Oral Injury

  • Oral injuries are common in young children
    • 30% of preschoolers have sustained a dental injury
  • Causes of injury
    • Young children:
      • Falls off of furniture
      • Running and tripping
      • Injured with object
    • Older children:
      • Sports and outdoor activities like biking and skateboarding
Rocio Quiñonez, DMD
  • Top center teeth are the most frequently injured
    • May be chipped, pushed forward/ back, into the gum, or knocked out (avulsion)
  • Injured primary teeth may:
    • Discolor (turn brown or black)
    • Cause pain
    • Become infected
    • Require removal
    • Affect underlying permanent tooth development or eruption as the primary teeth maintain space for permanent teeth
    • All of these consequences may affect self-esteem, speech, nutrition, self-confidence and overall health.
  • Management
    • NEVER reinsert a primary tooth!
    • Refer to dental home for evaluation


Casamassimo P, Holt K, eds. 2016. Bright Futures: Oral Health—Pocket Guide (3rd ed.). Washington, DC: National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center.

International Association of Dental Traumatology. Dental Trauma Guidelines, Revised 2012. Accessed March 15, 2017

Brush up on Oral Health. The National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness. April 2017 Newsletter.

Caring for Our Children (CFOC3), National Health and Safety Performance Standards; Guidelines for Early Care and Education Programs, Third Edition. View site here.