Dos And Dont’s To Follow If You Knock A Tooth Out

As far as dental injuries go, knocking out a tooth is about as bad as it gets. Hopefully, this never happens to you or a close friend. But since knocking out a tooth is a real possibility within your lifetime, it's important that you know what to do — and what not to do — in such a situation.

Do: Try to find the tooth.

Some people knock out a tooth and never even try to find it, figuring that once it is gone, it's gone for good. But dentists can sometimes re-insert teeth into your jaw, so you should spend the time to find the tooth. There is no guarantee that your dentist will be able to save the tooth if you find it, but if you don't even attempt to find the tooth, there's no chance of saving it!

Don't: Wash the tooth with soap.

If you find the tooth and it is covered in dirt or dust, your first instinct may be to clean it up. You can run it under a little warm water, but do not use soap or any other sort of cleaner on it. There is living tissue in a tooth, whether it looks like it or not, and soap could damage that tissue making your dentist unable to reinsert the tooth.

Do: Try to put the tooth back in your mouth.

The very best way to keep your knocked-out tooth viable is to place it back in its socket. So, try this first. Look in the mirror, if one is available, to make sure you get the tooth facing the right way. Bite down gently on some gauze to keep the tooth in place and control the bleeding. 

Don't: Let the tooth dry out.

If you are not able to get the tooth back into its socket, or if doing so is too painful, the next best option is to store the tooth in some milk until you get to the dentist. If you don't have milk, use some warm water. But no matter what you do, avoid letting the tooth dry out.

Do: Call your dentist ASAP.

Call your dentist; they will probably want you to come in immediately to have the tooth put back into place. If your dentist's office is not open, head to an emergency dentist. This is not a problem that can wait until 9 am the next day when your dentist's office opens again.