Every year, more than 5 million children and adults knock their teeth out by accident. A knocked-out tooth does not necessarily mean that it’s gone for good. Some teeth can be fixed back into the gums efficiently and can be used normally for several years. However, proper emergency care of the tooth must be taken in order to retain its strength.
Here is the emergency protocol to follow in case you or your child knock teeth out.
A knocked-out tooth can be placed back if it is taken to the doctor’s office immediately. The steps to follow in the meanwhile are:
Hold the knocked-out tooth sensitively, by the crown. Do not, at any cost, touch the root area. You can only touch the crown or the white chewing area of the tooth.
If the tooth was fallen on the ground, rinse it in cold running water for no more than 10 seconds. Do not use soap or any chemicals, and do not try to dry it. If it did not fall out of your mouth, you can even lick it clean.
Try to place the tooth in its socket, gently push it with your fingers, or slowly close your mouth. If you are able to position it easily, bite down on a piece of cloth to hold it in place. Try this repositioning step only with adult teeth and not with milk teeth as it could harm the permanent teeth underneath.
Do not let the tooth dry, and certainly do not wrap it in paper or tissue. Either place the tooth in your mouth in its socket or next to the cheek, where it can be moistened with saliva. Alternatively, you can save it in a glass of milk or a container of your saliva.
While 30 minutes would be the ideal time to seek treatment for knocked-out teeth, some teeth can be retained for more than an hour. In any case, inform your family dentist about the situation immediately and head to his or her office so you may be treated at the earliest.
In case the knocked-out tooth cannot be fitted back, the missing space can be filled with natural-looking false teeth. So, don’t fret! Trust that your dentist will fix the problem for you.