From professional hockey players to kids on the playground, teeth get knocked out all the time. It’s so common that nearly five million children and adults lose their teeth from trauma every year.
The good news is that even though it can be a scary experience, knocking out your tooth doesn’t have to mean an oral health disaster. There are even ways you can save your tooth even after an injury.
Dr. Ryan Fait at Southern California General & Cosmetic Dentistry in Long Beach and Avalon, California, is sharing his best advice when it comes to getting through a traumatic mouth injury. Here are five easy steps to take to save your tooth.
Once you’ve located your tooth, it’s crucial that you pick it up carefully. And by carefully, we mean by the crown — the chewing surface — not the root. The nerves and connective tissues in the root of your tooth are very fragile.
Remove any dirt or debris by gently wiping it off or rinsing it with cold water — avoid using chemicals or soaps and never scrub it.
You might be tempted to wrap the tooth in a towel or napkin, but that could damage any remaining nerves or connective tissues. The best way to store your tooth and keep the tissue alive is to reinsert it carefully back into the socket. Hold it in place carefully with your fingers or by lightly biting down.
If reinserting the tooth into your socket isn’t possible, holding it in your cheek and letting it bathe in your saliva is the next best option. As a last resort, you can place your tooth in a glass of cold milk. Avoid using tap water as your tooth can’t tolerate it for extended periods.
You have a very limited amount of time (about 15-30 minutes) to save your tooth. Fortunately, our team is only a phone call away.
Dr. Fait knows that dental emergencies never happen when it’s most convenient; that’s why he offers dental care when you need it. Call our office immediately when your tooth gets knocked out, and we’ll do our best to save it.
If we can’t save your tooth, we’ll address the immediate problems and then start a discussion about your tooth replacement options once you’ve recovered from your injuries.
Have you sustained a dental injury? Are you in significant pain? Call our office or visit our website to schedule an appointment and get the emergency dental care you need.