When a child loses a tooth due to trauma or an accident, the way that the incident is handled can affect kids' future dental health.
That is the finding of a study published in the March/April 2008 issue of General Dentistry, which discovered that many parents are not sure what to do when their child loses a baby tooth or permanent tooth prematurely.
According to the Academy of General Dentistry, the right response to a tooth that has been affected by trauma involves a first step of assessing the damage and controlling the bleeding.
Parents should decide if full-scale medical attention is needed. If the tooth is the only area that has been affected, they should call the child's dentist and arrange to come in.
A tooth that has been removed completely from the gums should be washed in milk and then held in place in the mouth en route to the dentist, the AGD says.
If it is not possible to put the tooth back in place, the American Dental Association says to keep it in milk while on the way to the dentist.
The study's lead author, Dr Lucianne Cople Maia, said that "the ideal time between tooth loss and replantation is a period no longer than 30 minutes."
© 2008 Brafton Inc.
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