Act fast to help save a knocked-out tooth

August 23, 2010

Dentist looking at a dental x- ray

If a permanent tooth is knocked out, these steps can help save it.

If your child — or anyone else — gets a permanent tooth knocked out, these steps can help save it. (Baby teeth can rarely, if ever be saved)

  • Handle the tooth very carefully. Don't touch the root for any reason (the part that was in the gum).
  • If you can, gently place the tooth back in the hole it left in the gum (don't try to place the tooth back in its position if it has fallen on the ground and is dirty). Or, if you're sure the child won't swallow the tooth, ask the child to hold it between his cheek and gum.
  • You can also put the tooth in a glass of milk or in a cup with saliva. It must be kept moist, but putting it in water is not a good idea.
  • Get to your dentist, doctor or ER right away. The longer it takes, the less likely it is the tooth can be saved.
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