What to Do for a Knocked-Out Tooth

If you have had a tooth knocked out during a fight, an accident or a sports game, it is important to act quickly. An emergency dentist might be able to save the tooth and reseat it in the gum if you follow these steps.

1. Try Not to Touch the Root

If you can see the tooth, pick it up by taking hold of its top part, which is called the crown. Try not to touch the root of the tooth, which is extremely fragile.

2. Rinse the Tooth

Rinse the tooth in clean water. Do not use soap or any other cleaning products. Do not scrub the tooth or try to dry it using a towel, as these actions are likely to damage the root. It's actually better for teeth to remain moist, so you shouldn't try to dry it at all after rinsing.

3. Replace the Tooth In Your Mouth

The best place to store a knocked-out tooth is in your mouth. Saliva keeps the tooth moist and also contains enzymes that limit the growth of bacteria. If possible, you should try to place the tooth back into the socket that it came from. You can hold it in place by gently biting down with your mouth closed.

If you can't get the tooth back into the socket, you can keep it inside your mouth next to your cheek. Be sure not to swallow it. While teeth can usually pass through the body without causing any damage to internal organs, there is no chance of saving the tooth if you have swallowed it.

4. Put the Tooth in Milk

If you are not able to keep the tooth inside your mouth, the next best option is to put it in a glass of milk. Tap water is not ideal because it causes damage to the cells on the surface of the tooth root over a long period of time.

5. See an Emergency Dentist

The sooner you can see an emergency dentist, the greater the chance of being able to save the tooth. Call the dentist right away, and tell them that you have had a tooth knocked out. You should be able to get an emergency dental appointment almost immediately.

6. Use Appropriate Pain Relief

Losing a tooth can be very painful. However, certain types of pain medication, including aspirin and ibuprofen, can make bleeding worse. Paracetamol is a safe option if you need medication to cope with the pain until your dental appointment.