The Dos and Don'ts of Preserving a Knocked out Tooth

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Believe it or not, when a tooth is knocked out of your jaw, that doesn't mean that you have to say goodbye to that tooth forever. If you act quickly and get help from an emergency dentist, it's possible for that tooth to be transplanted back where it belongs. If the transplant is successful, you can go back to your daily life without anyone having even known that the tooth was knocked out. However, how you treat the tooth will ultimately determine if this procedure is a possibility for you. Here's what you should and shouldn't do with that tooth.

Do: Clean It (The Right Way)

Cleaning off your tooth isn't mandatory, but it can make the tooth a bit tidier for you to handle and keep in your personal belongings until you get to the dentist's office. However, how you clean it is just as important as cleaning it at all.

To clean your tooth, simply dust it off with a tissue. Avoid touching the root of the tooth, as this is the viable portion that needs to stay alive in order for the tooth to be transplanted. It's very sensitive, so you want to avoid messing with it at all costs.

Don't: Put it in Water

It can be tempting to rinse off the tooth under a faucet or to put it in a bit of water to keep it fresh. Whatever you do, don't do this!

Water is the wrong pH level for a tooth. It's imperative that a tooth is kept moist, yes, but if you soak it in the wrong pH level, the root will die. When the root dies, the only way to keep the tooth is by performing a root canal on it and then transplanting it back into the mouth. While this is an option, it's better to keep the tooth alive if at all possible.

Do: Put it in Milk

It might sound odd, but you can put your tooth in milk to keep it moist and to keep it alive. This is because the simple sugars won't cause any harm to the tooth, and the pH level of the milk is perfect. Milk is usually the first option that people have available to them in their homes, but if you don't have any, you have a couple of options available to you. You can buy some milk at the store, or you can buy tooth preservation liquid that can be found in the dental aisle of most drug and grocery stores.

Whichever you choose, keep in mind that this is only a temporary solution and that it's still imperative to get that tooth transplanted by an emergency dentist as fast as possible.