My Tooth Got Knocked Out. Now What?

Boy putting in his mouth guard

Getting a tooth knocked out is scary and painful, but it is vital to act quickly if you want to save the tooth. There is 30 minute window in which it is more likely to be saved. Follow these instructions and good luck. Here’s what you should do in an ideal situation:

  1. Find the tooth.
  2. Rinse the tooth off with milk.
  3. Keep the tooth wet by reinserting it into its socket.
  4. Get to a dentist.

Here is a more detailed look at this list.

1. Find the tooth.

Locate the tooth as quickly as possible. Handle it extremely gently by the crown, or the chewing side. Never touch or disturb the root of the tooth. This could lessen the chances of the tooth being able to be saved.

As soon as a tooth falls out and its connection to the body is severed, it begins to die. After enough time the tooth will no longer be viable and will eventually completely die, even if it is later reinserted.

2. Rinse the tooth off.

Rinse away any dirt, dust, or debris using milk, saline solution, or soft, filtered water. Do not forcibly spray the tooth or use straight tap water. These could damage any exposed root or nerve. If there is nothing visible on the tooth, go ahead and reinsert it – rinsing it for no reason could do more harm than good and further damage the root.

3. Keep the tooth wet.

For adults:

It may sound strange, but the best place for your knocked-out tooth is back in your mouth. If it will fit back in the socket without force or further pain, do so and hold it in place by gently biting down on a piece of cloth.

Alternatively, hold the tooth inside your mouth against your cheek to ensure it stays moist.

For children or non-adult teeth:

Inserting the tooth back into the socket could damage the adult tooth growing underneath the gum. Due to this and the potential risk of choking or swallowing the tooth, place it in a container and keep it wet. Preferably, have the child spit into the container so the tooth is completely moist and cover with a lid. If the child is unable to split, use milk or saline solution.

4. Get to a dentist.

Remember, you have about 30 minutes to get the tooth reinserted to the gum to have the best chance of saving it.

Your dentist will likely use a splint to hold the tooth in place. This means the tooth will be temporarily connected to the neighboring tooth until it is fully reestablished.

Some discoloration may occur if the tooth was not replaced quickly enough.

If it is after office hours and you need an immediate remedy, you can find tooth preservation kits like Save-a-Tooth at most pharmacies. Products like these claim to stave off tooth death for up to 24 hours, but it is always best to seek professional help as soon as possible.

Murfreesboro Family Dentistry has the experience and expertise to reset your teeth. Come see us and we’ll get your smile back in no time.


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