What to Do if a Tooth Gets Knocked Out
Summer is here in full force, which means warmer weather and all of the wonderful sports and activities that come with it. Now that we’re all crawling out of hibernation and getting more active, some minor accidents are bound to occur. The American Association of Endodontists reports that “More than five million teeth are knocked out every year in children and adults.”
Typically, these accidents occur during sports or other physical activities, and most of the time,the tooth can be successfully replanted if proper emergency steps are followed.
Protecting your teeth during sports
If you play a sport where there’s a risk of being hit in the mouth, you may want to consider getting a mouthguard made by a dentist to protect your teeth.
This involves taking a mold of your teeth, which will be used to make the mouthguard – this will fit well and protect your mouth.
“Boil and bite” mouthguards, where the mouthguard is molded using hot water, are also available, but they’re not as good as one made by your dentist. This type of mouthguard is often uncomfortable to wear and doesn’t provide the same level of protection as a custom-made mouthguard.
If a tooth is knocked out, do not panic. Pick the tooth up by the crown (the part you chew with) and not the root. Gently rinse it in water only. Do not scrub, use soaps or chemicals, or dry the tooth! You’ll want to keep the tooth moist. Ideally, you should plug the tooth back into the socketand hold it there with your finger. If this is not an option, you can place the tooth in a glass of milk, hold it inside your mouth (against your cheek), or use an emergency tooth preservation kit.Do not store the tooth in water, as this can damage root surface cells.
As soon as the tooth is in a moist place, head to your nearest dentist or endodontist immediately. Ideally, you should see one within thirty minutes of the accident to maximize thechance of successful replanting. Be sure to bring the tooth with you!
If the tooth is just chipped, you should make an appointment to see a dentist to fill the tooth or smooth it down. This isn’t an emergency and can wait until the dental surgery is open.
In most cases, if these steps are followed, the tooth can be successfully restored. Remember:
- Don’t touch the root
- Keep the tooth moist
- See a dentist right away
You can enjoy the beautiful spring sunshine and all of the fun that comes with it, and restassured that even when minor accidents occur, your dentist has you covered!
Dr. Richard A. Murdoch has been caring for patients in Denver, Colorado for over 30 years.
To learn more about his wonderful practice, visit his website at https://www.murdochdds.com or call the office at 303-355-6340 to schedule an appointment.
June 21, 2022