Having your child run to you, mouth bleeding and holding their front tooth in their hand can be a very disconcerting thing. The key is-don’t panic. There are methods to save the tooth, but you must not delay. Time is of the essence. Your first thought is to clean the tooth since it came from the dirty ground. Make certain that you DON’T CLEAN THE TOOTH! It can rinsed with salt water or milk. If these aren’t available, then tap water will do. Saliva works great since there are bacteria fighting antibodies in it. It is best to replace the tooth back into the socket within 20 minutes of the injury. This would be best done by a dentist, but that is not always possible since most injuries happen during off-hours and even then, by the time the child hands you his tooth, you are probably close to the 20 minute mark already. That means you will need to be the one to reinsert the tooth. This is not the time to be squeamish. Your cool, calm actions can mean the difference between your child enjoying a beautiful smile or a lifetime of maintaining replacements. First, have your child vigorously swish with water to remove any blood clots that may have formed in the socket. Next is crunch time. Take the previously rinsed tooth and quickly and firmly insert the tooth back into the socket. This will probably bring stars and a few tears to your child’s eyes, but you’ve got to remember-it’s tough love. Once the tooth is back in the socket, have your child close their teeth together to make sure that it doesn’t interfere with the bite, then you can ajdust the alignment as needed. A dentist would be best seen within 24 hours for follow up care.