What to Do if you Lose a Tooth

Best_DentistYou have suffered an injury—a fall, a sports accident, even a car accident. One of your teeth is knocked out. Now what should you do?

“It’s easy to say ‘don’t panic,’” says Dr. Ford from her cosmetic dentistry office, “but it’s easy to be scared when you see a tooth out of your mouth. A good plan is to know what to do. Knowing what steps to take, will keep you calmer,” she adds.

Here are the steps to take, whether you or a friend or your child has a tooth knocked out. The steps were suggested by WebMD and adapted for easy reading.

1. Hold the tooth only by the crown (the biting part). Don’t touch the root.

2. Handle the tooth carefully, treating it roughly may make it impossible to put it back in the mouth. And some teeth can be replaced successfully, if it’s done quickly enough.

3. Don’t rush to rinse the tooth. And don’t scrub or brush it. Often, municipal water has a lot of chlorine and other chemicals in it that aren’t good for the root of the teeth.

4. If you are brave, carefully place the tooth back into your mouth and, using a gauze pad, bite gently down.

5. If you can’t stand the idea of putting the tooth back in the socket, put it between your gum and cheek.

6. If you can’t do that either, put the tooth in a small amount of milk. Milk is generally cool, clean, and contains calcium—all of which are good for teeth.

7. Rinse your mouth with warm salt water. If no salt water is available, use plain water.

8. Get to a dentist or an emergency room without delay. Re-implantation works best if the tooth is taken care of quickly.

“Having a plan is a good way to help you remain calm,” says Dr. Ford. “And a successful re-implantation will assure that your smile is healthy and complete,” she adds.

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