Whether a child comes to you with a broken, chipped, or knocked-out tooth, it's an emergency when it happens. So, as a parent, what can you do to protect that child's smile ... until he gets the right fix from a specialist? That's the subject this time for Dr. Tedd Mitchell, who has raised three active kids of his own. But this time, the President of the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center is making a house call.... for you.
This is the President's Prescription:
Sports, falls and accidents all can result in the partial or complete loss of a tooth. It's important to know what you can do to until you can get to the dentist.
If you chipped or fractured a tooth: Don't eat or drink anything. Collect any tooth fragments, place them in a container, and cover with milk, saline solution or saliva.
With a dislodged tooth, rinse out your mouth and check the tooth's socket for bleeding. If it's bleeding, bite down on gauze, a clean cloth or tissue to apply pressure, which will help stop the bleeding. Pick up the tooth by the crown, not the root, and place it in milk, saline or saliva for the trip to the dentist. Or put the tooth between your cheek and gum to keep it moist until you get to the dentist. But don't do this if you are shaken up. You could accidentally swallow the tooth, possibly creating far more dangerous problems.
And remember, even if you think it's not serious, seek medical help. Because a loose, chipped or lost tooth often comes as a result of an impact, you may have head or neck injuries, too. For the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, I'm Dr. Tedd Mitchell.
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