About a third of all toddlers experience some sort of tooth-related trauma, usually between 18 and 40 months. Though they're not permanent, injured baby teeth still need attention. Trauma to them can harm the permanent teeth developing underneath the gum, possibly delaying their growth. Here's what to do when those pearly whites take a knock, and how to prevent accidents in the first place.

Try to Stop the Bleeding

If your baby's tooth is knocked out completely, apply firm, constant pressure to the hole. If bleeding doesn't stop after 10 minutes, see the dentist or go to A&E. Consult the doctor about painkillers for your child. Unlike permanent teeth, which can be re-implanted within two hours of the injury, chances are the dentist won't be able to re-implant a baby tooth.

Consult Your Dentist About Partial Breaks

If the tooth is partly out of the gum or there's a break line running up the tooth, or a glob of reddish flesh (the dental pulp) sticking out, go to the dentist straight away. If the tooth has just shifted a bit, your child will probably push the tooth back into place with his tongue. If a tooth has been pushed up into the gum (intruded) but isn't broken off or bleeding, make sure you consult your dentist. After any dental trauma, baby teeth are likely to change colour over the course of a few weeks. This means that the inside of the tooth has died and may have to be pulled out.

Chill Bruised Gums

If your child has cut or bruised his gums or lips, apply cold pressure with a small bag of ice or a frozen fruit bar. If the cut is larger than 1/4 inch or goes across the lip border, take your little one to see his healthcare provider who can help make sure everything will heal properly. Don't panic if your child cuts his tongue and you see a lot of blood. The tongue has a good blood supply, and even though it puts on quite a show, it usually heals itself.

Go for Regular Dental Check-Ups

To make sure no lasting effects of minor accidents are overlooked, visit the dentist. Regular dental check-ups are a good habit to get into early, so make a dental appointment before your baby is really off and running. Paediatricians and dentists recommend that the first visit take place by his first birthday.

Keep Those Teeth Safe

Babies and children love getting up to all kinds of mischief, but there are some steps you can take to help prevent accidents that can damage one of those little teeth.

Here are a few tips for babyproofing your home before your baby starts crawling. Use soft corner covers so that your little one doesn't accidentally bump into sharp edges. Remove any rugs or low-lying cords that he could trip over. Use baby gates at the top and bottom of stairs to ensure he doesn't take a tumble. Install high bed rails, window locks and don't leave him unsupervised on the couch to protect him from falling.

Once your baby is crawling, instead of using a changing table, change his nappy on the floor, and consider switching to nappy pants that can be changed swiftly even as he's crawling away. With a toddler, consider using a nightlight so that, if he needs to get up in the middle of the night, he can do so without tripping up on toys or furniture.