Children often like to roughhouse with each other in ways that they may not realize are damaging. For example, some children may be prone to headbutting their friends in a way that could cause their friend or themselves to lose a tooth. Thankfully, parents can take immediate action to save the tooth or provide orthodontic care to ensure that their dental health remains strong.
Headbutts May Cause Lost Teeth
Action movies often feature a multitude of stars performing mock headbutts in a way that seems safe and easy to perform. Many children watch these movies and believe that they can deliver a headbutt without any problem. However, headbutts jar the face and the head in a way that children may not expect. This impact may damage both children's teeth in many ways.
In fact, a severe headbutt could cause a child's growing baby teeth to fall out of their jaw. When this happens, the child will start bleeding from the wounded area and experience sharp pain. Thankfully, parents can take appropriate steps to not only stop the bleeding but to save the lost tooth and potentially get it back in the child's jaw.
Immediate Care is Necessary
The moment a child loses a tooth with a headbutt, parents need to take immediate steps to help. For example, the child may be afraid or panicked due to the pain and blood in their mouth. Parents must immediately soothe their fears and apply a light gauze to the damaged area to prevent blood loss from getting too severe in the child's mouth.
Once the child is calm, the parent – and others around who can help – should search for the tooth and pick it up by the crown. The crown is the flat area where the tooth grinds food. Tooth roots – the two points where the tooth joins the jaw – should never be touched to avoid structural damage.
After the tooth is found, wash it off with water and make an immediate emergency appointment with a dentist or orthodontist.
Some Teeth May Be Saved
Parents who take the steps in the section above may be able to save their child's tooth from permanent damage. For example, parents can take their child to an emergency dentist or orthodontist, along with the tooth, and hope that the surgeon can insert the tooth back into the child's jaw.
This process must be done as soon as possible because the socket in the child's jaw may close up if their parent delays treatment. When this happens, the tooth may be a lost cause and a child's smile uneven. Thankfully, other treatment options help in this situation.
Treatment When the Tooth Cannot Be Saved
Unfortunately, a child's tooth cannot be saved and restored in their jaw in many scenarios. When this happens, multiple treatment options are available. For example, if the lost tooth was a baby tooth, the child may have to wait for the replacement tooth to grow into place. Orthodontists and dentists can help provide oral cleaners to keep the socket clean and free from infections while the tooth grows.
Unfortunately, children cannot get oral implants for missing teeth because their jaws are not strong enough for implants. However, orthodontic treatments, such as braces and other care options, keep a child's jaw strong while the replacement tooth grows. Beyond that, orthodontists can provide the child with pain medication if their jaw hurts after they lose a tooth.
Orthodontists Protect Children From Tooth Loss
Parents of headbutting children should talk to a high-quality orthodontist about their child's behavior. Please contact us or visit our office at Professional Dental Center the moment your child loses a tooth after a headbutt. Our professionals will work hard to protect a child's oral health constructively.