My eight year old son lives and breathes baseball. He is constantly playing with baseballs, bats, if not on a ball field, and is always practicing. With that comes many bumps and bruises. However, he recently took a ground ball right to the mouth. He saved the ball, but lost his front tooth! There was some blood, and his mouth and gums were swollen, but he didn’t seem incredibly upset. The coach and I helped him calm down, and once he was back to his normal self, we took the tooth home for the tooth fairy.  Should I have taken him to an emergency dentist?

Sincerely,
Sarah

Dear Sarah,

I’m thankful your son is okay! Even the best ball players take one for the team from time to time. I can answer your question in two ways.

One, if your son has already lost his front tooth, I am very hopeful you have already sought dental attention. If the tooth he lost was permanent, it would have needed immediate emergency dental attention in order to be implanted again. The best course of action would have been to carefully collect the tooth, making sure to keep any attached tissue intact, place it it in wet towel, or even back in your son’s mouth, and head to the an emergency dentist right away.

If the lost tooth was not an adult tooth, it would not have been a dental emergency, nor a great need to have the tooth implanted again. However, he may have damaged his mouth in another way, or possibly  injured the adult tooth underneath. If this is the case, a  it might recommended that a spacer be placed to make sure the adult tooth has room to grow in, so visit to your family dentist, or a pediatric dentist, would be a good plan.