It doesn’t matter if you lose a tooth or your child gets a tooth knocked out. There’s always a moment of panic and a million questions. What should I do with the tooth? Is there going to be permanent damage? How much is it going to cost to repair the damage? How soon should I see the dentist? What do I do now?
That’s why we’ve put together a list of tips and steps to use when you’re faced with a knocked out or broken tooth.
The “don’ts” of a knocked out or broken tooth
- Don’t touch the root of the tooth, where the tooth touches the gum.
- Don’t put the lost tooth in anything except cow’s milk or saltwater.
- Don’t try to scrub or scrape the tooth (especially the root).
- Don’t forget to plug the sink before you rinse the tooth (you don’t want to lose it down the drain!).
What to do
- Locate the tooth that fell out. Pick up the tooth by the crown (the top of the tooth).
- Rinse the tooth in water (use the don’ts listed above as you rinse the tooth carefully).
- Contact the dentist for an emergency appointment (remember to call, not e-mail!).
- Put the tooth back in the mouth if possible. Cover it with a piece of gauze. Hold the tooth in its original place by biting down on the gauze.
- If placing and keeping the tooth in the mouth is not possible, put the tooth in a cup of cow’s milk or saltwater.
- Put a cold compress on the cheek to manage the pain.
- Get to the dentist with the tooth ASAP for treatment (the sooner the better).
- Take steps to keep it from happening again!