More than five million teeth are knocked out every year in children and adults across the United States. Whether this happens because you were tackled while playing football or you simply bit down on your food too hard, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to lose your tooth. However, in order for the tooth to successfully be implanted again, you have to take action quickly. Here are five steps from a dentist on what to do when you knock out a tooth.
Pick Up the Tooth by the Crown
The crown is the part that you use to chew that’s normally visible in your mouth. Make sure to not touch the root, which is the section that is supposed to be hidden beneath your gumline.
Gently Rinse the Tooth with Water
Hold the tooth under running water only. Do not use soap or other chemicals to clean it. Afterward, don’t scrub it or hold it in a towel. Lastly, do not remove any tissue particles that might still be on the tooth.
Place the Tooth Back in Its Socket
As soon as you can, try to reposition the tooth back into its socket. After making sure your hands are clean, gently push the tooth in with your fingers, taking care to only touch the crown. You could also position the tooth above the socket and slowly close your mouth. Keep the tooth in place by holding it down with your fingers or gently biting down on it with some gauze.
Always Keep the Tooth Moist
In order to stay viable for reattachment, the tooth must be kept moist at all times. If it’s not possible for you to place it back in its socket, you could either hold it in your cheek pocket or a container of milk. Don’t store it in regular tap water since the cells of the root’s surface can’t tolerate it for prolonged periods of time.
Call Your Dentist Within the Hour
To have your tooth reattached, it’s best to see an emergency dentist within an hour of the tooth being knocked out. However, it still may be possible to save the tooth if it has been out for an hour or more. In any case, contact your dentist immediately. Putting off treatment could mean the difference between saving and losing your tooth.
If you knock out a tooth, time is of the utmost importance. Follow these steps to maximize your odds of your dentist being able to reimplant your tooth and save your smile.
About the Author
At Dentistry at Hickory Flat, Drs. Brian and Katherine Lee have been providing quality dental care to the Canton, GA community for over a decade. They offer fast relief for painful dental emergencies such as knocked-out teeth. With advanced technology and sedation dentistry to ease your anxiety, they can treat your pain as comfortably, quickly, and effectively as possible. If you’ve just knocked out a tooth, don’t hesitate to contact Dentistry at Hickory Flat at (770) 213-8166.