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What to do when your tooth is knocked out

The American Association of Endodontists says that more than 5 million teeth get knocked out each year. Knowing that it’s a fairly common occurrence doesn’t make it any less stressful when it’s happening to you, though.


At Modern Day Dental in Santa Clara, California, Andrew Day, DDS, and our team offer preventive dentistry to help you avoid losing teeth. But you can’t control life’s unpredictability. If an accident suddenly pops your tooth out of your mouth, we want you to be prepared to act fast so you can get the best possible outcome.

Here’s your guide to what to do if your tooth gets knocked out.



Your steps when your tooth gets knocked out


First, take a deep breath. There’s a high likelihood that your tooth can be saved if you take the right steps now.


Step one: Find the tooth

First, you want to locate the tooth. When you find it, pick it up by the crown (the part of the tooth you can usually see), not the root that lives under your gum line. The root contains periodontal ligaments that are important for re-rooting your tooth in your mouth, so protect it as much as possible.


Step two: Rinse the tooth

First, place a towel over the drain or plug it to make sure you don’t lose the tooth down the sink. Then, gently rinse it with water. Remember to avoid touching the root as you do.


Step three: Store the tooth

The best place to store your tooth is back in its socket. See if you can reposition the tooth in your mouth. If you can get it back in place, putting a little gauze in the area and biting gently onto it can help you keep the tooth in position.

If you can’t keep the tooth in your mouth, put it in a small, clean container and cover it with milk or your own saliva. Don’t use tap water to keep the tooth moist because it can damage the tooth root.


Step four: Get to the dentist quickly

Ideally, you’ll be able to see your dentist within 30 minutes of the tooth getting knocked out. The faster you can get the tooth repositioned in your mouth, the higher the likelihood that it will reroot.


Call Dr. Day right away if you lose a tooth. We can help you get the quick dental care you need to potentially save your tooth. If the tooth can’t be rerooted, don’t panic. Dr. Day can help you explore your tooth replacement options, including a dental implant, which looks, feels, and functions just like a natural tooth.


To avoid losing a tooth again, make sure you wear a mouthguard whenever you play sports. If you have any questions about what to do if your tooth gets knocked out, don’t hesitate to call our office today.


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