Tooth Knock Out? What To Do Next
You get hit from basketball practice or fall off your bike and your tooth gets knocked out. What do you do now? Most of the time when permanent teeth get knocked out, your dental professional will try to re-implant it back in your mouth. If you do any kind of contact sport or do something where your teeth may run the risk of getting knocked out or chipped, here are some helpful tips for you or your teammates.
Note: Time is of the essence when it comes to a chipped or knocked out tooth. It is ideal that you see your dentist within the hour of your injury and remember to handle your tooth very carefully. When you get your tooth knocked out of your mouth, your tooth becomes very sensitive and if you do not take care of it properly, your tooth might not be saveable.
What To Do:
- Try to put the tooth back into the socket where it fell out. You’ll want to keep it in place and you can do this by gently biting down with gauze or a wet tea bag.
- If you cannot keep your tooth in place, get a small container, fill with whole milk or saliva, and place your tooth inside.
- Get a tooth-saving storage container kits, these might be available at your dentist office.
Apply a cold compress for pain (or suck on a popsicle), bite down gently on gauze to control bleeding, and contact your dental professional to see when they can see you. Nerve endings may be exposed depending on the severity of your broken tooth. The more severe it is, the larger the risk of infection and pain. Definitely contact your dental professional if you feel like this is the case, and see if they can see you as soon as possible.
What You Should NOT Do:
- Do not touch the root of the tooth. The root is damage-prone, if you’re handling the tooth in anyway, the best way is to hold it by the top part of the tooth (the crown).
- If your tooth is dirty from the injury, do not try to wipe it off with your shirt. This can damage the tooth. If you need to clean it, hold the crown and rinse with milk. If you do not have milk, use water, do not use alcohol.
- Do not try to scrub the tooth.
- Do not wrap in tissue or cloth. Remember, your tooth needs to be moist.
How To Prevent It Next Time:
- Mouthguard. Wearing a mouthguard is really the best way you will prevent getting your teeth knocked out and still be able to play contact sports. It’s easy, it’s inexpensive, and will really save you the toil you would get later on if your teeth do get knocked out. Just think about it, do you want to get a root canal and risk tooth loss or do you just want to wear a mouthguard and prevent it all together?
Thu Nguyen is writing on behalf of Austin Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. She hasn’t gotten her tooth knocked out, but she’ll definitely wear a mouthguard if she plays basketball next time!