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Oral Injury

Teeth can be fractured, dislocated, or lost from the socket. Injuries to the teeth and bones supporting the teeth are most commonly caused by accidents. Using safety belts, car safety seats, bike helmets, and mouth guards can help prevent injuries to the head, face, mouth, teeth, oral tissues, and jaws. Baby gates placed at both the top and bottom of stairs can prevent accidental falls by infants and toddlers. Baby walkers are frequent causes of oral injury and use of baby walkers is discouraged.

When children begin to engage in athletic and recreational activities, a mouth guard can be worn to reduce the chance of oral injury. It is estimated that mouth guards prevent between 100,000 to 200,000 oral injuries each year.

Oral trauma requires immediate medical attention. A primary tooth that has been completely knocked out is not likely to be replaced, as there is potential for damage to the permanent tooth. If a permanent tooth has been knocked completely out, the best treatment is to reinsert the tooth at the time of injury. If the tooth is not able to be reinserted, the tooth should be placed in milk and brought to the dentist immediately for replacement in the mouth.