Let’s face it—accidents happen. And sometimes these accidents can cause you injury, including having a tooth knocked out! Per the American Association of Endodontists, it’s estimated that over 5 million adults and children get a tooth knocked out each year. But when this happens, is putting the tooth back in yourself a viable option until you can seek emergency dental care? Keep reading to learn more.
Putting The Tooth Back in Its Socket
If you’ve had a tooth knocked out, the first thing to keep in mind is that time is of the essence—immediately contact your dentist and spring into action! If you’re able to quickly locate and secure the tooth, you can put the tooth back in its socket yourself if you’re careful.
Pick up the tooth by the crown (chewing surface) and avoid touching the root. If the tooth is dirty, you should rinse it with milk or cold water before attempting to replace it. If the tooth slides in easily, try to keep it in place by gently biting down on a piece of gauze; if it doesn’t, do not try to force it in. Instead, preserve it in a glass of milk (not water) or clean plastic wrap until you can see your dentist.
It’s important that whether you’re able to replace the tooth yourself or not, you see your dentist within 30 to 60 minutes—this will give your tooth the greatest chance of being salvaged. The longer you wait to receive treatment, the more likely you will need to have the tooth replaced.
Preventing Additional Displaced Teeth
Even though there are things you can do if you have a displaced tooth, the absolute best thing you can do is prevent your teeth from getting knocked out in the first place! Although there’s no way to entirely keep this from happening, there are measures you can take; when it comes to oral care, prevention is the name of the game. Consider the following:
- Wear a mouthguard during both contact and non-contact sports.
- Prioritize your oral care and brush and floss daily.
- Avoid excessively sugary foods and drinks that can increase the risk of tooth decay.
- Visit your dentist for routine checkups and cleaning.
If something happens to knock out one of your teeth, you might feel a little uncertain and frightened; but you don’t need to panic! Contact your dentist and take the proper steps to ensure that your tooth is back in its rightful place in no time.
About the Author
Dr. Michael E. Michel is proud to offer a wide variety of services to patients and families in Topeka, including emergency dentistry! Dr. Michel has been practicing dentistry for over 40 years and received his DDS from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry. He is also a member of many professional organizations including the American Dental Association and the Kansas Dental Association. If you need to schedule an appointment with Dr. Michel, reach out through his website or by phone: (785) 273-0801.