Dental Trauma To Baby Teeth: What To Do

Dental Trauma To Baby Teeth, kid opening his mouth, showing teeth

Dental trauma to baby teeth is not uncommon. It is most frequent in young children between the ages of two and four years old. Usually, this is the period when children are learning to walk and explore, often falling or bumping into objects in their environment, causing injury to the teeth. 

Should Dental Help Be Sought After Dental Trauma To Baby Teeth?

Although dental trauma is very common, it should be taken seriously. Dental injuries to baby teeth can negatively impact the development of the permanent teeth underneath. If there has been an injury, it’s best to seek help from a professional children’s dentist such as Wiggly Teeth as soon as possible.

Children’s dentists are well-versed in paediatric dental trauma and will know how to treat injuries, potentially saving the baby’s teeth so long as there is no risk posed to the development of the child’s permanent teeth. While a dentist’s care is always the best option, there are some things that can help in the interim. All of our suggestions should be followed up as soon as possible with an appointment with your dentist. The dentist will take an X-ray to make sure the tooth is not fractured.


A toothache is common in both children and adults alike and should never be ignored. Toothache always has a cause that needs to be treated. Causes can include impacted food, decay, fracture or trauma.

What to do:

  • Use warm water to clean the area.
  • Check for food impaction – this can usually be treated by gently brushing the teeth or flossing.
  • Reduce the swelling with a cold compress.

Knocked-Out Tooth

A tooth that is knocked out completely is known as a dental avulsion. In this event, you should immediately contact your dentist. Generally, the dentist won’t attempt to reimplant a baby tooth as the procedure can cause permanent damage to the tooth bud. Permanent teeth will usually be reimplanted ‒ unless the injury has caused permanent damage. With reimplantation, the sooner the procedure is performed, the better the chance of success.

What to do:

  • Recover the tooth, being careful not to touch the roots.
  • Carefully rinse the tooth (don’t scrub or scrape it).
  • If the child is older, encourage them to gently insert the tooth into the socket or put it in the cheek pouch. The tooth can be submerged in milk or saliva if the child is too young to avoid swallowing the tooth. Most importantly, don’t let the tooth dry out.

Tooth Intrusion

What is tooth intrusion? This is a trauma that sees the tooth forced into the jawbone. This type of trauma can often fracture the socket and even injure the tooth’s ligaments.

What to do:

  • Use cold water to rinse the mouth.
  • Reduce swelling with a cold compress.
  • If you can’t see a dentist immediately, go to the emergency room.

Tooth Displacement

There are various types of displacement, including luxation (tooth remains in the socket but at an unnatural angle) and extrusion (tooth is partially removed from the socket).

What to do:

  • Apply a cold compress to the area.
  • Offer pain relief.
  • Get to the dentist immediately.

At Wiggly Teeth, our children’s dentists in Pretoria, have a wealth of experience in treating a variety of dental trauma, from tooth intrusion in a toddler to a socket fracture in an adolescent. For assistance from a dentist, you can trust, make an appointment today by visiting our website or giving us a call.

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