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What to do when you have a 'Knocked out tooth'

kid with knocked out tooth

Baby Tooth Knocked-Out

If the knocked-out tooth is a baby tooth, do not put it back in because you may damage the permanent tooth growing underneath.

Permanent Tooth Knocked-Out

For adults, a knocked-out tooth can be saved by putting it back into its socket or in milk as soon as possible before your emergency dental appointment. For permanent adult tooth follow these instructions:

  1. Hold the tooth by the white part of the tooth (the crown – the part that sticks out of the gum) do not hold the tooth by the yellow part (the root – the part underneath the gum)

  2. If it is dirty, you can lick it clean or rinse it under running cold water for no more than 10 seconds.

  3. See if you can re-insert it back to the tooth socket (the hole in the gum), if unsuccessful:

  4. Put it in milk or

  5. Put it in the saliva of the owner of the tooth or

  6. Hold it in your cheek until you see your emergency dentist*

  7. If the knocked-out tooth was successfully reinserted into its hole, bite on it gently and keep it in place using a clean cloth until you can book an emergency appointment

* Note that younger children may swallow the tooth so it is better not to ask younger children to hold the tooth in their cheek.

If you’re not sure whether it is Baby Tooth or an Adult Tooth

Hold the knocked-out tooth in milk or saliva, make an urgent dental appointment and take it to the dentist.

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