You could be enjoying a rousing game of baseball when the ball comes flying at your face, hits your mouth, and knocks your tooth out. If this happens, it is essential that you see an emergency dentist, such as those at Family First Dentistry LLC, as soon as possible in order to save the tooth. Follow these steps when handling your tooth to keep it in good shape; by doing so, you increase the chances that your dentist is able to reinsert it into its socket.
1. Watch How You Hold the Tooth
When you pick up the tooth, it is important to only touch the tooth's crown (the top portion of the tooth). If you touch roots of the tooth, you can kill them. When the roots of the tooth die, it is unlikely your dentist can save the tooth.
2. Transport the Tooth Properly
Following these recommendations concerning tooth transportation can be the difference between saving and losing your tooth.
Never wrap the tooth in cloth or a tissue to transport it. This dries it out and can damage the surface.
If possible, insert the tooth back into its socket. To do this, carefully push it back into the socket and put it in place with your fingers. Keep the tooth in place on your way to the dentist.
In some cases, you may not be able to put the tooth back in the socket. If this is the case, make sure that you keep the tooth wet until you can get to the emergency dentist.
The following items are recommended for keeping the tooth moist: milk and retail tooth preservation kits. You can also hold the tooth in the side of your mouth, like a chipmunk, to keep it wet.
Do not use tap water to keep the tooth moist. Long term exposure to tap water can damage the roots of your tooth.
3. Cleanse the Tooth with Care
When your tooth falls out, it may fall into a variety of substances, such as mud, dirt, or sand. If your tooth gets dirty, it is okay to briefly rinse it with water. However, make sure you do not use any soap or cleaners on the tooth, as these substances are damaging to teeth. Also remember to not dry the tooth with a towel or cloth.
If your tooth gets knocked out, try to see the dentist within 30 minutes of your accident. By doing so, you maximize the chances that your tooth can be saved. Keep your tooth in good shape to ensure it is possible for your dentist to attempt to reinsert the tooth.