To most people, having a tooth knocked out can seem like a really scary ordeal. Not only do you have to deal with the pain of the injury, but you also have to go through dental surgery to have a fake tooth implanted. Well, contrary to popular belief, having a tooth knocked out may not actually be as bad as you might think, and you may even be able to save your tooth – but you have to be prepared to act quickly to care for the tooth when the injury occurs.
Teeth are knocked out fairly frequently, especially in the colder months with popular winter sports such as skiing and ice hockey and more dangerous walking and driving conditions. In fact, more than 5 million teeth are knocked out per year. That’s a lot of teeth!
So, if you ever have a tooth knocked out, the first thing you need to do is find the tooth and handle it by the crown only – the part of the tooth that you bite with. If you touch the root of the tooth, you run the risk of causing permanent damage to the tooth.
If the tooth is dirty, you can rinse it gently with your own saliva or whole milk. If neither of those are feasible options, you can rinse it very gently with water, but saliva or milk are the preferred options to get rid of any grime.
The next step is to get to a dentist – immediately. The longer you wait, the more unlikely it is that your tooth can be successfully re-implanted. During transport, if you can, you can place the tooth back in the socket gently, and bite down on gauze or a tea bag to keep the tooth in place. If the tooth can’t fit back into the socket, you can keep the tooth in your mouth, either under your tongue or between your lower lip and gums. You can also transport the tooth in a container, as long as it is covered with a small amount of saliva or whole milk. The key is to keep the tooth moist at all times, as once it dries out, the tooth won’t be viable for re-implantation.
Consider adding one of these Save-a-Tooth containers to your home’s first aid kit or adding one to your roadside emergency bag. These containers are an ADA Seal of Acceptance product, meaning that they have been reviewed and approved by the agency’s Council on Scientific Affairs as a means of safely transporting your tooth.
The most important thing to remember if you ever lose a tooth is to stay calm and follow these steps. If you act quickly, your tooth can be successfully re-implanted and last you for many more years to come. In the meantime, don’t forget to wear your mouth guard when you’re playing sports and watch out for black ice on sidewalks and roadways!
Of course, dental care is more than just emergencies like lost teeth – it’s also routine cleanings and preventative care to keep cavities from forming and identifying any potential issues early before they become serious problems. Don’t forget to schedule your next appointment with the team at Brockport Dental. Call us today at 585-589-0000 or request an appointment online now to schedule your next visit!