Whether it's due to a fight or an injury, having a tooth knocked out is a serious concern. Unfortunately, many people lack the understanding of how best to deal with something like this. As a result, when faced with such a problem, they may inadvertently make mistakes that can lead to further damage. Here are some things you should know about dealing with a knocked-out tooth while you wait for your dentist.
Handle The Tooth Carefully
When you pick up the tooth, be cautious about how you handle it. Don't touch the roots, or the bottom of the tooth. Instead, hold the tooth by the top, also called the crown. That way, you don't contaminate the root. Clean the tooth by rinsing it with a small amount of whole milk. Then, rinse it with a little bit of water. Avoid wiping it with anything, because that could introduce contaminants.
Put The Tooth Back In Place
If the tooth that was knocked out was a permanent tooth, you should first try to put it back into the space where it was. Cover the area with fresh gauze to hold it in place and help address any bleeding. If the tooth is broken, this isn't a good idea, though. In this case, pack the hole where it was with fresh gauze to help minimize bleeding. Similarly, if the tooth lost was a baby tooth, don't try to put it back in your child's mouth.
Transport A Loose Or Broken Tooth Properly
For a tooth that's not able to be placed back in the space, make sure you transport it properly so that you preserve its condition. If possible, place it either between your lower lip and gums or under your tongue. This will prevent drying. Otherwise, place it in a clean container and pour whole milk over it to cover it.
Keep The Swelling Down
Any time you have a tooth knocked out, the physical trauma will cause some swelling. It's best to keep this as minimized as possible so that your dentist can address the injury more easily. To keep the swelling down, hold a cold compress to the outside of the jaw in the affected area.
Call Your Dentist Right Away
It's important that you see your dentist right away in a situation like this. If you can't get an appointment with your dentist within an hour of the injury, look for an emergency dentist who can treat you right away. Time is of the essence when it comes to potentially preserving that knocked-out tooth.