skip over navigation links
Maternal and Child Health Bureau logoA Health Professionals Guide to Pediatric Oral Health Management
HomeModuleModule 1: An Introduction to Infants' and Young Children's Oral HealthModule 2: Managing Infants' and Young Children's Oral HealthModule 3: Oral Conditions and AbnormalitiesModule 4: Prevention of Oral DiseaseModule 5: Non-Nutritive Sucking HabitsModule 6: Oral InjuryModule 7: Infants and Young Children with Special Health Care NeedsContentsGlossaryEvaluationHelp
Module 6: Oral Injury
Module Contents
6.1 Injury Prevention
Anticipatory Guidance
6.2 Child Abuse and Neglect
6.3 Injury Types and Consequences
Injury Types
Injury Consequences
6.4 Managing Oral Injuries
Avulsed Teeth (current page)
Key Points
Additional Resources

6.4 Managing Oral Injuries, continued

Avulsed Teeth

Because of the danger of damaging the underlying permanent teeth, no attempt should be made to reinsert an avulsed primary tooth. It is impossible to relocate the tooth accurately, and there is danger of pushing it too far into the soft alveolar bone.[1]

However, an avulsed permanent tooth should be reinserted immediately or as soon as possible, with appropriate splinting and follow-up by a dentist.[1] Although this module deals with injuries to the primary teeth and oral tissues, because children as young as age 5 or 6 may have permanent teeth, and because the steps taken immediately following an avulsion injury are critical, guidance for the health professional is provided here.

If a parent asks what to do about an avulsed permanent tooth, the health professional should provide the following instructions:

  • Find the avulsed tooth.

  • Hold it by the crown (top part) only, not the root.

  • Rinse it under cold water; do not scrub.

  • Reinsert it into the socket quickly, making sure that the front of the tooth is facing you. If this is not possible, place the tooth in cold milk or cold water and take the child and the tooth to a dentist immediately.
previous pagenext page
logo: U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau