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Why You Must Store a Knocked-out Tooth in Milk or Saltwater?

Posted on 6/25/2017 by Clay Keith dds
A man suffering from a missing tooth!
Having a knocked-out tooth is fairly common. It can happen as a result of a sports incident or an accident. Though you may think a knocked-out tooth is the end of the world, it isn't.

Dentistry progresses and with prompt attention a knocked-out tooth can be saved and replaced in its original socket. The key is swift action and proper preservation of the tooth until you can get to the dentist.

What Do You Do if a Tooth Gets Knocked Out?

If your tooth gets knocked out, obviously the first step is to find the tooth. When you find it you must handle it carefully. The first thing you should know is that you should not touch the tooth by its root. Only touch the part of the tooth that is used to chew. This is called the crown.

If the Tooth is Dirty, Gently Rinse I with Water?

Never scrub it. Next, try to put the tooth back in its socket. Push down gently with your fingers. If you can't use your fingers, position it in place and very gently bite down on it to hold it in place.

If You Can't Put It in Place
If you can't put it back in your mouth you must take care of the tooth and get it to the dentist as soon as possible, preferably within 30 minutes of the injury. Above all, do not let the tooth dry out. Immediately place the tooth in a glass of milk.

It doesn't matter if the milk is whole milk, skim milk or two percent milk. Milk helps to maintain the fluid balance in the root which helps to keep the tooth viable.

You can gargle with saltwater to help ease the pain and keep the socket clean, but the tooth should not be placed in saltwater. You can also hold the tooth in the mouth next to your cheek. This will help keep the roots moist.

Please contact our office if you have any questions about what to do if you have knocked out a tooth.
The Center for Implant & General Dentistry
Clay Keith, D.D.S.  |  Paul Denson, D.D.S.

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