The 5 Facts and Myths about Knocked Out Teeth
Having your teeth knocked out is a dental emergency no one wants to experience. Fortunately, whether you’ve taken a fall or had an unfortunate accident playing sports, there are ways to save a knocked-out tooth. Here’s what to know if you’ve lost a tooth.
Fact: You can save that tooth!
Having a tooth knocked out doesn’t mean a gap-toothed smile forever. If you move quickly, you can actually save the lost tooth. Gently pick up the tooth by its crown (top) and rinse it in water. Avoid touching the root, and don’t wrap your tooth in anything that could dry it out. Then get to an emergency dentist as quickly as you can.
Myth: Don’t put that tooth back in.
Putting your tooth back into its natural socket is the safest way to store your tooth while you’re waiting for treatment. If you can pop it back in, do so – if the socket is too damaged, you can hold it inside your mouth to keep it moist while you seek emergency dental care.
Fact: Milk can help!
You might have heard that putting a knocked-out tooth in a glass of milk can help save it. That’s actually true. While the best place to put your tooth is back in its socket, that isn’t always possible. Pop your tooth in a small container of milk (not water) to help preserve it. But remember that time is of the essence when it comes to seeking care.
Myth: Clean that tooth well.
Rinsing your tooth in water or milk is fine, but avoid using chemicals on your tooth, especially on the sensitive root. You also don’t want to scrub your knocked-out tooth, as this can cause further damage. Similarly, don’t wrap your tooth in tissue or a cloth – this can dry out your tooth.
Fact: Seek help quickly!
The faster you seek help for your knocked-out tooth, the more likely it is that your tooth can be saved. If you can get to an emergency dentist within half an hour, your tooth’s chances are good – providing you keep the tooth moist in the meantime. If you are experiencing other injuries such as severe bleeding or a concussion, go to the ER first.
No one wants to experience a knocked-out tooth, but accidents do happen. When playing sports or participating in high-impact activities, wear protective headwear or a mouthguard to help prevent damage to your teeth, jaw or head – but if the worst happens, follow the above tips and immediately contact your emergency dentist for treatment.
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