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What will you do when your child comes into the house crying because they have had a tooth knocked out? Here are six steps from the the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Dental Association that may help.

Step 1: Recover the tooth. It’s important that you find the tooth as soon as possible to increase its chances of remaining viable.

Step 2: When you find the tooth, make sure to only handle it by the crown and not the root. The crown is covered with enamel which protects the tooth from bacteria. This will help keep the tooth clean and will help it to reconnect with the tissue in the socket.

Step 3: Using cool water, gently rinse off any dirt or debris. Do not brush or scrub the tooth, since that could damage it and make it more difficult to save.

Step 4: The best place to keep the tooth before you can get to the dentist or the emergency room is back in the socket. Here it can immediately begin to reattach itself to the tissue. Place it back in the socket if you can.

Step 5: If you cannot put the tooth back,place it in a small container of milk or salty water. If your child is old enough, they can also place the tooth between their cheek and gums. You can also use cool tap water, if necessary.

Step 6: Contact your dentist immediately. You should see your dentist, or go to the emergency room without delay,

If your child has had a tooth accidentally knocked out, call Dr. Eli J. Lawrence immediately to save the tooth. Please contact Eli Lawrence, DDS to make an emergency appointment at: 312-236-9895, or come by our office in Chicago, Illinois.