Trikes, Trauma and Teeth
Author: Kimberly N. Powell, DDS, MS
Kids are pretty resilient. Bumps and bruises are normal and often in school, on vacation, or summer break. During one of their rumbles, kids can hurt their teeth or even lose them. In the event that a primary (baby) tooth falls out due to trauma, it is not recommended to replant it. The soft tissue such as the gums, tongue, cheeks, roof of the mouth should be evaluated. The hard tissue such as adjacent teeth and sockets should be assessed clinically and radiographically. A space maintainer may be needed to preserve space for eruption of the permanent tooth. It is important to be able to identify permanent teeth from baby teeth as permanent teeth can be implanted. There are 20 primary teeth which will remain in the mouth until about 33 months. Compared to permanent teeth, baby teeth are whiter and smaller. The permanent anterior (front) teeth have ridges on the chewing surface called mamelons, not present on baby teeth. Under ideal situations, if a permanent tooth is avulsed, hold the tooth by the crown, quickly rinse with cold water if soiled, correctly insert in socket and add biting pressure, and seek dental care immediately.