child broken tooth

What to Do if Your Child Damages a Tooth While Playing

As a parent, witnessing your child experience a dental injury can be distressing and unsettling. Whether it’s a knocked-out tooth, a chipped tooth, or a dental fracture, knowing how to respond promptly and effectively is crucial to ensuring the best possible outcome for your child’s dental health.

In this guide, we’ll outline the essential steps to take if your child damages a tooth while playing to minimize pain, prevent further damage, and preserve their dental well-being.

child damages a tooth

Stay Calm and Reassure Your Child

In the event of a dental injury, it’s essential to remain calm and composed to reassure your child and alleviate their anxiety. Your child may be in pain and frightened by the incident, so offer comfort and reassurance while assessing the situation. Your calm demeanor will help to keep your child calm and cooperative as you address the injury.

Assess the Severity of the Injury

child damages a tooth

Carefully examine your child’s mouth to assess the severity of the dental injury. If the tooth is knocked out (avulsed), locate the tooth and handle it with care, holding it by the crown (top) rather than the root. If the tooth is chipped or fractured, inspect the extent of the damage and assess whether there’s bleeding or swelling in the surrounding area.


Rinse and Clean the Injured Tooth

If the tooth has been knocked out, gently rinse it with water to remove any debris without scrubbing or touching the root. Avoid using soap or chemicals, as this can damage the tooth’s delicate tissues.

Control Bleeding and Manage Pain

In the event of bleeding from the injured tooth or surrounding tissues, employ a clean cloth or gauze to gently apply pressure to the area to manage the bleeding. Refrain from administering aspirin directly onto the gums, as it may result in tissue irritation.

Instead, provide over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen in line with the recommended dosage for your child’s age and weight to alleviate pain and discomfort.

Seek Immediate Dental Care

Boy with perfect teeth at the dentist

Regardless of the severity of the dental injury, it’s crucial to seek prompt dental care from a qualified dentist or emergency dental clinic. Contact your child’s dentist or a local emergency dental provider to schedule an urgent appointment, for instance, you could call Glenwood Dental’s Emergency Dentist Line in Edmonton, if that’s local to you.

Time is of the essence when it comes to dental injuries, as prompt treatment increases the likelihood of saving a knocked-out tooth and minimizing the risk of complications.

Preserve the Injured Tooth

If your child’s tooth has been knocked out, it’s essential to preserve it properly until you can see a dentist. Place the tooth in a container of milk or saline solution to keep it moist and avoid drying out the tooth’s delicate tissues. Avoid storing the tooth in water or wrapping it in tissue, as this can damage the tooth’s cells and reduce the chances of successful re-implantation.


Dealing with a dental injury can pose challenges for both parents and children, yet knowing how to respond swiftly and appropriately is essential for safeguarding your child’s dental health. By maintaining composure, evaluating the injury’s severity, managing bleeding and pain, promptly seeking dental care, and preserving the injured tooth correctly, you can optimize the outcome for your child’s dental well-being.

Remember to schedule a follow-up appointment with your child’s dentist for additional assessment and treatment to address any lingering concerns or complications arising from the injury.


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