Quick action best after a tooth fracture - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Quick action best after a tooth fracture

The dentist recommends finding all fragments of a broken tooth as quickly as possible. (Source: WAFF) The dentist recommends finding all fragments of a broken tooth as quickly as possible. (Source: WAFF)

Whether it's simply playing around or athletic competition, having a tooth knocked out or broken can be a scary experience for anyone - especially a child.

Brian Ondocsin says it happened to him many years ago.

"[I] got hit with an elbow playing pool basketball and got it knocked out, and got my front tooth broken in half actually," he said.

Despite having it repaired, the same situation led to the same tooth being damaged later in life.

"I was playing actual basketball [in college] and had an elbow catch me again in the mouth and broke that tooth right back off," Ondocsin said. And so I got with the dentist after hours through a referral, and he fixed the tooth for me and [I] ended up shadowing with him... 10 years later, here I am and it helped me choose the career I wanted to pursue."

Ondocsin can now figuratively talk out of both sides of his mouth - as a patient, and now as a dentist.

If your child is in an accident, knocks out a tooth or breaks a tooth, the doctor says to make sure not to panic, and also to check your child for a more serious injury.

"First and foremost, most important thing make sure the child doesn't have any significant head injury, trauma, concussion symptoms, acting funny, loss of memory," he said. "Fluid from the ear or nose is always a bad thing. Once you've kind of ruled it down to being the tooth, you can kind of focus on that."

He says you should make every effort to find the tooth or tooth part. If the parent feels comfortable, rinse off any debris and dirt and actually reposition the tooth.

He says keep it wet, but using salt water should be a last resort.

"Put it in some milk, or actually in some of the patient's saliva; have him spit in a cup, drop that tooth in there and get to a dentist ASAP," Ondocsin said.

Acting quickly can keep that child's sweet smile through to adulthood. 

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