Roughly over five million people get a knocked-out tooth every year—that’s a lot! If you’ve recently experienced this, then you know how overwhelming the situation can feel. You’ll definitely want to seek dental emergency care right away, but should you try putting your tooth back in its socket? Read on to learn how you should handle your pearly white while heading to your dentist’s office.
Step #1: Handle the Tooth Gently
The very first thing you want to keep in mind is to avoid touching the roots of your tooth. Any damage to this part can severely reduce your chances of having it successfully reattached. Instead, be sure to pick your tooth up by the crown or chewing surface. Once you have it, carefully rinse it off with water to remove dirt or debris. You also won’t want to use soap, scrub it, or dry it with a towel or tissue.
Step #2: Place the Tooth Back In Its Socket
Keeping your tooth moist is the next step. Since it isn’t meant to stay outside your mouth for more than an hour, you’ll need to preserve it in several ways. If your tooth is still intact and rinsed off, then you can try gently putting it back in its socket. To prevent it from falling out, you can either hold it with your finger or softly bite down on it.
However, if it isn’t possible to put it back in, you can also try keeping your tooth in a cup or Ziploc bag with milk! You may even try getting an OTC emergency kit from a local pharmacy, or you might place it in your mouth and hold it beside your cheeks while you head to your dentist.
Step #3: Visit Your Dentist Immediately
You should ideally see your dentist within 30 minutes of losing a tooth. This will give them the best chance to assess your mouth for any damages to your other teeth and work to reattach the pearly white. By quickly and carefully handling your tooth beforehand, you’ll help increase the chances of them successfully saving it.
Getting a pearly white knocked-out can be unsettling, but knowing the steps to take if it happens can make you more confident when the time comes!
About the Author
Dr. Sammi Hadad received her dental doctorate from the University of Detroit Mercy Dental School. She’s passionate about delivering high-quality and comprehensive dental care for all patients. She utilizes state-of-the-art technology with multiple advanced services, including emergency treatments for a knocked-out tooth. If you want to know more about how to handle losing a tooth, visit her website or call 734-479-4600.