Having a tooth knocked out can be scary and overwhelming, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that the tooth is lost for good. In some cases, it may be possible to save the tooth and have it reattached.
At Oasis Pediatric Dental Care & Orthodontics, our dentists, Dr. Nathalie Phaeton and Dr. Ki Youn Kil, and our team, offer emergency dentistry services at our office in Falls Church, Virginia.
What to do when a tooth is knocked out
Depending on the circumstances, there are a few steps you can take after a tooth is knocked out to improve your chances of saving it. Here are some of the steps you can take right after your own or your child’s tooth has been knocked out.
According to the American Association of Endodontists (AAE), there are several things you can do within the first 30 minutes after a tooth is knocked out to increase your chances of saving it.
Recover the tooth if possible
If you have the tooth, try to keep it clean until you can get to the dentist’s office. If the entire tooth is knocked out, do your best not to touch the root and handle it by touching the crown (the “top” of the tooth or chewing surface).
Rinse the tooth with warm water
If the tooth falls onto the ground and is covered with dirt or debris, you can rinse it with warm water but avoid using any soap or other cleaning products or solutions. The AAE recommends that you don’t scrub or scrape the tooth, and avoid wrapping it in anything like tissue or gauze.
Keep the tooth moist at all times
If possible, you can try to reposition the tooth back into the socket. Otherwise, try to keep the tooth wet by holding it in your mouth, or you can also place it in milk until you get to the dentist.
Get to the dentist right away
A knocked out tooth is a dental emergency, so you’ll want to get to the dentist as quickly as possible. If you can’t get an appointment within an hour of losing the tooth, you should still keep and try to preserve the tooth and take it with you to your appointment, as it may still be possible to reattach it.
If you or your children play contact sports, consider wearing a mouthguard to protect your teeth from accidents and trauma.
For more information about what to do after a tooth is knocked out or other dental emergencies, contact Oasis Pediatric Dental Care & Orthodontics today to schedule an appointment with one of our dentists.