It’s that time of year again: Children and adults shaking off the Winter Blues by playing baseball and softball, jumping on trampolines, hitting the trails on their mountain bikes. Inevitably, someone is going to knock out a tooth. What should you do?
1. If possible, rinse it gently with water–DON’T SCRUB IT. If it’s your tooth and you can’t rinse it, put it in your mouth and clean it–I know, it’s gross, but we’re talking about saving your tooth! Milk is even better since the pH is more neutral.
2. Put the tooth back into the socket and get it as close as you can to the right position;
3. Call your dentist or go to the ER. If the dentist or an attending oral surgeon can stabilize the tooth by splinting it to the adjacent teeth, there is a good chance the tooth can be saved–it may need root canal therapy later, but that’s better than losing the tooth!
Now, if the tooth is only knocked loose, you will still need to move it back as close as you can get to the original position. Then, call your dentist or go to the ER–if the tooth can be stablized, it will probably be okay–again, it may need root canal therapy later.