What to do if a tooth gets knocked out

Attention Coaches, Parents and Athletes!

Whether it is while playing an organized sport such as hockey or doing a recreational activity such a riding a bike, it is important to wear the appropriate protective gear, especially mouth guards to protect the teeth. If an injury does occur, such as a tooth getting knocked out, here are some helpful tips…

Knocked out permanent tooth:

The parent or another adult should:

  1. find the knocked out tooth
  2. hold it by the crown (top part) only, not by the root
  3. if the tooth has obvious dirt on it, then rinse it under cold water gently but do not scrub it
  4. reinsert the tooth back into the socket quickly or place it in cold milk, the child’s cheek fold (vestibule), or cold wet cloth
  5. Take the child and the tooth to a dentist immediately provided the child does not first need to be assessed medically by a physician. There is a very short window of time for the tooth to be placed back in place and splinted by the dentist so the cells around the root survive (ideally under 1 hour).

(Never attempt to reinsert a primary tooth because of the danger of damaging the underlying permanent teeth.)