What Steps Should I Take if My Child Loses a Permanent Tooth?


Losing a permanent tooth is something no one ever sees coming. That’s the nature of dental emergencies, unfortunately. But as unexpected as they can be, knowing what to do when one strikes can go a long way towards easing anxiety and leading to a quick resolution.

When it comes to the loss of a permanent tooth, that’s no exception. Whether your child has fallen or was injured playing sports, helping her save a knocked out tooth is important. Doing that requires quick thinking and immediate action. It’s not impossible though, especially when these important tips are kept in mind.

First, if your child has just lost a permanent tooth, remain calm. Panicking can make it hard to think clearly. Take a few deep breaths to help you clear your head and get your bearings. Staying calm may also help your child stay calm as well.

Once you’re feeling calmer, retrieve the tooth, making sure to hold it by the crown instead of the root. Then, gently clean it with water, but don’t scrub it or use any soap on it—water is all you need.

When the tooth is clean, try to reinsert it into the socket it came from. If that’s not possible, store it in a container of cool milk or water. Preserving the tooth in a safe but moist environment will increase the likelihood that it can be reattached. During this time, call your child’s pediatric dentist. Receiving care as soon as possible is important.


Because having a full smile is important for eating and speaking clearly. A complete smile is also important for self-esteem reasons. Patients who are missing one or more teeth can be afraid to smile openly, which can affect how they’re seen by others.

Beyond either of these, though, is the importance of tooth roots. To have a strong, healthy jaw, it’s important to have tooth roots that can stimulate the growth of new bone tissue. When a root is lost, so is the accompanying stimulation. Over time, that part of the jaw will lose bone. Then, as more time passes, more of the jaw will atrophy, leading eventually to the loss of other teeth. This wouldn’t happen immediately, but preventing the possibility of it is still very important.

The response to your child losing a baby tooth shouldn’t be exactly the same, though. While your child should still see her pediatric dentist, baby teeth should not be reattached. That’s because reattaching a baby tooth can harm developing permanent teeth. When you bring your little one in, her pediatric dentist will talk about how a missing baby tooth will be handled.

Is your little one experiencing a dental emergency of one kind or another, including the loss of a permanent tooth? Call Kidtastic. Our pediatric dentists are experienced at providing emergency care. And with our locations in MesaGilbert andQueen Creek, we’re conveniently located for Arizona patients in all surrounding areas. Don’t put off important emergency care. We’re ready to help.