are attended to and any bleeding stopped by applying firm pressure to the area of the wound, and contact you dentist as soon as possible for an emergency visit.
If it’s a baby tooth or milk tooth that has been knocked out the dentist will not try to put it back. A chip or crack may be smoothed or filled depending on the case.
If an adult tooth has been knocked out, it’s best to find it and handle it very carefully by the crown (the part of tooth visible in the mouth) and not the root (the part that sits inside the gum). Examine the tooth quickly, only if there is visible debris, rinse the tooth gently with sterilized saline (from the pharmacy) or milk, while keeping the tooth moist, wrap it in plastic wrap and go to your dentist straight away. If you are able to, you can try to insert the tooth back in its socket. Very gently bite on a clean washcloth and see your dentist immediately.
Chipped or cracked adult teeth can often be repaired, x-rays would be taken to eliminate any root fracture. Dentist can usually splint loosened teeth with a metal wire or some dental material. Any teeth that has suffered trauma would need to be monitored for a long period of time to evaluate the vitality of the nerve inside.
To prevent sports related dental injuries, it’s best to have a custom made, well fitted mouthguard to protect your teeth.