Toddler Knocked Out Tooth, Now What?

Updated on July 05, 2010
K.B. asks from Round Rock, TX
14 answers

Tuesday evening my darling little girl (21 months) feel during our nightly dance party and knocked out a tooth. We rushed her to the ER and then to the ped dentist the next day. It looks like the lost tooth was a clean release and the adjacent front tooth may have damage (turn colors) but it securely in place. As you can imagine I've been a mess for the last few days. I've come to grips with the gap in her beautiful smile, but now I'm wondering about the future. Has anyone else experienced this? Did it take a long time for the adult tooth to arrive, the dentist said he would probably be at least 7. How do I address it with other children or adults? I'm terrified to return her to daycare or take her to church care. Any advice or information is greatly appreciated.

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So What Happened?

So comforting to hear other Mom's who have had or know of similar experiences. My baby girl's toothless grin is beginning to be less of a trauma and more of an endearing quality in the last few days. We return to the dentist on the 12th for afollow-up, I'm sure it'll be more of a check of the gums and then more wait-and-see advice. Obviously she will not remember or know her smile as anything but a toothless grin. I'll try to follow her lead!

Featured Answers



answers from Houston on

This just happened to my friends toddler. For now, she just has a gap, but the dentist said that when she gets a little bigger he would put in a spacer. I guess it's a fake tooth that attaches to the ones on each side?

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answers from San Antonio on

Happened to my niece just a couple months ago. She slipped off the stool in the bathroom while washing her hands and hit the wastebasket with her mouth. Lost one tooth completely and damaged the one next to it.

Dentist won't do anything yet.....too many things can happen from 2 to 6 or 7 when the adult tooth grows in. They are supposed to go twice a year to the dentist for check-ups, etc...and have that area assessed.

My brother and SIL don't really explain much to people. When you think about it, it doesn't really concern anyone else and sometimes less information is better.


answers from Jacksonville on

They didn't try to put it back in? When teeth come completely out, they often can do that... at this point it may be too late though. Sorry to hear about this.

My own daughter (8 yrs) BROKE (in half) her front permanent tooth a few months ago. The dentist fixed it up (added filler to complete the shape/function of her natural tooth to replace the part that broke off), and there has been no discoloration so far... but it was very traumatic for us. She will always have artificial tooth in the front of her smile, but you can't tell it. :)



answers from College Station on

My SIL's little girl almost lost her front tooth just a few months ago at gymnastics. Its crooked now but she has it. Her mother said that if she lost it she was having a replacement put it. IDK if its an option and I dont think I would do it for my girls if it happened (maybe not sure), but it was brought up to the family. This is an idea, not sure if it would work or not.



answers from San Antonio on

My son fell and chipped both front teeth when he was 18 months, leaving a huge hole in his smile. He just turned 6 and lost both front baby teeth and is in the process of growing his new ones. He had that gappy smile for such a long time it made me sad when it was gone. Anyway, when people asked how he chipped his teeth, we just told him he fell and it was never a big deal and it did not seem to have any effect on his grown up teeth.



answers from New York on

I think it all really varies - my youngest wasn't even in kindergarten when she started losing her teeth - her 1st top tooth came out in March (she was 6 yrs 4 months).

My oldest cracked her front tooth on a monkey bar (thanks to some bratty kids) when she was about 2 & the dentist was able to bond it, but I wouldn't worry all that much about it. As we know kids can be cruel, but I'm sure with a little explaining they will be okay.



answers from Austin on

Hi K.,

My son knocked his front teeth several times, eventually even knocking one completely out by age 3. IS traumatic, probably more so for the mom! We took the tooth and did the tooth fairy thing just as if he had lost it normally. We opted to not put in an artificial tooth/replacement as we thought he'd just knock that one out too. (He walks a lot on his tippy toes as a result of a sensory integration dysfunction.) So, for 3 years, he has had a gap in his grin. At age 6, he finally lost the second front tooth and now he has that adorable, toothless grin. For us, the decision was to just let there be a gap in his smile. He got asked by strangers about what happened to his tooth, so we coached him on what to say so he'd have a ready answer. He'd casually say: "Oh, I knocked it out when I was 3" and then if the adult would continue he would tell them his story, usually resulting in praise for how brave he was. Not one kid ever made fun of his smile for which I am thankful. I think it just wasn't a big deal to them. If you are interested in a wonderful pediatric dentist who specializes in teeth replacements (or whatever they are called) , try Dr. Franklin/Dr. Collins at They came highly recommended to me from a parent who did choose to do the teeth replacement/bridge route. They are on 38th street, I believe. Time helped us recover. Funny thing, once that happens to your child, you find out that it happens a lot!!! And I look back at those pictures of him with a missing tooth fondly and adoringly. He's just 6 now...I wonder how I'll feel when he's 26!!

Take care, K.


answers from Norfolk on

Her adult teeth will come in eventually. My son lost his 1st baby tooth at 6 yrs. I'm surprised the dentist is not worried about her other teeth shifting to fill in the gap, but maybe there's enough root left so that won't be a problem. Baby tooth roots dissolve when adult teeth come in underneath them. If anyone asks, you can say she lost a baby tooth early - it's the truth. Just try to take it a bit more easy during the dance parties. You don't want her to knock out any more teeth.



answers from Dallas on

My DD lost 2 of her front teeth from a bike injury at the age of 4. They weren't completely broken off but the dentist had to pull the remaining teeth. We decided to go with Pedi Dentures where they mold the shape of your child's teeth and basically maike "fake teeth"! We thought it was a great idea, we didn't want her feeling "different" in Kinder or around peers with everyone still having their two front teeth. : ) (There were some other reasons we went with the dentures but that was our main reason)

So anythow, the dentures came in the form a retainer and the teeth looked beautiful, you would have NEVER known they were fake BUT my DD hated wearing them! It just wasn't a "natural" feel to her and within a week or two, she completely stopped wearing them! Yep, $500 down the drain! So we all learned our lesson, she's my oldest and my first to lose any teeth but if any of my other kids lose any of their "baby" teeth we will choose to wait for the new ones to come in. Losing teeth is normal for young kids, and I would suggest you to wait and let everything heal, see how she adjusts with no tooth and if it bothers her bad enough, do the dentures but if she adjusts just fine, then save your money and wait for the new tooth to eventually come in. :)

Good luck.



answers from Houston on

This happened to my nephew after 2 good knocks on his tooth. It is ok. Yes, she'll have a gap. But, you can treat it as if she has a special straw access hole (or something cute like that). It is traumatic at first, especially I would think for a girl. But it will be ok. I think that you don't address it. If they ask, you simply say "she knocked her tooth out". That is it. She is not her tooth and you need to make sure she hears you defending her if anybody says anything about it; but I don't think anyone will.



answers from Portland on

I am so sorry this happened to your little one. My daughter did start losing her first baby tooth at 4. Her dentist said the average is 6, some 4 some 8. It might not be as long as you think before those teeth start to fall out on there own. I know that doesn't help you now, 4 just sounds a lot better than 7. Accidents happen and people will will be very understanding.

Good Luck!!



answers from Brownsville on

My little boy had the similar incident at about same age. The dentist would not even touch it, and the specialist was not available for 4 weeks. The tooth was loose and it bled a lot. Anything that touched it, made it bleed. It was a nightmare for about a week then I took the matter in my own hands and pulled it out. I still suffer from the trauma but luckily he does not remember much. Well he is almost 6 now and is still missing the tooth. I did follow up with the specialist to make sure his bones were not shifting. Now he is starting to loose other teeth so guess there is hope. Things happen. I do not see why explaining to others is such a big issue. Your child is beautiful disregard to how my teeth she has :)



answers from Redding on

Dear K.,
This happens so much more often than you'd think. I know when it happens to your own baby, it's not easy to think of it that way.
I would suggest just keeping up with her regular check-ups (and the follow up for the other tooth if they recommended one). She will eventually start losing her other baby teeth and getting new ones.
My daughter lost front teeth at 3 and it didn't slow her down any. Her teeth eventually grew in. We have such cute pictures of her. She didn't let it phase her.
I wouldn't be terrified to take her to daycare or church because she's missing a tooth. I understand how you feel, but all you have to do is say she fell and knocked one out. It happens to LOTS of kids. No one is going to stare and point like she's deformed or anything. In fact, once you tell them what happened, I'll bet people will tell you they know of other kids who did the same thing. Kids fall, they get bonked in the mouth with toys, they bump into things. The trauma will wear off for you, it really will.
I don't mean to sound insensitive, it happened to my daughter and I worked for a pediatric dental specialist. Kids knock teeth out all the time.
When your daughter gets a little older, they can probably make something for her to wear so you can't tell she's missing a tooth, but I'm certain she's too young now. She could swallow it or lose it, and they aren't cheap.
Just try to relax, Mama. It will all work out and be okay.

Best wishes! Take pictures!



answers from Houston on

My best friend's daughter fell off the sofa just a couple of weeks ago. (Her daughter is 15 months.) She knocked out two front teeth. Their pediatric dentist said the same thing, that she'll get adult teeth when she's 6 or 7. Her father has been jokingly calling her "Fang" and publishing her latest adventures on Facebook.

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