You’re in the swimming pool, swimming underwater, and quickly rise to the surface, hitting the hard ledge. Your front tooth falls out, floating to the bottom of the pool.
You’re in a fast game of basketball when an opposing player accidentally elbows you in the mouth, knocking your tooth to the floor.
First, don’t panic. If you act quickly, you may be able to save your tooth if it gets knocked out.
Follow these simple first-aid steps for a tooth that has been either knocked loose or knocked out:
- First, gently pick up your lost tooth by the top or “crown” not by the bottom or “root.” If you are unable to replace the tooth easily back in its socket, try to put it in a small container filled with low-fat milk, saline (salty) solution, or your own spit.
- Rinse your mouth with water and put a cold compress or towel with ice on your face near where the tooth came out. This helps to keep the swelling down and makes it easier for the dentist to do his magic.
- If your tooth is knocked loose (and not out), push it back into its original position and bite down so the tooth does not move.
- Visit the dentist as soon as possible – the longer your tooth is out of the mouth, the less likely that it will be able to be saved.