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First Aid for a Knocked-Out Permanent Tooth

First Aid Knocked Out Tooth First Aid Knocked Out Tooth
  1. Wear medical gloves if available.

  2. Position the child so that bleeding does not cause choking.

  3. Control any bleeding.

  4. Try to find the tooth. If you find the tooth, do not handle it by its roots. If the tooth is dirty, gently rinse it with water. Do not scrub or use antiseptic on the tooth.

  5. Reinsert the tooth if it is a permanent tooth. Do not reinsert a primary tooth.

  6. Gently place the tooth back into the socket in the correct position.

    • Press down on the tooth with your thumb until the crown is level with the adjacent tooth.

    • Have the child bite down on a wad of gauze or cloth to stabilize the tooth until arrival at the dentist.

  7. If you cannot reinsert the tooth, keep the tooth moist by transporting it in milk or the child's saliva or by wrapping the tooth in a wet cloth. See options below.

  8. The child needs dental care as soon as possible. For the best outcome, the child should see the dentist within 1 hour of the incident.

How to Transport a Knocked-Out Tooth

For the best chance of survival for a tooth that has been knocked out, place the tooth back into the socket while waiting for dental care. If that is not possible, use one of the options below:

Milk Transport

  • Option 1 (Best): Place the tooth in a small plastic bag with some milk. Put the plastic bag in a cup of ice.

  • Option 2: Place the tooth in a cup of cold milk.

Saliva Transport

  • Option 1 (Use only in children older than 12 years): Put the tooth inside the child's mouth. Caution the child to be careful not to swallow it.

  • Option 2: Put the tooth in a cup. Keep the tooth moist with the child's saliva (spit).

Wet Cloth Transport

  • ​If milk and saliva are not available, wrap the tooth in a wet cloth.


If you cannot find a knocked-out tooth, it is still important to have the child see a dentist as soon as possible. The tooth, whether permanent or primary, might be knocked up into the gums.

Last Updated
Pediatric First Aid For Caregivers And Teachers (PedFACTs), 2nd Edition (Copyright © 2013 Jones & Bartlett Learning, LLC, an Ascend Learning Company, and the American Academy of Pediatrics)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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