We all take precautions when it comes to our teeth. We brush in the morning and evening, we wear mouth guards when we play risky sports, and we go to the dentist twice a year. But sometimes, accidents happen. If you find yourself sitting on the ground with your head ringing and a tooth completely knocked out of your mouth, don’t panic. It’s possible to save your tooth, and your smile.
Emergency Dental Care – 4 Steps to Take When You Lose a Tooth
Step 1: Retrieve Your Tooth (Carefully)
The first thing you need to do is retrieve your tooth. While the circumstance can seem scary or surreal, make sure you pick your tooth up carefully and only touch the crown (the chewing part of the tooth). You want to avoid touching the root as much as possible because that part needs to stay healthy and whole to get your tooth back where it belongs.
Step 2: Clean The Tooth (Gently)
In a perfect world, your tooth would fall out onto a clean pillow. Most of the time, though, it falls into the dirt or onto the concrete. So once you have your tooth in hand, make sure you wash it gently. Don’t scrub it, and don’t use any chemicals. Just rinse it gently under cold water until the dirt and grit that were clinging to it are gone.
Lastly, don’t wrap your tooth in a tissue or cloth. That isn’t going to help because you need to make sure your tooth, and the tissue, stay moist.
Step 3: Put Your Tooth Back in The Socket (If You Can)
As soon as your tooth is clean, you should try to put it back in the socket. Simply press it back where it belongs with your fingers, or hold it in place, and bite down slowly. The less time the tooth spends out of your mouth, the better off you’ll be.
If you can’t get your tooth back in its socket, a glass of cold milk will do in a pinch. Do not put your tooth in regular tap water, because the water will be too harsh on your tooth and the roots attached to it.
Step 4: Get To A Dental Professional (Within 30 Minutes or Less)
Once you have your tooth, you need to get to a dental emergency room. If you can get there within 30 minutes or so of the accident, there’s a good chance the dentist will be able to save your tooth, and your smile. Of course, even if you can’t make that close deadline, that’s no reason not to try. If you take the proper steps, it’s possible to save a tooth that’s been out of your mouth for an hour or more.