When you're a kid you're supposed to lose your teeth--but as an adult, losing a tooth can be a small tragedy. After all, you only have one permanent set of teeth. Knowing what to do in the event that you do lose a tooth can help you save the tooth and save your smile.
Find the Tooth
In the moments after you lose a tooth, your first concern might be the hole in your mouth. Although it can be disturbing to realize that you've just lost what you thought was a permanent part of your body, it's important to pull yourself together and find the tooth. If you act quickly enough, there's a good chance the tooth can be saved.
Lift it Carefully
Once you've located the tooth, pick it up carefully by the tooth's crown. Don't touch the root of the tooth.
Rinse the Tooth
Rinse the tooth under water just to get the dirt off. Once the tooth looks clean, move on to the next step.
Put the Tooth Back In
You may have heard in first aid classes or just by rumor that you can save a tooth by putting it in milk. While this may be true, the best place for your tooth is much closer--and a bit grosser. Put the tooth back into the socket in your mouth. Push it down into your jaw gently and then carefully close your mouth so that your jaw holds the tooth in place. Once the mouth is fully closed, clamp down a little bit harder to push the tooth more firmly into place.
If you're unable to put the tooth back in its socket, you can do one of two things. Either nestle the tooth into the space between your teeth and your cheek, or put it into a glass of milk as mentioned before. Do not put the tooth into water. Water doesn't work as well to preserve the tooth, and that can result in the loss of the tooth.
See a Dentist Immediately
Once you've gotten the tooth carefully stashed either in your mouth or in the milk, see a general dentist or an endodontist right away. Do not wait. If you can see the dentist within the first hour after the tooth is lost, you may be able to save it. If you can't see a dentist or an endodontist, go to the nearest emergency room. Don't forget to bring the tooth!
When you start shopping around for dental care, it can be hard to know who to work with. Over the years, I have gone to several different dentists, and some of my experiences have been better than others. I decided to create a website to help other people to learn more about different aspects of dental care, so that you have a better idea of what you might be looking for. It can be intimidating to choose a dentist, but by knowing what you need, you might be able to look forward to your next dental check up and receive more customized care.